We use staircases daily and never really question how they are put together. They are useful, taking us where we need to go and often act as a lovely statement in our homes. Let’s discuss everything you need to know about the anatomy of a staircase to help you decide if you should build or repair your own.
Treads, Nosings, and Risers
As you walk up and down the stairs, your feet land on the treads. The tread is the horizontal piece across each step made for stepping on. Treads should be covered in non-slip paint, runners, or carpet to keep users safe.
The nosing is the small overhang at the front of each tread. It is usually rounded and adds a nice finish to the treads, and it also offers a little bit more space for stepping.
The riser is the vertical piece directly under each nosing and tread.
Railings, Posts, Balusters, and Shoes
Balusters, posts, and the rail are all part of a staircase’s railing system. The entire railing system serves the purpose of safety and added stability.
The rail is what we put our hand on for added balance and security as we go up and down the stairs. It is often attached to the wall at the top and bottom of the staircase.
Posts (or newel) connect the stairs or the floor—depending on the placement and design—to the railing system.
Balusters consist of wood or metal and come in a rounded or squared shape. They are placed strategically in between the posts of a staircase for added safety and support.
The shoe is the part of the staircase that holds the balusters in place.
The stringer provides support when a staircase is built, so it isn’t up to only the drywall to support it. The stringer is anchored to a stud, which, in turn, anchors the staircase to the stringer.
Mr. Spindle is here to share everything you need to know about the anatomy of a staircase should you have any questions. We offer many of the parts needed for staircase building and repair, including square wood balusters, handrails, and finials. We believe quality matters more than quantity and use only the finest woods.