Anatomy of Stairs, Treads, and Landings: What You Should Know
There are many different parts that combine to make up a staircase. These include stairs, treads, banisters, and a variety of other elements. When you are building a new staircase or redesigning an existing staircase, you will have many choices when it comes to stairs, treads, and other parts. The combination of elements you choose will determine the finished style and look of your staircase.
At St. Charles Hardwoods, we sell a large selection of stairs, treads, and other staircase parts.
To learn more about these products or to see the products we offer, contact us or visit one of our stores today.
Essential Components of Stairs, Treads, and Landings
Before you begin installing a new staircase, it is best to learn and understand the basic components that make up a staircase. These include a variety of types of stairs, treads, risers, railings, landings, and other common parts.
Learn about some of these components below or contact the experts at St. Charles Hardwoods to learn more.
- Open Treads: This component is the part that is stepped on when using the stairs. In ideal cases, you should have treads that are at least 10” in length, 1” in thickness and about 36” in width. Open treads are finished on both sides. These are for staircases that do not meet up against a wall.
- Right or Left Return Treads: These treads are exposed on one end, either the right or left, depending on the positioning of the stairway. At the opposite end of the stairs, treads butt directly up to the wall.
- Closed or Box Treads: In close stairs, treads are closed on both sides and the ends are covered by walls. The only visible edge for this type of staircase is the leading edge. Unlike right or left stair treads that are exposed on one side, these treads are closed on both sides.
- Starting Step: For the first steps at the bottom of the stairs, treads are called the starting step. These steps often curve out away from the stairs. Starting steps are made to hold newel posts.
- Skirtboard: Skirtboards are decorative parts that are placed along the edge of the staircase to provide a polished and clean look.
- Newels and Half Newels: Newels are the supports that hold the handrails in place. Half newels are used to terminate the rails into a column or a wall.
- Balusters: Also referred to as spindles, these components are placed vertically from tread to railing providing both support and personalized design.
- Railings: Railings are placed on top of the newel posts and balusters. These support you when walking up or down the stairs. Generally, railings are installed 34” to 36” in height from the stairs treads in residential setups and up to 42” in commercial setups.
- Cove Molding: Cove molding is a decorative trim piece. These are used under the rounded section of stairs treads as well as landing treads. Cove moldings simply function as a decorative piece to make stairs, treads, and staircases look more finished.
Shop at St. Charles Hardwoods for Extensive Range of Stairs, Treads, & Other Parts
At St. Charles Hardwoods, we supply an extensive selection of stairs, treads, railings, and other stair parts for homes and commercial buildings all over the St. Louis County area. Feel free to come by or call us today to discuss your needs. We will be happy to suggest options that will work with your plans and recommend stairs, treads, railings, balusters, and other stair parts to meet your needs.