Contractor Tips Blog


Stair Talk: A Primer of Sorts

Posted in Welding

If you’re like most homeowners or commercial property owners or managers, you probably rarely think about metal stairs – at least not in any great detail. But if your metal stairs need repair or you need a new metal staircase in your home or commercial building, it may be necessary to get up to speed on the different parts of a stair. 

Here are a few basic terms that may come up in your conversation with your metal staircase fabricator or designer when discussing the design and installation of new metal stair or metal stair restoration of your existing metal stairs: 


The part of the stair you step on, or to be more specific, the flat, horizontal surface that you step on. 


The part of the stair that runs at a right angle to the tread; the flat vertical surface of the step. 


This is the part of the staircase that supports the risers and treads. Usually there are two, one on each side of the staircase. 

Starting Step or Bullnose

The first or bottom step, usually a step that is larger than the rest. 


A tread that is wider on one side than the other to help the staircase move in a curved direction. 


The entire railing system of a stairway, the part that keeps you from falling away. 


The part of the railing system you hold as you ascend or descend. 


The part of the balustrade that runs in a vertical direction, holding up the handrail. 

Landing or Platform

This is the wider flat area at the bottom and top of the staircase, and with larger staircases, there can also be one in the middle, usually used to change direction of the staircase, or break up long staircases. 


An uninterrupted section of the staircase. Large commercial buildings often have many flights of stairs.

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