Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Stair Anatomy

December 22, 2022


Stair anatomy is an important part of staircase construction. It enables you to know what parts are involved and how they work together. There are many different types of stairs, each with its own characteristics. Understanding the basic anatomy of a stair can help you choose the right materials and components for your project.



The stairway contains two main elements: the tread and the riser. Each of these elements provides support for the handrail, which is supported on the top of balusters. In addition, they form the steps of the stair. They can be made of wood, glass, or metal.

In a traditional staircase, the tread and riser are held together by stringers. These stringers may be open or closed. If open, the strings will be attached to the wall. However, if closed, the stringers will be placed on either the exterior or interior of the stair. A stairway's center line is also fixed. This line, which runs from the top of the handrail down through the balusters, is called the center line.

Stairs may be straight, curved, or circular. Typically, a staircase has three stringers. One is usually attached to the exterior of the stair, while the other two are attached to the interior of the stair. An outer stringer is normally attached to the exterior of the stair, and a side stringer is dadoed to receive the risers.

Usually, the bottom step of a staircase is a landing, a resting area near the bottom of the staircase. This is a space that allows the user to rest and access the rooms below. Alternatively, the intermediate landing is a smaller platform that is built as part of the stair between the main floor levels. Often, these spaces are used to allow stairs to change directions.

Generally, the total rise of a stair is measured between the two finished floor levels. The depth of the tread is the same as the height of the tread, except for the nosing.

The first step of a stair is usually called a bullnose step. This term is also applied to the first step of a spiral stair. Spiral stairs have circular treads. Other types of stairs, such as floating stairs, may have no risers. Another type of stair is a kite-shaped quadrilateral.

The handrail is the decorative element of a stair. Balusters support the handrail, which is usually wood or glass. Spindles or other thin vertical supports are used to add extra support to the handrail.

Typically, the second baluster is a little closer to the riser than the first. The alternating treads require less space than full-width stairs. While the total horizontal distance between steps is reduced by one unit for each alternating tread, the pitch of the stair is not changed.

The center line of a stair is typically controlled by a center pole. The winder, which changes the direction of the stair, is generally narrower on one side than the other.


I enjoy designing and curating experiences both virtually and in 3-dimensional reality.
see more from me

Exploring the most sophisticated spatial concepts from across the globe. Discover innovative building techniques and materials available, worldwide.

Terms & ConditionsPrivacy PolicyLogin