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Fixing handrail brackets.

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John Brown

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After being talked out of the pig's ear handrail, we ordered a length of plain old mopstick.
The brackets come with pan/button headed screws, about 4mm in diameter, and 18mm or thereabouts long, of which maybe 15mm is exposed for fixing.
The wall in question is probably brick or concrete block, plastered. Definitely not stud and plasterboard.

I might just about trust these screws into timber(I have 5 brackets for a 3.6m straight run of handrail), but there's no way I'm going to trust them in plugs and plaster, so I wonder if I should be looking at something way longer, that will engage with the brick/block interior.

The three holes in the brackets are a tad over 4.5mm, but I could probably open them up a bit.

Should I be looking to source much longer screws, or should I be looking at "frame anchors"(which is a term I've only recently encountered)? I can always add a splash of black paint to camouflage things.

I'd rather not go down the wooden patress route, BTW.
 

Setch

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I'd want a bare minimum of 50mm of screw in the wall, in a brown plug. I'd be happier with a fixing long enough to fully engage 2 brown plugs end-to-end down a suitable depth hole - probably 7
65-75mm.

I wouldn't use frame fixings for this, you want to be able to pull three rail right against the wall, and that isn't where frame fixings excel.
 

Setch

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Ah - I didn't know these were still available They're very useful!
 

sunnybob

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If the wall is plastered, its possible the plaster itself could be 15 mm in places and you want the screws deep into the concrete,not the plaster.
as above, I would use 65 x 3.5 mm minimum.
 

owen

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Ive used 6mm torx frame fixings for this purpose with lots of success, only thing you might have to do is drill the handrail bracket out to 6.5/7mm but that's simple. By frame fixings I mean the concrete screw without any kind of plugs
 

HappyHacker

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Any screws/wall plugs supplied with fitting I throw away. On the odd occasion I have succumbed to the thought they can't be that bad, they always have been.

For any wall fixing I generally use Fischer 6mm plugs. If there is plaster or tiles involved I usually knock them in a bit so they don't damage the tile/plaster and give a greater depth in the brick/block/etc. As they are 35mm long you can work out what length of screw you need to get past any plaster. You will not need massive fixings for a handrail, I am assuming the brackets are the type with 2 or three holes.

I have tried most other wall plugs and while they work in a good wall they often fail when the wall is a bit crumbly or soft. The Fischer products generally work for me thereby cutting the time I spend trying to fix a poor grip by fitting larger fixings and larger screws that don't then go through the fitting :(
 

HappyHacker

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They say UX6 on them. They will also do plasterboard as they have an expanding middle which will grip behind the plasterboard. While they are expensive I find if they do not work they is very little that will. I think the last time I had a problem was a few years ago with those horrible blocks that are so soft you can cut them with a butterknife, I touched one with a chisel and had a large fist size hole. A double socket back box it came loose when the householder unplugged an appliance. I had to glue it in with plaster and a few more screws.
 

Rich C

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I have some Fischer UX8 plugs and they are excellent, they're a bit longer than the UX6, but they really hold.
 

John Brown

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Having successfully fitted the handrail to the one staircase last year(thanks to all, especially those who talked me out of pig's ear, and he who recommended Fischer wall plugs), I am turning my attention to the other staircase. It has two turns in it, and currently has a rather useless rope handrail, the metal hoops for which are screwed to wooden pattresses(is that the right word?). They are all loose, apart from the one my grandson liberated, which I replaced by epoxying in the wall plugs.
I'd like to replace the rope with something better, but I'm unsure as to how to progress. In the best case, I'd need three separate sections of handrail, but looking at the mounts for the rope, the bottom section(and possibly others) is not a straight line, because the stairs start to turn before the wall does - if that makes sense.
Anyone have any insights? Or should I just remove all the rope supports and replace using Fischer wall plugs?
 

MikeG.

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If you aren't supporting rope, you don't need rope supports. Take everything away and start from scratch.
 
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