Guardrail Post Kits

The EZ Post system doesn’t come with fasteners, an adjusting system, or a reinforcing base plate.

When the EZ Post was fastened with 7/16-inch-diameter bolts and regular washers to doubled-up blocks that ran perpendicular to the rim joist, the washers and nuts began to pull through the blocking as soon as force was applied; at 373 lb., the blocking split, with more than a foot of deflection. When reinforced with another system’s base plate, the assembly was able to handle 500 lb. of tension, though the mounting plate bent

The TimberTech/Azek Secure-Mount post is sold separately from the install kit, which includes an adjusting plate and adjusting screws along with a reinforcing bottom plate and bolts. The top block has set-screw locations to lock onto the post for 36- and 42-inch-high railings.

Anchor bolts drop through the holes at the corners of the base of the Secure-Mount, while the smaller holes in the edges are threaded for the adjusting screws that are used to plumb the post.

The 3 1/2-inch-square bottom of the Secure-Mount shows no signs of bending after testing at 500 lb. of tension.

The UltiMount ProSpec kit comes with a galvanized surface plate and bottom plate, plumb adjusting bolts and nut plate, and a post-sleeve spacer and skirt. Not included are 5/16-inch-diameter mounting bolts.

While the reinforcing plates of the UltiMount ProSpec prevent the bolts from pulling through or splitting the blocks, the weld between the thin-wall steel post and the plate snapped at a little over 350 lb.

Structural metal posts have height-adjustable plastic mounting spacers at the top and bottom that are sized to fit standard 4x4 post sleeves. Rails and rail brackets can be fastened through the post sleeves into the spacers.

Vinylast’s Plumb Perfect post and blocks are sold separately from the mounting kit, which includes a reinforcing base plate and four bolts.

The top block on the Plumb Perfect post is adjustable up to 7/16 inch in any direction to account for the post being out of plumb, even after a post sleeve has been slid over the post.

The Titan Post Anchor requires lag screws to secure the base plate to the post and 3-inch-long screws to fasten the base to the decking and blocking. Accessories such as a 1 1/4-inch-diameter hole saw (for drilling a mounting hole into the center of the post), a hammer cap, and a hole-saw centering tool are also available from Titan.

When the Titan anchor was installed according to instructions, the inner screws pulled out of the blocking and decking at between 220 lb. and 270 lb. of force.

Using double blocking with the grain parallel to the tension force and through-bolts and washers instead of screws improved performance of the Titan anchor, but the top of the post deflected almost 12 inches at 374 lb. of tension.

When the Titan Anchor was installed with beefed-up blocking and through-bolts, the bottom of the post split at 374 lb. of tension.

The Fiberon Post Sleeve Surface Mount kit comes with a heavy steel post box and plate, a rabbeted 4x4 post, and a concrete anchoring kit.

The post base box stands 8 inches tall and bolts through double 2-by blocks with four 5/16-inch-diameter bolts you supply. The author used the fender washers supplied with the concrete anchors to back up the nuts at the bottom of the blocking. The Fiberon mount had no trouble handling more than 500 lb. of force with only about 3 inches of deflection.

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