Asked on Mar 09, 2015

Wrought iron railing is wobbly

Jamie P
by Jamie P
My home is a 1964 Reverse Basement. You enter the home on the lower level but the main living is upstairs. The original railing is wrought iron, I love it but it has been wobbly since we bought the house and I don't know where to begin to fix it. Can someone give me an idea of the process needed to repair this. I don't know if the scope of work is too much DIY... or if I should hire a professional. Thanks in advance!
Bottom and loosest...
Shims and nails from previous owner aren't working.
  12 answers
  • MikeGyver MikeGyver on Mar 09, 2015
    Is that base solid iron? If it isn't, the best way would be to remove those old nails, drill a couple holes through the base lip and screw it down directly to the wood through those holes. Get a wood type screw with a suitable head that will be flush with the base surface, then paint to hide them. Or, the bases are too much to drill through, and you don't care about appearances so much, find some large thick washers, put those on the base lip and put screws through the washers to hold it down, then paint to hide.
    • Jamie P Jamie P on Mar 09, 2015
      Yes. The base is welded to the post. I was thinking i probably need to go under the stairs, which means breaking into the sheetrock?
  • Wanda Arganbright Wanda Arganbright on Mar 09, 2015
    I hate to tell you, but it looks like you might have termite damage in you wood floor at the base of the post. It might be why your post has loosened.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Mar 09, 2015
    Think Wanda has an observation which should be checked out. If no termites, then Mike's suggestion sounds good. I'd drill 4 holes though - one per side.
  • Jean Eickhoff Jean Eickhoff on Mar 10, 2015
    Sounds like our son's house. My husband replaced it with a wood railing that he built and anchored it with a wood piece on the bottom. They were about to have a baby and needed a railing that would accommodate a baby gate. It really updated the look of the room. My husband is pretty handy at building things.
  • Ruth wallace Ruth wallace on Mar 10, 2015
    Have a professional take off bottom and weld on longer new piece. Do check for termites.
  • Monto House Monto House on Mar 10, 2015
    I'd scrape paint from the base to see what's under there.A close look seems to reveal that it may be in pieces that are either screwed together or snapped in.The base appears to be cast iron,so welding to it may be difficult.The holes in the floor appear to be nail holes and not my opinion.As a last resort,I would cut the base from the floor,disconnect it from the wall,and get it to a position that I could properly examine it. Then I would fabricate an oak base that covers the mess on the floor.Then reattach the base to that after determining how the base was connected originally Hope this helps you
  • Pat Pat on Mar 10, 2015
    We replaced the base of one of our wrought iron railings on the front porch outside. I think if you scrape off the paint, you might find that the base and the upright are two separate pieces. Anyway, that does not solve your problem.....I would do what Mike suggested....drill holes on two or four sides and screw a long wood screw into the floor. If your railing is loose, you may have to do it in more than one base.
    • Jamie P Jamie P on Mar 10, 2015
      So I think my first step then is to remove the paint and find out if the bases are screwed together or welded ...thanks everyone for your imput. I'll let you know how it goes...
  • Cherie Cherie on Mar 10, 2015
    We had wrought iron railings as well in our old house. We got rid of them and put in a wooden railing/bookshelf combination! Very solid and gave me a good area to store all my books!
  • 9530106 9530106 on Mar 10, 2015
    There may be a bracket of some sort underneath that originally "hooked to" and supported the base. If so, it may have just come loose through the years, or a piece may be broken. Obviously, many people have tried to "fix" the problem, due to all the nail holes in the wood. Good luck!
  • Marie Buschenko Marie Buschenko on Mar 11, 2015
    I hope the suggestions here will work for you. To be honest, I don't have any suggestion and this may not help you, but if all else fails, I'd replace the iron railings with wood by a professional. Iron railings are outdated.
  • Pat Pat on Mar 11, 2015
    Another thing...if you decide to drill holes in the base to nail it down....I would first get something like liquid nails to fasten the base to the floor and then use the long wood screws to hold it down. C-ann-g may be right when she said there could have been a bracket that screwed into the floor and then the base hooked on to it....over the years it has just come loose. I will add to her " Good Luck"!
  • Eric Geyer Eric Geyer on Aug 18, 2018

    Was this issue resolved? If so, how? I just bought a home and am in a similar situation and setup