Are You Stair Smart?

Staircases 101

Stairs are a useful invention. Our predecessors climbed and clawed their way to inclines of soaring heights from building to building with ladders and ramps. Today, with advancements in stair structures and architectural design, there are many unique terms. Here are a few of the more common terms used throughout a renovation and their meanings to help you familiarize yourself with the process.

Baluster
A vertical member between railing and tread or floor adding safety, support and stability to the balustrade.

Balustrade
The name given to the complete and assembled rail system.

Guardrail
Railing that is placed around openings for stairs, porches or balconies that are 30” or more above another floor.

Handrail
Railing that you use to slide your hand along as you walk up and down the stairs.

Kick Block
Placed on the lower floor supporting the stair. May also be known as kicker.

Landing
An intermediate floor or platform between flights of stairs. Landing permits directional changes in stair travel.

Newel
A vertical post used to start the balustrade, also used at points of vertical and directional transition.

Rise
Total vertical distance from the top to the bottom of the stairs.

Riser
Vertical backing between two adjoining treads.

Run
Total horizontal distance from end to end of the stairs.

Stringer
Support for the treads and may also be known as stair jack.

Tread
Horizontal step of the stairs.

There are countless terms and words associated with staircase design, but this should get you started. If you’re looking for more information on a particular part, we encourage you to take a look at our parts catalog.

For absolute customer satisfaction guaranteed and high quality craftsmanship, schedule a free consultation or to visit Stair Solution’s large showroom, call 770-813-9070 or send a message to: ironmike@stairsolution.com. Stair Solution will provide expert advice in your home to explore the color, texture, and style of your liking.