Components of staircase – Importance and functions

Components of staircase has to perform unique functional requirements. A staircase is one of the most important components of a building. The primary purpose of a staircase is to facilitate the movement from one floor to another. Staircases are straight or round and constructed using reinforced concrete, steel, wood, stones, etc. Apart from serving as access between floors, staircases increase the aesthetic appearance of the building.


Different components constitute a staircase. While detailing a staircase, it is necessary to understand the terms associated with it and its functions. This article is about the components of a staircase and its functions

Components of Staircase

Staircase is made of several components and each components are associated with specific functional requirements. Following are the components of a staircase.

Also Read : Dog legged Staircase – Design, Features and Advantages

components of staircase
components of staircase

Tread

A tread in a staircase is the horizontal part. It is the part in which, we place the foot. The tread depth is the distance between the inner edge to the outer edge of the staircase. The tread width is the distance along the width of the steps. For residential buildings, the tread of the staircase should be 270 mm, where else for a public building is 300 mm. 

Rise

A rise in a staircase is the vertical part. It acts as a support for the treads. Rise is the vertical distance between consecutive treads. For residential buildings, the riser is 190 mm where else for public buildings riser should be 150 mm. 

Step

Steps are the combination of treads and risers. A pair of risers and tread makes a step. It is the functional unit of a staircase. 

Curtail step

Curtail step is the first step in the staircase. The width of the curtail step can be more than the normal steps. It acts as a base for the staircase. 

Nosing

Nosing is the horizontal protruding edge of the tread in a staircase. Generally, nosing has around at the edge. The length of nosing should not exceed 1.5″. It gives a pleasing appearance for the staircase. The line of nosing is the imaginary line that joins the nosing. This line is parallel to the slope of the staircase. 

Flight

Flight is a component of the staircase that consist of a series of steps. It is the total steps in between the two landings. Generally, flights consist of 8 to 10 steps. 

Landing

Landing is the horizontal space between two flights. It acts as a space to change the direction of the staircase. The minimum height of the landing should be 7 feet. The width is the distance between one end to the other end, which is normally equal to the width of the step. 

landing
landing

Going

Going is the distance measured from the nosing of successive treads. It is the horizontal distance between the consecutive risers. 

Winders

Winders are tapering steps. That is one end of the step is narrower than the other. It is a type of step which helps in changing the direction o the staircase. It acts as a landing. Spiral staircases consist of a series of winders. 

winder stair
winder stair

Railing

It is a component in the staircase which is used for holding hands. It is inclined and parallel to the slope of the staircase. They act as protective bars. Generally, they are made using timber. 

Baluster

The baluster is the vertical component in the handrail. It acts as a support for the railing. 

Run

The total length of the series of flights including the length of landing is the run.

Soffit

The bottom part of the staircase is the soffit. This place is suitable as a storage area.

Stringer

The component in the staircase which supports the risers and treads is the stringer. There are two types of stringers,

  • Cut or type stringers
  • Closed or Housed type stringers

They are parallel to the slope of the staircase.

Waist

The staircase is rest on a thick RCC slab. This RCC slab is the waist. It is perpendicular to the soffit of the staircase. 

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