BALUSTRADE ANCHOR POST AND BALUSTRADE INSTALLATION METHOD
An anchor post for mounting a baluster having a hollow interior. The anchor post has a body adapted to carry a fastening element for attaching said body to a support and a projection adapted to anchor a baluster.
The present invention relates to balustrades. More particularly, the present invention relates to an anchor post for anchoring the end of a baluster and to a method of installation of a balustrade using anchor posts.BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Hand rail systems known as balustrades are useful and often attractive or decorative architectural features used in buildings and along walkways. Balustrades can provide security or assistance for people walking up or down a stairway or along an elevated walkway. Users can grip the handrail, or bannister, of a balustrade for support to assist in climbing or descending stairs as well as for security against accidentally falling. Balustrades can also improve the aesthetics of a building or other architecture.
Balustrades generally consist of a hand rail supported by a plurality of vertically extending, horizontally spaced supports called balusters. Each baluster is itself supported on, and secured to, a floor or a step of a staircase. Balusters can be made of wood or metal but metal balusters have become popular due to their attractive design features. However the installation of metal balusters is more problematic than the installation of wood balusters and there remains room for improvement in this regard.
Conventional installation of metal balusters involves the use of epoxy resin which is time consuming, requires the handling of chemicals, and can be a messy process. Conventional installation of metal balusters involves drilling a large hole in the tread or floor for each baluster. Also, since each baluster must be accurately located on the floor or step, the installation of metal balusters has generally been left to skilled professional carpenters. Furthermore, even when installed by one with the requisite skill, the installation takes considerable time.
Especially where efficiency and economy are of concern, it would be advantageous if balusters would be installed in a more efficient manner. It would also be advantageous if balusters could be successfully installed by carpenters with limited carpentry talent or even “do-it-yourselfers.” As the tolerances allowable for the location of each baluster are small, their installation can be challenging, and it would be advantageous if a device or method were provided which would assist the installer to accurately locate each baluster.
In accordance with the present invention, a novel anchor post and its method of use is provided to greatly simplify and speed up the installation of hollow metal balusters. Use of an anchor post of this invention facilitates the accurate positioning of each baluster. Power tools such as cordless drivers can be used to easily install each anchor post once it is positioned. Also, it is often a problem in the field that manufactures of hollow metal balusters have slightly different sizes of hollow interiors due to different wall thicknesses or other manufacturing considerations. Therefore, it would be desirable to have an anchor post which can accommodate balusters having slightly varying sizes of hollow interiors.
Further understanding of the present invention will be had from the following specification and claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
An anchor post for installing and anchoring one end of a baluster of a balustrade. The anchor post has a body adapted to be fastened to a supporting surface such as a stair tread, balcony, knee wall or the like and the anchor post body has a structural member for anchoring one end of a baluster. In one preferred embvodiment of this invention, the baluster is a metal baluster with a hollow interior portion and the anchor post has a body with a projection adapted to extend into and closely fit in, a hollow interior of an anchor post, the anchor post body has a through bore for a fastening element for attaching the body to a support surface such as a stair tread, balcony or knee wall, and the anchor post has a body having side surfaces presenting outwardly diverging ridges which accommodate variances in sizing of the hollow interior of metal balusters.DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
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The details of anchor post 10 are shown in
Flange 26 provides a base for anchor post 10 so that it can be secured to a supporting surface such as a stair tread, balcony, or the like. Projection 28 provides a post or stalk for anchoring hollow baluster 22. Flange 26 and projection 28 are integral parts of body 24 and are preferably molded from a thermoplastic or thermoset polymeric material as a one piece unit. Flange 26 is shown as having sides 30 of equal length and, hence, has a generally square shape in plan view. Flange 26 also has four bores 32 which are countersunk and extend through flange 26. A threaded fastener 34 extends through each bore 32 for securement of flange 26 to tread 18 or other desired support surface. Each fastener 34 has a round pan head 36 which can be driven against shoulder 38 of countersunk bore 32 to hold flange 26 against tread 18. Apertures or cutouts 40 are provided in flange 26 to save material and weight.
