Newel Posts: What They Are and Why They Are Important

Newel Posts: What They Are and Why They Are Important

Understanding what newel posts are and why they are important gives a greater appreciation for how our staircases work. As we use them on a daily basis, it’s easy to let them blend in and see nothing but a set of stairs. The reality is, each detail plays an important role, including newel posts. Our banisters wouldn’t stand without them.

What Is a Newel Post and Where Is the Newel Post Located?

Think of a newel post as an anchor for the handrailing of the staircase. Without it, the banister would be wobbly as we continually grab onto it for balance. Newel posts are always found at the foot of a staircase and at every turn.

What Kind of Newel Posts Are There?

There are two basic types of newel posts for your staircase. Both offer support and a stylish accent. They are as follows:

Box Newel Post

A box newel post has a boxed, square shape and is designed in different ways according to the style desired.

A fun fact about box newels is that house plans were once tucked away inside the box newel posts of historic homes before completing the staircase. Imagine the thrill when renovators had when finding one of those treasures!

Turned Newel Post

A turned newel post has a rounded look and often has pretty braided or fluted designs. They are usually narrower than a box newel post.

Why Does a Staircase Need a Newel Post?

As mentioned, newel posts are found at the foot of the stairs and at every turn (at a landing or any 90-degree turn), whether the staircase is inside or outside.

Just as a house has load-bearing walls for support, a staircase has newel posts to bear the weight of the staircase. When being built, the staircase’s central support is attached to the newel post. Without the support, a staircase isn’t strong.

Newel posts also serve as support for the banister and handrail, as they make the entire handrail system sturdier.

Decorative Newel Posts

Sure, understanding what newel posts are and why they are important is helpful when it comes to detecting problems or repairs needed on a staircase. But what’s more fun is understanding the impact they have on the beauty of your staircase.

Newel posts come in a large variety of designs; customization is also possible. Whether designed traditionally, for a modern look, an edgy one, or something else entirely, your newel post makes a difference. Because newel posts are made of wood, the sky is the limit on design.

Mr. Spindle offers all of your newel post needs, including porch newel posts, in many designs—even custom-built. If you’re looking for a traditional or more modern newel post design, contact us, and together, we will make your stairs beautiful and strong.