Do I have to remove the banister to install hardwood?

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors:  I am going to install hardwood flooring on my stairs. I keep hearing conflicting opinions on the proper installation of wood flooring on stairs. Do I have to remove my banister for the job to look professional or can the installer do a professional job with the banister left in place?

A: I have done a number of such jobs. First, if you have pickets running from the hand rail into the existing treads, you will have to remove the pickets. Hopefully, they are wooden. You will then have to have a company that so specializes in stair railing to cut the pickets down unless the installer you choose feels up to that.

I hope that helps.

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