A guardrail must sustain 200 pounds of force applied tangentially to the top rail to comply with international building codes. This indicates that the railing should withstand a tangential pressure of 200 lb applied by one or more people leaning against it. This depends on several things. However, The sort of railing is almost irrelevant because, generally speaking, standard practices construct bars, which are typically OK. The quality of the installation is the most critical component in ensuring code adherence. Even if the railing is made of thick solid steel, it will not withstand the 200-pound test if it is not attached correctly. It would be silly to build a fence out of iron that would require a force of at least a thousand pounds to bend it a little and then lean it against the wall. This, however, is the typical outcome whenever a railing gives way.
WALL TYPES AND THE CORRECT ANCHORS TO USE FOR EACH
Many kinds of “walls” can serve as mounting points for railings. WALL, BRICK EXTERIOR The bricks on these walls are typically just pressed against a standard wood framework. Those who like to err on the side of caution can use a masonry bit to bore through the brick until they reach the wood underneath, which has been predrilled so that a 3/8-inch lag bolt can be driven into it. With practice, you can use 3/8-by-1-7/8-inch extension bolts to secure the anchor into the brick. There could be issues if the brick is fractured or loose. The expansion may become loose if the opening is too broad. Concrete tap cons, a blue screw with exceptional strength, are another option.
In comparison to tap cons, I favor expansion sleeve anchors. However, tap cons work pretty well on a brick when appropriately put. Take it easy at the wheel of the tap con, and don’t push it too far. Tap cons may not function if the brick is not dense enough. Make sure you’re starting with a good, sturdy brick. If not, you’ll have to resort to option A again. Never employ impact-based anchoring; doing so increases the risk of damaging or breaking the brick.
A WOODEN FRAME
A sheet of 1/2-inch OSB plywood is permanently installed underneath the siding on exterior wood framing. However, you should not fasten the rails directly to the plywood; instead, you should use solid wood framing behind it. You could get away with attaching the rails to just the plywood, but that plan will fail if the rails see a lot of use. The building inspector will likely fail you if they discover that. However, if a post is located close to a wall and its four-floor anchors are securely fastened, you may be able to leave the rail with a weak joint (not loose) at the top in place. If you properly attach the posts, your railing won’t need an additional anchor at the top to withstand the required loads. It is your prerogative as an installer to demand that the appropriate wood backing be affixed to the walls. However, drywall is used to conceal the interior framing. A drywall anchor can’t handle the weight any more than OSB could. So, don’t mount your handrails on sheetrock. However, there are two notable exceptions to this rule: the first was already mentioned, and the second is that it will likely be fine if the bracket is not located at one of the ends of the railing, is wall-mounted exclusively, and has, say, four shelves, only one of which is on drywall.
FLOORS AND WALLS MADE OF CONCRETE
Always use a sleeve anchor, size 3/8 x 1 7/8, when installing this anchor. If the railing is long or stands alone, you may need a 3/8″ x 1″. Short-term use of tap cons is acceptable. Core drilling the concrete and embedding the legs in hydraulic cement is the best option when strength and stability are more important than aesthetics. It would be excellent if the railings were prepared ahead of time and cast simultaneously with the concrete. There are instances when the bars must be cut down the middle and connected back together on site. Welded joints are superior to all others. You remove the grinder, weld up the area, and then finish with some touch-up paint. However, it would be best not to weld on a costly powder coating finish unless essential.
Another choice is bolting, which calls for the use of an opposing nut. It’s great, but it stands out too much. Especially if the extra tread isn’t ground off and the bolts aren’t painted. Tighten the nut and seal it with clear silicone to prevent moisture from getting in. The best fasteners are self-tapping screws with a neoprene washer. Screws provide for a solid, watertight junction that is not readily apparent. Well done!
Installing self-tapping screws requires a slow, non-hammering drill motion. Going too quickly risks a kickback that could injure you. Keep it in mind. Remember that the drill’s torque increases at lower speeds, so working faster won’t accomplish much. Remember that this is the final stage and that clamping the two parts together before drilling is best. After ensuring that everything is aligned correctly and attached, the joint screws can be put in.
CERAMIC TILE OR SLATE INSTALLATION
The issue is that any hollows in the tile or slate will make it break easily. If you want to avoid difficulty, your first step should be to inform the property owner or your wife that anything like this might occur. Use a thin 1/4-inch bit first, then a thicker 3/8- or 1/2-inch one, and always use screws long enough to reach the wood or concrete underneath.
ATTACHING YOUR RAILING WITH GLUE
For short spans, when there is a firm attachment of the top railing, it is conceivable to glue down the intermediate legs and even the posts if face mounting is not an option due to concerns about harming the deck’s waterproofing. Instead of using ordinary contact cement, try 3M’s 1099 adhesive.
START RAILING MOUNTING IN YOUR FACE
If you must use a face mount for your railings, remember that this attachment generates a lot of momentum, necessitating a minimum vertical bolt spacing of 3 inches. There should be two boards on the mounting face so that both screws can penetrate the natural wood by at least two and a half inches. Use wood lags that are 3/8″ by 3″ instead. In the absence of two boards, four screws per leg are required. If you can get to the back of the face, pass-through bolts with washers are the best and safest option. Make use of fasteners with a 3/8-inch hex head. When attaching to the concrete’s look, you’ll need three bolts spaced three inches apart and sleeve anchors measuring 3/8 by 3. Don’t face mount unless the slab is at least 6 inches thick, and you can install kickers every 6 feet. I believe I have described every conceivable outcome; thus, I shall conclude by saying:
Good luck with the railings!
Let’s go ahead and place an internet order for railings now that you know how to set them up. Check out http://deciron.com/railings.aspx for a wide variety of railing designs at unbeatable prices. They offer nationwide delivery as well.
North Carolina’s Pedro L. Sanchez Decorative Iron, Inc.