Stairs 411

stairs are means of descending or ascending from one floor level to another by a series of steps.


  1. Riser – is the vertical face of a step
  2. Rise – vertical distance between to consecutive treads
  3. Tread – horizontal surface of the stair that is stepped on
  4. Going– horizontal distance between two consecutive risers.
  5. step – consists of a tread and a riser
  6. stairwell – the space enclosing a staircase
  7. Nosing – projection of a tread beyond the riser for size increase.
  8. string – structural part of the stair which carries the steps
  9. Newel post – a member put at the beginning of stair or landing that carries handrail and string
  10. balustrades – vertical members spanning from the handrail to the steps
  11. landing – a platform between flights used as a resting place or for change of direction.
  12. flight – series of uninterrupted steps
  13. head room space between the your head to the the ceiling or upper floor of a room.


  1. straight flight stair – all the stairs in this case head in the same direction from floor to floor with or without a landing. 
  2. quarter turn stairs – this has a quarter space landing which turns through an angle of 90 degrees and continues to the next floor.  
  3. half turn/ dog leg stairs – this is a stair that rises to a half space landing between floors turns through 180 degrees with the second flight rising in opposite direction to the one below.
  4. open well/ open newel stair –  in this type of stair a hole called a well is formed in center of staircase and continues from the bottom to the top of a staircase.
  5. bifurcated stair – this is a stair that goes half the journey as a straight flight stair and then branches in two opposite directions. 
  6. circular stairs – this are stairs that are circular in nature. 
  7. geometric stair – better known as winder stair. Is similar to other stairs like open newel above but instead of a landing it has a series of winders the corners.
  8. spiral stair– form of geometric stair that has no well.



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