Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gate Mounting Systems (The Secret To A Successful Installation)

I previously talked about the three different types of gates and their appropriate use. I hope you still remember the information, if not you might want to review it before continuing.

I promised that I would make your installations easier, safer and less aggravating so here is the scoop.

Pressure Mounted Gates do not usually require gate mounts because they are designed to be mounted in doorways or to other hard surfaces. Some gates that call themselves pressure gates come with small cups that must be attached to the wall first using either screws or adhesive and than the pressure pads of the gate extend into the mounted cups. These are really not pressure gates but are almost always put into the same category. The cups do make for a more secure installation but if your goal is not to make any holes in your woodwork than you have not succeeded. That is why my favorite pressure mounted gates are made by Kidco. They are true pressure gates and are the only gates that actually apply additional pressure across the top when latched. The Kidco Center Gateway does have the ability to mount between a wall and a baluster using their GY Spindle Kit. This should only be done at the bottom of a staircase, never at the top and a Hardware Mounted Gate is still the preferred gate on the top and bottom of a staircase.

Hardware Mounted Gates & Gates That Can Be Mounted On An Angle almost always require Gate Mounts. The basic idea is that you need two flat wood surfaces across from each other in order to mount you gate. The exception to this is when mounting to a door frame or other wood framed opening.

The basic wall mount consists of several item, a wood rail usually 36" long. A wood block equal to the thickness of the baseboard, screws and or wall anchors. The rail is attached on the outside of the baseboard with a wood block behind it at the top equal to the thickness of the baseboard below. If you have a stud behind the mount you can use screws to attach it firmly to the wall. If you are not that lucky you should us wall anchors to attach it. I suggest you use 2 toggle bolts to do this job. The need to be at least 3 1/2" long. A good way to get everything you need to do this job is to buy a GM1 Mounting Kit from Safe Beginnings.

Mounting to a Newel Post is very different than mounting to a wall and there is more than one method of doing this. You can screw the gate mount to the post, this is easiest when the newel post is either square all the way up or when the post has square flat surfaces at the top and bottom. Sometime the post may have surfaces that are on different planes and a block like the ones used on wall mounts may be required. Many times the post may be square at the bottom an round at the top, this type of installation will also require woodblocks to make up for the tapering of the newel post.

If you would like not to damage you newel post by drilling holes in it I would recommend a no hole gate mount that is made up of clamps that attach to the newel post and vertical rail that attaches to them. This can be used on most modern posts and eliminating those ugly hole after the child safety gate is removed. The mounting kit I recommend is the GM5 No-Hole Gate Mount by Safety Innovations. Just in case you wanted to know my favorite Stairway Gate is the Angle Mount Safeway.

Sometimes there is no newel post to attach to,either there is not one at all or it is not where you would like to mount your gate or in some cases the newel post is behind several balusters at the bottom of the staircase. In this case you would probably want to use on of the New Baluster Mounts from Safety Innovations. These mounts attach between two balusters with a vertical rail attached to them for you to mount your gate to. I will talk more about them in my next post as well as covering any mounting situations with wide or irregular area Child Safety Gates.


Ben August said...

What to do if you have 4" baseboards? Any tips on installing a hardware-mounted gate at the top of the stairs with baseboards? Any suggested gate brands?


Jeff Baril said...

Your problem isn't the type of gate, its is the mounting system you should use.

Go to Http:// and look up item GM1. It should solve your problem. I like the Kidco Angle Safeway best for Stairs (#3320).