Terminology

The team at Higginson Staircases will be happy to assist you with any questions, the following is an extract from the Timber stairs terminology standard BS EN 14076.

Key components

Strings: Inclined member supporting the step

Tread: The horizontal part of the stair that is stepped on

Riser: Component closing the gap between 2 adjacent treads (where no risers are present this would be referred to as an “open riser”).  The number of steps in a staircase is counted by the number of risers, not the number of treads

Balustrade:  Infill guarding the open edge of a stair or landing to prevent the user from falling over the side

Handrail: Component providing support and grip to users of the stair

Newel: A large vertical component at either end of the stair or in the middle of a flight into which the string and handrail are fixed

Winder: Tapered step in which the nosing of the tread is not parallel to the nosing of the step or landing immediately above it

Apron: Vertical member to conceal the edges of the floor around the stairwell

Other key terms:

Flight:  Unbroken series of steps between wo landings

Rise: Distance measured vertically from the surface of one tread or landing to the surface of the next

Going:  Horizontal distance between the nosings of two consecutive steps measured on the walking line

Pitch: The slope of the staircase measured as the ratio between the rise and going

Walking line:  Theoretical line indicating the average path of the users of the stair