What Factors Should Be Considered When Selecting and Designing a Staircase

Posted by on December 01/2017

Stairs are the focal point of your home, and while it can be complicated, you do not have hate the journey. We are here to help! There are many factors to be considered when you are designing the right stair and railing for your space. Here are a few factors that must be considered when designing the right stair and railing for you:

Railing & Components: When selecting a railing assembly there are many factors to consider. Naturally the picket, post and handrail designs are the first things to be established. In addition, the railing layout and installation method should be determined. A standard post to post layout is the most common, where as a continuous layout can be requested. Your sales representative can explain the differences and any variations you may wish to consider.

Handrail Height: located parallel to sides of the stair. There is a minimum and maximum rail height requirement.

Pickets/Balusters/Spindles: There is a minimum gap requirement

Posts or Half Lap Post: While installing a post fully on a tread is per building code, installing a post half on the tread and half on the floor is considered stronger and recommended.

Rail: At least one handrail shall be continuous throughout the length of the stairway including landings, except where interrupted by doorways, and newel posts at changes in direction.

Overhead Clearance/Headroom: The vertical distance from the outer edge of the nosing line, to the underside of the ceiling above. Stairways will have a minimum clearance. This is to ensure safe passage for the average adult

Stairs: As per the Building Code, there is a minimum stair width and height requirement

Nosing: is the horizontal, protruding edge of a stair where most foot traffic frequently occurs.

Landing: A platform between flights, or at the beginning or end of a stairway. There is a vertical height requirement. The depth of any landing should be at least equal to the width of the stairs.

Riser Height: The vertical component of a step. There is a min/maximum rise.

Run: The horizontal distance measured from riser line to riser line

Tread: The horizontal part of a step. There is an overhang maximum; a minimum run and a minimum tread width. Royal Oak orbital sands the treads after wide belt sanding which will eliminate cross grain sanding marks on tread returns. Please note, that at Royal Oak, treads are ready for staining once the stairs have the protective wrapping taken off. Royal Oak will never supply treads as one solid board. If your stair has a tread that consists of one board, there is a very good chance that it will warp and lead to squeaks.

Stair Load: Stairs need to be constructed with sufficient strength to carry a certain load.

Winder: A spiral section of a staircase usually has treads turning a total 90 degrees. While winders are acceptable as per building code, these should be avoided if possible, for safety concerns and ease of travel going up and down the stairs.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us and let us know by calling 905-853-5727.

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