Understanding Parts Of Stairs: Components Of Staircase And Their Details

Understanding Various parts of stairs and components of staircase

Stairs are a series of steps properly arranged in such a manner as to connect different floors of a building. Stairs are designed to provide easy and quick access to the different floors of the building.

In this article, let’s learn the technical terms for various parts and components used in the stairs or staircase.

Components & Parts of stairs

Parts of stairs | Components of a staircase

The different parts and components of the stairs are as follows:

1) Tread

The tread is an upper horizontal portion of the step on which the foot is placed while ascending or descending a stairway.

2) Rise

The vertical distance between the upper faces of any two consecutive steps is known as the rise.

3) Riser

This is a vertical member that connects the two consecutive treads of the stairway. It provides support to the tread.

4) Step

The combination of tread and rise makes a step. A step permits the user to ascend or descend from one floor to the other.

5) Flight

It is a continuous series of steps without any platform or landing in their direction.

6) Landing

The horizontal platform provided between two flights is known as landing. It is used as a resting place during ascending or descending the stairs.

The minimum width of the landing should be equal to the width of the stairs. Landing is also used to facilitate the change in the direction of the stairs.

7) Width of stair

It refers to the horizontal measurement of the clear space available for people to walk on the stairs. It is the distance between the inner edges of the handrails of the staircase.

Width of the stair | Components of staircase

8) Handrail

This is a protective bar placed at a convenient distance above the stairs and it runs along the side of the staircase, providing support for people to hold on during ascending or descending the stairs.

9) Baluster

It is a vertical decorative support element, commonly used in railings and staircases. It is positioned in a row between the handrail and the base rail or tread of the stair.

It prevents the risk of falling and provides structural support to the handrail. In addition to that, it also comes in a wide range of designs and shapes, thereby enhancing the overall visual appeal of the staircase.

A baluster is also known as a stair stick or a spindle.

The combined framework of handrail and baluster is known as a balustrade.

10) Newel post

A Newel post is a vertical member that serves as a prominent structural and decorative element in staircases and railing systems.

Newel posts are typically larger and more substantial than the balusters and are typically located at the main transition points of the staircase such as the bottom and top of a flight of stairs and at intermediate landings.

The handrails and the railing systems are supported by the newel post. It is often designed to be visually appealing and can serve as a focal point in the overall design of the staircase.

11) Nosing

The nosing refers to the horizontal, protruding edge of a stair tread that extends beyond the riser of the step below it.

The nosing provides extra space for the toes and can enhance the visibility of the stair tread. This is generally made rounded to give a more pleasing appearance and makes the stairway easy to negotiate.

12) Going

The horizontal distance between the faces of any two consecutive risers is known as Going. It is the tread portion of the stair excluding the nosing.

It is an important design criterion for the safety and accessibility of the staircase. An optimum amount of going is necessary for the people to place their entire foot on the tread without feeling crowded or needing to adjust their feet.

13) Scotia

The term scotia refers to the concave curved mold that is often placed underneath the nosing of the stair tread, where it meets the riser.

The primary purpose of scotia is to provide a smooth transition between the tread and the riser of the step and to support the nosing of the tread.

14) Winders

These are the types of stairs in which the treads are narrower on one side and wider on the other side. It is also known as tapering steps.

These steps allow the staircase to change direction without requiring a landing or a flat platform in between. They gradually change in width to facilitate the change in direction.

15) Stringer

Stringers are inclined boards or beams that run along the sides of the staircase, providing the framework onto which the treads and risers of the steps are attached.

Stringers provide structural support to the staircase and contribute to the overall visual appearance of the stairway.

There are two types of stringers widely used in staircase design. They are open stringers and closed stringers.

In open stringers the treads and risers of the staircase are attached to the outer edges of the stringers, leaving the sides of the steps (treads) exposed.

In closed stringers, the treads and risers of the staircase are fully enclosed by the stringers, creating a clean and finished appearance.

Closed stringer and open stringer of staircase

16) Run

The run of the stairs is the total length of the stairs in a horizontal plane, including landings.

In simpler terms, it is the total length you cover horizontally as you ascend or descend the flight of the stairs.

It is an important parameter in the staircase design, as it affects the comfort, safety, and usability of the staircase.

17) Header

It typically refers to the horizontal beam that provides support across the top of the opening such as doors. The top riser of the stairs and the stringers are attached to the header.

18) Line of nosing

It is an imaginary line touching the nosing of each tread and is parallel to the slope of the stair.

19) Pitch or Slope

By definition, it is the angle that the line of nosing makes with the horizontal plane.

It refers to the angle of inclination or steepness of the staircase. It describes how much the staircase rises vertically for a given horizontal distance.

20) Headroom

This is the minimum clear height from a tread to overhead construction. It refers to the vertical clearance above the stairs.

It is an important consideration in staircase design to ensure that the individuals using the staircase can move comfortably without the risk of hitting their heads on any obstacles.

Headroom of the staircase


Q) What is the difference between stairs and staircases?

A stair typically refers to a set of steps that are used for a significant level change, commonly between floors. The term stairs commonly indicates the set of steps that is present outside the building without any enclosure.

A staircase is a flight of stairs and landings encased on either side by a balustrade or a wall.

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Levelling staff – Everything you need to know about

10 Difference between One way slab and Two way slab

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