Staircase is a major architectural feature of the house. Staircase can add considerable grace and elegance to your entry.
The design of the staircase is complex. Choosing right staircase parts is extremely important. Stair-parts have to be well
proportioned to the overall staircase dimensions. The staircase's height, width, and depth must be precisely connected and
compatible with the space it occupies. The vertical measurement of each stair step should be compatible with the horizontal
space of the stair where the foot rests. Staircase appears more graceful if the horizontal plane is deep and wide.
Staircase can be bold and dramatic or simply functional. Often staircase acts as a focal point an can be aesthetically
stimulating as well as serviceable. Today a lot of decorative staircase parts are available on the market. Most of the
stair parts caring a dual value - they are decorative and functional at the same time. The staircase consist of the horizontal
parts, called the tread, and the vertical parts, called the riser. Decorative parts of the staircase are stair brackets,
newel finials, stair rods, paneling, and other trim embellishments.
Ideal staircase should be beautiful and safe at the same time. In many old houses the staircase is two steep, it has risers
(the vertical part of the stairs) are more than 9 inches high. Most of the times during renovation such staircase has to be
reconfigured. The staircase is one of the most regulated elements of the house, and any changes you make to the staircase or
its parts must be conform to the local building code. Everything from the steps and stairwell width to the size of the
railing must meet strict specifications.
Changing a Staircase
Most cosmetic changes of the staircase won't require a permit, but it's a good idea to start your staircase
planning process by getting a copy of the staircase code from the local building department.
Ideally, the depth of the tread parts should accommodate the entire length of the foot (11 inches are
generally used). Staircase riser parts should be no higher than 7 inches. Staircase steps should be
consistent in size.
A person expects and needs each stair step of the staircase to be the same height and depth. Headroom
clearance should be planned for the top and bottom of the staircase (6'8" is considered a minimum
The staircase treads and risers may be the most practical parts of a staircase, but they also have a
significant impact on the staircase appearance. Traditional staircases usually have polished hardwood treads
and hardwood or paint-grade risers. If not left bare, they usually receive a carpet runner, leaving the attractive
finished edges of the treads exposed.
The steepness of indoor staircase can vary by several inches, but six inches is is average and comfortable
stair height. Six inch stair riser works well with a 12 inch deep stair tread (where your foot rests). Most
people appreciate generous stair treads that not only look more graceful, but allow foot to rest fully.
Traditional Staircase Accents
If you live in an original eighteen-century house with a staircase that has narrow treads, you might want to refrain
from altering it. After all this staircase is an inherent part of historical period. You can renew the old staircase by
adding runner and refinishing the ends of the steps. Carpet staircase runners essentially offer the best of both worlds:
the quiet, comfort, and sure footing of carpet stairs and natural wood beauty of finish stairs.
Runners are traditional staircase accents that add warmth and a finishing touch to bare wooden staircase. Installing a
runner is not difficult with most staircases but does require carpet-laying tools. Stair rods are popular traditional
decorative parts for the staircase. They are available in variety of styles and materials. Stair rod fits over the crease
were each stair tread meets the bottom of the stair riser and are secured at the ands by decorative brackets.
In the past, stair rods were functional staircase parts, they were used to hold stair runners in place. Today they
are purely decorative parts of the staircase.
As to the modern carpeted staircases, one of the most dramatic and easy staircase makeovers is turning a carpeted
staircase version into a beautiful finish staircase by removing the carpet and adding new hardwood
treads and riser panels. Replacing unfinished constriction grade steps
with hardwood is a good do-it-yourself project, but it is not for all
staircase types. It does not work with housed stringers, where the end
of the treads are seated in grooves and are too difficult to remove.
Also, if the balusters rest on the treads, replacing the treads involves
replacing the balusters.
Staircase unit that includes balusters, newels and banister called balustrade. Balustrade is the most decorative
part of the staircase. The prominent post on the bottom of the staircase
is called the starting newel.
Newel usually set on the firs or second
step of the staircase, generally wider than the other steps. Beautiful
newels and balusters
are important staircase parts, they add substance and elegance to the
staircase and surrounding space. When the staircase banister curves
outward, or curls around, at its base to conform to widening, curving
steps (professional cal this section curtail), the starting newel is
referred to as an angular newel. Landing parts of the staircase also
Today, safety codes dictate how close together the spindles
(balusters) holding up the handrail of a staircase (banister) must be.
Check the code before you fabricate a new balustrade and choose your
staircase parts accordingly. A staircase handrail (or banister) usually
mounted at 34" above the steps. Staircase balusters provide an upright
support for the handrail. Balusters should be placed close enough to
prevent toddlers from falling through the supports.
Often as you walk in the house the side of the
staircase is one of the firs things you see. A wonderful way to
embellished the sides of the staircase is to use a decorative
Dressing up the Staircase
Paneling is a popular way to dress up the staircase.
A novel variation of the paneling staircase treatment involves using
chair-rail to create a "shadow railing" on the staircase wall and panel
molding to create panels below it.
A shadow railing is not a functional
staircase railing, but merely projected trim-work that mirrors the lines
of the staircase balustrade. To see an example of staircase makeover
with us of molding and stair brackets click on following link -
with stair brackets. Next link will bring you to the page that
features architectural products needed to complete this staircase project -
With some staircase configurations you can also
add a hardwood starting step to enhance the foot of the staircase. When
added as an accent to the staircase, a starting step is a finished
hardwood step that replaces the first riser and tread of a
mitered-stringer staircase. Starting steps are wider than regular (48
inches or more wide). They create a kind of decorative platform
suggestive of grand staircase that widen toward the bottom. Often they
are rounded on their exposed end. When the staircase has a newel, it is
typically installed in the center of the starting step's bulldoze end.
The tread of most staircase steps has a projection called nosing, a
curved molding that overhangs the riser and overlaps the tread.
One of the most elegant uses of a starting step is as a base for a