Baluster Spacing - Building & Construction - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

 DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum Baluster spacing
 User Name Remember Me? Password
 Register Blogs Articles Rewards Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Advertise About Us

 Thread Tools Search this Thread Tweet Share Display Modes
03-23-2009, 12:47 PM   #1

Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10

## Baluster spacing

Can someone tell me what the formula is to figure out how many balusters and the spacing i need to put on my railing on my deck. I amd redoing it all and i cant seem to get them right.

 03-23-2009, 01:41 PM #2 Old School     Join Date: Jan 2009 Location: St. Petersburg, FL Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everything which is beyond them. Posts: 3,634 Rewards Points: 2,000 This is similar to how I do it, but much of my method is done in my head, so I copied this from another site. It's probably easier to understand than my way would be. BTW.... he doesn't say it, (and I'm not positive of this), but I believe he is using a flat, level measurement in step 1. I, on the other hand, work with angled measurements, so that's why you aren't hearing too much about my method... it can get a bit confusing. ******************************************* Step1 Measure the staircase length between each rail post in inches, and write down the measurement. You may need someone to help hold the tape measure in place or take several measurements if your staircase turns. Step2 Determine the local building code requirements for spacing balusters by calling your local building department or looking for the standards online. An industry standard is 4 inches, but your area may have different requirements so double-check to ensure accurate placement. Step3 Refer to the balusters you've chosen and write down the width of the balusters in inches. Step4 Add one baluster width to the staircase length. Step5 Add the baluster width and the space between each baluster together. Then divide this number into the staircase length (plus the additional baluster length). For example, a 2-inch wide baluster with a required space of 4-inches and a 192-inch long staircase: 2 inches + 4 inches = 6 inches; 192 inches + 2 inches = 194 inches; 194 inches/6 inches = 32.33. Step6 Round the fractional part of the number from Step 5 (after the decimal point) down to the nearest whole number. This is the number of balusters you'll need for the project and, for this example, you will need 32 balusters. Step7 Multiply the number of balusters you need by the baluster width, and then subtract this number from the staircase length plus one baluster width. For example, 32 x 2 = 64; 194 – 64 = 130. Step8 Use the final sum of 130 from Step 7 and divide the number of balusters you determined you'll need plus one more baluster. For this example, 130 / 32 (+1 baluster) = 3.93 inches between each baluster. If you feel 3.93 inches is too close, you can add another baluster. Step9 For an odd number of balusters, start at the midpoint of the staircase run and install your first baluster. For an even number of balusters, you'll be off the midpoint by 1/2 the space amount. Working out from the center, install each subsequent baluster the distance as determined in Step 8. ****************************************** Here's a calculator that may help: http://www.virginiarailingandgates.c...icketspace.asp As a hint in ensuring equally spaced balusters...... most installers determine their spacer measurements beforehand, cut them all, and install the spacers as they go. This keeps everything tightened up and in line. But make sure the first baluster is perfectly plumb.... and check for plumb as you go. (You COULD have cut one or two spacers off just a little, and it will throw you off.) We who may not be all that accurate in all of our associated work often find that we probably should only cut a few of the fillet spacers at a time. __________________ "True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and only that which is." François Duc de La Rochefoucauld Willie T Last edited by Willie T; 03-23-2009 at 02:52 PM.

 03-23-2009, 01:51 PM #3 Member     Join Date: Sep 2007 Location: Springville, NY Posts: 2,585 Rewards Points: 320 The problem is that you have one more space than balusters. For uniform spacing, what works for me, is to measure the distance between the posts and the baluster width. Use the smallest width for not uniform (turned) balusters. Lets say 160 inches and a 1½" wide square baluster. Max spacing at 4". 4+1½"=5½". 160 (length)/5.5 (baluster and spacing)=29.09". Multiply 29 x 1½ (baluster width)= 43½ inches of balusters. 160 (length)-43½=116.5 (inches of spaces). 116.5/30 (one more than the number of balusters)=3.883" or 3-7/8" space. If the spacing is over 4", add one more baluster. Added: Good post Willie Last edited by 47_47; 03-23-2009 at 01:58 PM. Reason: Added

 03-23-2009, 02:11 PM #4 Join Date: Mar 2009 Posts: 5 Rewards Points: 10 Thank you very much this helps me out alot. I am going home tonight after work and try it out.
 03-23-2009, 02:56 PM #5 Old School     Join Date: Jan 2009 Location: St. Petersburg, FL Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everything which is beyond them. Posts: 3,634 Rewards Points: 2,000 This whole calculating thing is one of the reasons I smile when people apologize for having me mount balusters on treads. __________________ "True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and only that which is." François Duc de La Rochefoucauld Willie T
 03-23-2009, 03:00 PM #6 Join Date: Mar 2009 Posts: 5 Rewards Points: 10 Yeah i can understand that for sure. :-) i actually am not doing stairs, i guess i said the wrong word. I am putting spindles, (i guess that is what they are called) on the rails around the deck but this will help me figure out how many to put on there.
03-23-2009, 03:09 PM   #7
Old School

