Most people, while going about their daily routine, walk up and down several staircases during any given day. Because of our constant use of stairs, most of us don’t even think twice about them as one of the oldest architectural features in existence. Stairs were one of the earliest inventions of man. As the old saying goes “necessity is the mother of invention” and the invention of stairs was no different. Early man’s necessity for a more convenient and efficient way to reach the heights resulted in the invention of the stairways and staircases.
Since the early staircases on ancient buildings and temples, mankind has a come a long way in the design and engineering of staircases. However, the basic design remains the same. All stairs are made up of certain basic components.
- Tread And The Riser - One step of a staircase is made up of two parts: The tread and the riser. The tread is the part of the staircase that a person steps on in order to reach the next step. The riser is the vertical portion that connects each tread portion of the stairs. The exception to this rule is in “open” staircases where risers are purposely missing, usually for design and visual effect. In modern stairs, the tread is constructed according to the same specifications and code of any other flooring. Tread depth is measured from the edge of the step to the edge of the vertical riser.
- Nosing- Another common part of any staircase is the nosing. The nosing is the edge of the stair tread which hangs over the riser beneath. It is important that nosing is engineered and measured correctly so that no one trips or slips on this part of the staircase. For stairs that are made of slippery materials like concrete or steel, it is common for the nosing of the staircase to be fitted with some type of non-skid or non-slip tread material.
- Bullnose- Another staircase feature is called a starting step or bullnose. In stairs that have one or more open sides, it is common for the first step on the lower floor to be wider than the other ascending stairs. The sides of this wider step can be rounded. This can provide a wider base for a handrail.
- Winders are another common stair component. These types of steps are narrower on one side than the other in order to change the direction of the staircase. Most often winders are used in spiral and circular staircases.
- String, stringer board, or stringer- Another feature is known by three names: string, stringer board, or stringer. This feature is the structural support for the tread and risers. Stringers can be open or closed depending on the stair design. All of these components are essential in the stair design, an ancient invention that has made ascending heights easy, efficient, and even, aesthetically stunning.
Watch this video
Thestaircompanyuk.co.uk – the UK’s leading manufacturer and supplier for quality wooden staircases, specializing in timber stairs, offers unrivaled service Space saver Staircase with alternating paddle tread designs.