Last edited 02 Nov 2020


Spiral staircase kits.jpg

In general, the word ‘step’ refers to the individual parts of a staircase that people step on. This is as opposed to ‘stairs’ which are a flight of steps.

Steps can be constructed using a wide variety of materials, including; timber, brick, stone, concrete, metal, glass, and so on.

Individual steps are made up of a horizontal tread and a vertical riser. They are measured in terms of a ‘going’, i.e. the depth from front-to-back of the step (less any overlap with the next step above), a rise (the vertical distance between treads, and the width from one side to the other.

Components of stairs.jpg

Steps should have level treads with the rise and going of each step consistent throughout the flight. The part of the tread that sometimes overhangs the riser is called the ‘nosing’. Depending on the design, the riser can be left open, or can be closed.

Some types of stairs (e.g. circular, spiral) can incorporate winders, which are steps that have one side narrower than the other. This allows the stairs direction to change without a landing.

The requirements for the design of steps are set out in the approved documents to the building regulations:

For more information, see Stair design.

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