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: St. Petersburg, FL Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everything which is beyond them.
Posts: 3,634
Rewards Points: 2,000

Quote:
 Originally Posted by bulldog2048 Yeah i can understand that for sure. :-) i actually am not doing stairs, i guess i said the wrong word. I am putting spindles, (i guess that is what they are called) on the rails around the deck but this will help me figure out how many to put on there.
Do you have spindles with the dowels in the bottoms?
__________________
"True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and only that which is."
François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
Willie T

 03-23-2009, 03:24 PM #8 Join Date: Mar 2009 Posts: 5 Rewards Points: 10 NO I SURE DONT, I BOUGHT THE 1.25 X 1.25 ONES THAT ARE CUT AT A ANGLE ON ONE END. THIS IS LIKE THE RAILS I AM DOING.
 06-01-2009, 12:20 PM #10 Newbie   Join Date: Jun 2009 Location: Washington Posts: 13 Rewards Points: 10 Here is how I used to do it.... 1. Measure the distance between your newel posts.... let's say ...74". 2. Add 4" to the width of one baluster....for example 4" + 1.5" = 5.5". 4" is code for maximum space between balusters. 3. Divide distance between newels by this number.....74"/5.5" for example 4. Round down your answer....this would give you 13 balusters 5. Multilpy 13 times the width of one baluster gives you 19.5" which is the space the balusters will occupy. 6. Take the distance between the newels - 74" - and subtract the space the balusters will occupy - 19.5" - and that gives you 54.5" which is your opening space. 7. 13 balusters means you will have 14 spaces between so divide 54.5"/14 and that gives you 3 7/8" space between the balusters. Easy to do once you know how but gets a little cumbersome doing it time and time again. There is an app for the iPhone called BalusterPro that I use now that will do these calcs for you in seconds that works pretty well. Here's a link...www.gabrioconstruction.com Good luck
 06-04-2009, 12:55 AM #11 Join Date: May 2009 Posts: 26 Rewards Points: 25 According to US building codes, ballusters need to be located so that a 4" sphere cannot pass through the guardrail up to a height of 36" above the floor surface. The code expands this limit to a 6" sphere between 36-42" AFF, but it looks like you will not need to worry about that . . . so this is the only rule you need to follow. As for how to place the ballusters to copmly with this code - just measure the distance between posts (in inches) and divide that number by (4"+thickness of balluster at its narrowest point) = 6.5" in your case. Then add the remainder (less than 6.5") to 6.5" and divide by two - or just locate the midpoint between posts and either (a) center a balluster at this location, or (b) center the gap between ballusters at this point. Work your way outward from the midpoints. Last edited by My Old House; 06-04-2009 at 12:57 AM. Reason: Sorry, I didn't see the date of the original posts - guess I'm a little late.
05-02-2010, 03:52 PM   #12
Newbie

Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10

## Perfect uncomplicated spindle spacings

I read all the posts here and got so confused! After trawling the internet the simplest and most accurate way I could find was at
http://www.carpentry-tips-and-tricks...e-spacing.html.
I think it makes it loads easier just working in millimetres instead of trying to divide inches/fractions which is complicated!
Here is a quick breakdown,
Put the spindles in situ, all against each other.
Measure the remaining space horizontally to the newel post.
Divide this number by the number of spacings (one more than the number of spindles)
Et voila! this is the space between each. If its more than 100mm add another spindle to the mix and recalculate. I had spaces of 85mm, which looked smart. Best thing about it - the missus is happy

Hope this helps

 Thread Tools Search this Thread Search this Thread: Advanced Search Display Modes Linear Mode

 Posting Rules You may not post new threads You may not post replies You may not post attachments You may not edit your posts BB code is On Smilies are On [IMG] code is On HTML code is OffTrackbacks are Off Pingbacks are Off Refbacks are Off Forum Rules

 Similar Threads Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post DangerMouse Building & Construction 65 05-18-2009 01:11 PM jamiedolan Tiling, ceramics, marble 11 12-25-2008 02:00 AM my5sons Building & Construction 3 11-03-2008 02:05 PM smitty286 Electrical 3 04-08-2008 10:11 AM chicago woodman Remodeling 4 12-08-2007 11:19 AM

Top of Page | View New Posts