Parts of a Staircase

The Parts of a Staircase

The Two Main Stair Components

The two main parts of the staircase are the tread and the riser.

The tread is the horizontal element where we place our feet.

The riser is the vertical element that separates the treads.

We also have the stringers (those are the sides that keep the treads and risers together) which are called the carriage when referring to stairs, the balustrade (which is made up of balusters which are the vertical components that hold up the handrails if the stair isn’t enclosed) and the handrail which is the part we hold onto for security and stability.

Diagram shows typical stair with treads and risers

Typical Staircase with Tread and Riser


Tread: what we climb the stair on, the place that supports our feet, the “steps” of a stair.

Riser: the horizontal area of the staircase that is attached to the tread and ensures that our feet don’t fall through the stair!

Stringer: the support to the side of the stair that holds the treads and risers in place.

Nosing: the front edge of the tread, usually rounded as a safety measure and now often in a different finish or material so we can define the front edge of the treads making it easier to see them, climb the stair and they often have a nonslip nosing to reduce accidents.

Newel Post: The post at the end of a staircase and balustrade .

Baluster: The vertical post in a balustrade.

Balustrade: The collection of rails and posts with a rail along the top that form the waist height wall to the sides of stairs or to a terrace or balcony.

Landing: the flat piece of a stair allowing the climber to rest before climbing again in the same direction or providing a safe place to turn and continue climbing the stair.

Hand Rail: a continuous rail on top of the balustrade to aid the stair user in climbing and decending the stair.

Easy to remember parts of a staircase. Know you will have a better understanding of what parts of the staircase are and can then talk with ease to builders, architects and other construction industry professionals on the topic when you are putting together your design projects.

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Stair Information

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