Projection 28 extends from flange 26 in the direction of the associated elongated baluster 22, generally upwardly as viewed in the Figures. Projection 28 is an elongated post or shaft with a square cross-section shape generally corresponding to the internal size and cross-section shape of the baluster it is intended to anchor. A longitudinally extending, countersunk bore 42 extends through the center of projection 28 and is adapted to carry a center, threaded fastener 44 for securing anchor post 10 to tread 18 as described in further detail below in the description of the installation of balustrade 12 using a plurality of anchor posts 10. Each fastener 44 has a head 46 for driving fastener 44 and each bore 42 has a shoulder 48 against which head 46 exerts clamping force when fastener 44 is screwed into tread 18 to hold anchor post 10 against tread 18. Projection 28 has four side walls 50, each of which carries a pair of spaced apart ridges 52 which extend the length of each side wall and are upwardly tapered. It is intended that ridges 52 will provide a tolerance feature to each anchor post 10 by accommodating slightly different sizes of balusters 22. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that hollow metal balusters may have a stated size but that some variation in actual size of their interior dimensions will occur in actual practice due to differences in wall thickness or manufacturing methods. Ridges 52 provide tolerance to such variation as described in further detail below in the description of the installation balustrade 12 as described below in the description of the installation of balustrade 12.
Of course, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that anchor post 10 is subject to variation and modification within the broad scope of the present invention. For example, sides 30 of flange 26 could be of different lengths so that flange 26 could have any desired plan view shape such as rectangular, round, or oval. The number of bores 32 through flange 26 could be more or less than four and the heads 36 and 46 of threaded fasteners 34 and 44 can be of any suitable shape such as round Phillips, Tom slotted or other fastener heads. Also, flange 26 and projection 28 can be made of two separate pieces which are secured together by adhesive or other fastening means and can be comprised of any suitable material. Projection 28 of anchor post 10 can have other than a square cross-section shape and ridges 52 can be greater or fewer or even none if suitable fit with baluster 22 is obtained. Also, anchor post 10 can be used in conjunction with stair treads, balconies, or any other desired support surface.
During the method of installation of balustrade 12, the position of the center of each baluster is marked or otherwise noted on the relevant stair tread 18. Then a hole is drilled at each mark or noted location. Each anchor post 10 is installed in the correct location by screwing center fastener 44 which extends through the center of bore 42 of projection 28 into the hole. This step holds anchor post in place and can be conveniently and quickly carried out by use of a powered driver with a driving means appropriately matching the head 46 of center fastener 44. Next, the four fasteners 34 are positioned and driven to secure flange 26 in position on tread 18 to keep flange 26 from rotating about the longitudinal axis of projection 28. A power driver can also be used for this step. For convenient installation, anchor post 10 can be provided to the installer as a kit including center fastener 44 and fasteners 34.
Once anchor post 10 is secured in place on tread 18 with threaded fasteners 44 and 34, balustrade 22 can be slipped down over projection 28 to flange 26. It is contemplated that tapered ridges 52 will be shaved by the lower edges of baluster 22 during this step to provide a close fit between projection 28 and the hollow interior of baluster 22. Finally, shoe 24 can be slipped down baluster 22 into position over anchor post 10 and held or secured in position by a set screw (not shown in the figures) or any other suitable securing means.
The balustrade system of the present invention offers several advantages in installation. The present invention provides an anchor post especially well adapted for use in the installation of hollow metal balusters. The anchor post of this invention can be provided in a few different sizes each of which can then accommodate slight variations in a stated size of hollow interiors baluster. Also the anchor post of the present invention can be easily and quickly installed. The anchor post of this invention is readily adapted to be accurately positioned and quickly secured to the tread of a stairwell or the like using power drivers. The use of messy epoxy is avoided and the installation method is faster than a method using epoxy. The installer does not have to drill a relatively large hole in the tread. The present method provides a strong method of installation of hollow iron balusters.
