Stairparts Simplified

For the DIY beginner, technical terms can sometimes be daunting but there is no need to be put off your stair renovation because we can explain everything in plain English.
Below is a list of commonly used staircase terms and a simple explanation of what they are:

Newel post
The thicker vertical column at the bottom and top of the stairs which the handrail runs into. These are often decoratively turned or carved and finished with a cap.
Spindle
Sometimes referred to as a baluster, these are the thinner vertical columns which fill the gap between the handrail and the steps of the staircase. Spindles are often decoratively turned, carved or moulded.

Hand rail
The rail that runs up the length of the stair which can be straight or curved.

Base rail
A rail attached to the bottom of the spindles running parallel to the handrail.

Baluster
Often used to describe a single spindle.

Balustrade
The completed frame of the stair "banister" including hand rail, spindles, newel and base rail.

String
An inclined board that runs up the outside of the staircase at the ends of the steps in a flight, into which the steps are attached.

Tread
The flat top of the step.

Go (Going)
The depth of the tread from the edge of one step to the base of the next.

Riser
The vertical part of the step.

Rise
The length of vertical riser from the top of one step to the bottom of the next.

Pitch
The angle of incline of the staircase. Also known as the Rake of the stair.



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