Baluster/Spindle: A plain or decorative vertical post that acts as the infill between the handrail and base rail or treads if used with cut string.
Balustrading: The name given to a complete assembly of handrails, base rails, newels, spindles, and caps.
Baserail: A long length of timber fitted on top of the stringer (string) between the newel posts that hold the bottom of the balusters/spindles.
Bullnose Step: Normally added to the bottom of a flight of stairs. A bullnose step can have one or both ends of the step with a quarter circle design.
Continuous Handrail: Using straight lengths of handrail connected to handrail fittings and ramps, the handrail flows over the tops of newel turnings creating a continuous run of the handrail.
Curtail Step: A decorative shaped step at the bottom of the staircase usually accommodating the volute and volute newel turning of the continuous handrail system
Flight: A set of steps leading from one floor to another floor.
Fluting: A combination of rail segments, easing(s) and/or post caps that provide for the continuous transition of a rake rail to level at the top of a flight or from rake rail through a level turn to a rake rail at a turn in the stairway.
Glue Blocks: Blocks of wood attached to the underside of a stair at the concealed junction of the risers, treads, and or stringers to minimise movement that may cause squeaks and creeps in your staircase.
Going: In relation to a flight of stairs. This is the horizontal distance between the face of the first and last risers. (See run, tread depth)
Gooseneck: A combination of easing(s), rail segments and/or caps that provide for the continuous transition of a rake rail to level at the top of a flight or from rake rail through a level turn to a rake rail at a turn in the stairway.
Handrail: A sloped or horizontal rail intended for holding by the hand as climb or descend stairs; for guidance, support, pulling, or arresting a fall. Part of The railing used as support in balustrade systems
Headroom: a) The clear vertical space allowed for passengers on a stairway to prevent hitting of the head. b) The vertical distance from the plane of the nosings of a flight of stairs, extended to the floor beyond the first riser, to any obstruction above the walking surface of the stair generally a minimum of 80 inches throughout the stairway including the landings.
Infill: A wooden strip that fills the space between spindles in both the baserail and underside of the handrail. (Sometimes called a fillet) but we ain’t having fish today.
Landing: An intermediate level area between floor levels connecting flights of stairs
a) Quarter landing: The width of one flight of stairs.
b) Half landing: The width of two flights of stairs.
Newel Cap: The decorative top or cap of a newel post. Available in many styles.
Newel Post: A post, usually at the head or foot of a flight of stairs, Accommodates the handrail. Also, can accommodate the strings of stairs.
Nosing: The edge of a tread on a flight of stairs, projecting beyond the face of the riser and the face of a cut string.
Pitch: The angle between the pitch line and the horizontal. (also see Rake)
Pitch Line: The imaginary line connecting the nosing of all treads in a flight of stairs
Rake: Also meaning the pitch of the stairs.
Rise: a) The rise of a flight is the vertical distance between the floors or landings connected by the flight. b) The individual is the vertical measurement rise between the tops of two consecutive treads.
Riser: The board that forms the face of each individual step.
Run: Is a single flight of stairs or steps between landings.
String: The long lengths of timber either side of a staircase which supports the staircase structure. The three types are:
a) Closed String: A string with the face milled to accommodate treads and risers so their profile cannot be seen.
b) Cut or Open String: A string with the upper edge cut away to the shape of the treads and risers so that their profile can be seen from the side.
c) Wall String: The string of a staircase fixed flush with a wall. Can be used on both sides of a staircase.
Soffit: A term used to describe the material that covers the underside of a staircase.
Stairway/Stairwell: The space or void provided between floors for the staircase.
Spiral Staircase: An often decorative staircase that, as it rises turning constantly around a central axis (which may be a solid axis or an open centre).
Tread: The top of a step or horizontal surface of a step.
Wall Rail Brackets:
Winders: Radiating stair steps smaller at one end. Used to change the direction of flights of stairs through 90° or 180°.