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Yet another alternative preferred embodiment of this invention is shown in
The installation of anchor posts 300 is particularly straightforward. Once the center of each desired location of each baluster is located and marked on a stair tread or other desired supporting surface, holes for down posts 312 are drilled at the marks and a down post 312 is inserted into each hole. The respective anchor posts 300 are secured by screwing fasteners 310 into the tread or surface and then a hollow baluster 302 is slid down over each anchor post 300. Ridges 314 serve to closely fit each baluster on each anchor post 300.
Anchors posts of the present invention are preferably made of polymeric plastic material which can be economically molded into the desired shape. Of course, other materials and machining methods can be used to manufacture anchor posts 300 and are within the broad scope of the present invention. While preferred embodiments of the present invention has been illustrated and described herein, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the present invention is subject to variation and modification within the broad scope of the invention and it is intended that the present invention will be limited only by the scope of the following claims.
1. An anchor post for mounting one end of baluster, the anchor post having a body adapted to be fastened to a supporting surface and a structural member adapted to locate said one end of said baluster.
2. An anchor post as in claim 1, wherein said anchor post is comprised of a polymeric plastic material.
3. An anchor post as in claim 1, wherein said anchor post has a body with a flange with apertures therein for fastening elements.
4. An anchor post as in claim 1, wherein said anchor post has a body with a central bore adapted to carry a fastening screw element.
5. An anchor post as in claim 1, wherein said anchor post has a body and said body has generally vertically extending sides with a pair of diverging ridges on each of said sides.
6. An anchor post as in claim 1, wherein said anchor post has a body with a flange with apertures therein for fastening elements, a central bore adapted to carry a fastening element, and sides with diverging ridges.
7. An anchor post as in claim 6, wherein said anchor post is comprised of a polymeric plastic material.
8. A balustrade system comprising a plurality of balusters supporting a handrail, each of said balusters being mounted to a supporting surface by an anchor post, each said anchor post having a body adapted to carry a fastening element for attaching said body to said support.
9. A balustrade system as in claim 8, wherein said anchor post is comprised of a polymeric plastic material.
10. A balustrade system as in claim 8, wherein said anchor post has a body with a flange with apertures therein for fastening elements
11. A balustrade system as in claim 8, wherein said anchor post has a body with a central bore adapted to carry a fastening screw element.
12. A balustrade system as in claim 8, wherein said body has a pair of diverging ridges on each side thereof.
13. A balustrade system as in claim 8, wherein said anchor post has a body and said body has generally vertically extending sides with a pair of diverging ridges on each of said sides.
14. A balustrade system as in claim 8, wherein said anchor post has a body with a flange with apertures therein for fastening elements, a central bore adapted to carry a fastening element, and sides with diverging ridges.
15. A method of installing a balustrade system, the method comprising the steps of:
- attaching an anchor post to a supporting surface, said anchor post having a body with a flange, said body having a bore therethrough adapted to carry a fastening element for attaching said body to a support and said body having side surfaces with outwardly diverging ridges thereon.
16. A method of installing a balustrade system as in claim 15, wherein said anchor post is comprised of a polymeric plastic material.
17. A method of installing a balustrade system as in claim 16, wherein said flange of said anchor post has apertures therein.
18. A method of installing a balustrade system as in claim 17, wherein said bore has a screw element located therein.
19. A method of installing a balustrade system as in claim 18, wherein said body has a pair of diverging ridges on each side thereof.
20. A method of installing a balustrade system as in claim 19, wherein said anchor post carries a baluster about said body.
Filed: Feb 4, 2013
Publication Date: Aug 7, 2014
Inventor: Robert H. Green (Lenoir, NC)
Application Number: 13/758,965