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What are Stairs

What are Stairs, or a Staircase?

The Definition of a Stair

What are stairs? The New Penguin English dictionary describes a stair as “a flight of steps or series of flights for passing from one level to another” .

However there are a great deal of components and design parameters that go into the stair, making it a very important subject for interior design.

To follow are a few stair definitions so that you can understand the language of stair design.

Stair: One step in a flight of stairs. Also called a stair step.

Stair bolt: A bolt used to fasten two pieces of a handrail together also called a handrail bolt.

Carriage: A stringer, which supports the steps

Staircase: A flight of steps leading from one floor to another. It includes all the components of the stair including landings rails stringers posts newel posts and balustrades.

What are stairs? Correct design of a staircase means that not only is the journey safe and comfortable but is also aesthetically pleasing.

Correct design of a staircase means that not only is the journey safe and comfortable but is also aesthetically pleasing.

The rise or a riser: The vertical distance from one tread to the next. Also the vertically faced board connecting the treads.

The total rise is the total vertical distance of the risers.

The going is the depth of a tread (not commonly used).

The total going is the total horizontal distance of the treads (this is a term that is not used very often now days we usually refer to the pitch, tread sizes and risers to determine the type of stair i.e. public accessible private major and private minor.

Closed stairway: a stairway walled to both sides.

Baluster: one of a series of “poles” or turned columns that when used in series and with a handrail form a railing to a stair commonly called a balustrade.

Balustrade: A railing consisting of a series of balusters and handrail.

Stair well A compartment extending vertically through a building in which the stairs are housed.

Pitch: the angle that the stair rises at.

Accessible stairway: A stairway designed for use by people with disabilities.

Common stairway: A stairway, which is used, or intended to be used, by the public.

Handrail A rail to provide support to, or assist with the movement of a person.

Main private stairway: A private stairway intended to provide access to and between
frequently used spaces.

Minor private stairway: A private stairway not on a main thoroughfare, and intended to provide occasional access to a single room which is not a living area or kitchen.

Nosing: The rounded projecting edge of a stair tread.

Pitch line: The line joining the leading edge or nosing (if any) of successive stair treads within a single flight of a stairway.

Private stairway A stairway used, or intended to be used, by the occupants of a single household unit.

Secondary private stairway A private stairway other than a main or minor private stairway, intended to provide access to another floor containing only bedrooms, bathroom or similar accommodation.

Service stairway means a stairway that is used, or intended to be used, occasionally by service personnel to gain access to spaces for maintenance and the movement of goods.

More Information about Stairs

Stair Design Photos

Stair Information

Stair Construction

About the Author – Lee Brown

Lee Brown is the co founder of interiordezine.com, she has worked in the Interior Design Industry for over 23 years, specializing in commercial, hospitality, high end architectural homes and retail design. Over the past 13 years Lee and Chris Brown have been collating their wealth of design knowledge to provide free interior decorating education to the world. Make sure you register for your free ecourse today. Free Interior Decorating eCourse
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