An opening in an upper level wall that looks down on a lower level of the home or building. Most balconies require a balustrade or banister to serve as a guardrail and prevent people and items from falling from the balcony.
Also known as: staircase balcony
Turned or carved vertical columns that support handrails along stairs and balconies.
Also known as: spindles, banisters
Banisters, also known as balustrades or stair rails, are railing systems including handrails, balusters, newel posts, and tread caps. Banisters are stair guard rails that protect people and pets using stairs, staircases, and balconies.
Also known as: banister system, balustrade, railing system, stair rail system, safety rail systems, stair banisters
Wall-mounted handrails on stair cases are known as bracketed handrails because they are bracketed to the wall.
Also known as: wall-mount handrail brackets, wall-bracketed handrails
Any staircase that is formed in a circular shape (either a full circle like a spiral staircase or a partial circle like an S-curve staircase, snake staircase, or curved stairs) are known as circular staircases. Some building codes define circular staircases and spiral staircases separately in terms of code requirements.
Also known as: spiral staircases, s-curve staircases, curved staircases, circle stairs
A double-helix staircase is a spiral staircase that is supported by helical stringers, which are the housing on either or both sides of the stairs and to which the stair treads are connected. Double-helix staircases have two helixes, or spirals, wrapped around each other for a double-helix appearance.
Also known as: double-helical stairway, helix staircase
Finials are ornamental caps placed at the top of newel posts. Staircase finials can be carved, turned, ornate, simple, made of the same material as the newel post, or a novelty finial (such as stone, metal, glass, crystal, or antique finial).
Also known as: newel post cap, staircase post finial, stair post cap, decorative finials, screw-on finials, antique finials, carved finials, wood staircase finials, metal stair rail finials, brass finials, architectural salvage finals
flight of stairs
An uninterrupted series of steps is considered a flight of stairs. Homes and buildings with more than one floor will have one or more flights of stairs leading from one floor to another.
Also known as: stair flight, flights of stairs
Staircases leading from one floor to another without supports such as walls or columns between them are considered free-floating stairs. Modern staircases coming directly from the wall and without visible stringers or other supports are free standing stairs.
Also known as: freestanding stairs, freestanding staircases, independent stairs, free staircase, modern staircases
Guardrails are balusters or balustrades that prevent people and pets from falling into staircases and over balconies and similar open spaces.
Also known as: safety rail, safety railing, stair guardrails, balusters, balustrade, safety guardrail for stairs
The top section of a banister or balustrade that is meant to be held by a person using a staircase is known as a handrail. Handrails are added to stairs to add safety, comfort, and ease of use.
Also known as: stair handrail, wall-mounted handrails, post-mounted stair handrails
Platforms between flights of stairs, usually between floors of a building, are known as landings. These are often found where flights of stairs turn, with one flight of stairs coming up to the landing on one side and another flight of stairs exiting the landing in an opposite direction.
Also known as: stair landing, staircase landing
Newel posts are larger columns placed at the beginning, end, and middle sections of staircase handrails. Most newel posts are placed at the beginning, end, turns, and other areas of a staircase where the handrail needs extra support for safety and appearance. Newel posts may be plain or decorative and often have finials that add to the style of the structure.
Also known as: stair case column, staircase post, stair post, handrail post, decorative newel post.
Rise is the vertical height of each step and, when referring to the rise of the entire staircase, the full vertical height of the staircase.
Also known as: stair rise, step rise, staircase rise, stair height
The horizontal dimensions of a staircase is considered the staircase run. Each step, or tread run, contributes to the overall run of the stairs.
Also known as: staircase run, step run, run of stairs
Some staircases have a starting step that is a decorative first step. These often have a larger tread or decorative front section that hangs out farther than that of other stairs.
Also known as: decorative starting step, decorative step, beginning stair step
The horizontal section of a staircase step where users place their feet are known as treads. Staircase treads can be made of wood, hardwood, metal, or other materials, and they can be carpeted, painted, finished hardwood, capped, tiled, or otherwise decorated.
Also known as: step, stair step, stair tread, wood stair treads, metal stair treads, free-floating stair treads
Handrails that are attached to a wall by metal or wood brackets, known as wall-mounting brackets or wall-mounted brackets, are wall-mounted railings.
Also known as: wall-mount railing, wall-mounted rails, wall mounted handrails, wall mounted stair rails
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