Staircase components

Stairs Essentials: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Its Components

Hello! Have you ever considered the complexity of your staircase? It’s not just a means of travelling between floors; it consists of various essential parts, each with its unique function and name. Let’s explore the different components of a staircase in detail, with insights from the experts at Roble Glass & Railings.




Step Right Up: Understanding Treads and Risers


Let’s start with the basics. The part of the staircase you’re most familiar with is the tread. That’s the horizontal part you step on. Treads need to be sturdy and wide enough for comfortable and safe use. They can be made from various materials, from traditional wood to sleek metal or glass. The design and material of the treads can significantly affect the look and feel of your staircase. For example, wood treads can add a warm, natural touch to your staircase, while metal treads can give it a sleek, modern look. Glass treads, on the other hand, can create a sense of lightness and space.


Now, look at the vertical part between each tread. That’s the riser. In some staircase designs, the risers are left open, creating what’s known as an open riser staircase. This design can give your staircase a modern, airy look. On the other hand, a closed riser staircase, where a solid panel connects each tread, can provide a more traditional look. Choosing between open and closed risers can also affect your staircase’s safety and noise level. Closed risers can prevent small objects, pets, or children from slipping through and help muffle the sound of footsteps.


Glass Railing


The Backbone of Your Staircase: Stringers


Next up, let’s talk about stringers. Stringers are the structural elements that support the treads and risers. They’re often on either side of the staircase, but in some designs, there’s just one in the center. This is known as a mono-stringer staircase, which can give your staircase a sleek, modern look.


Stringers can be either closed or open. A closed stringer, also known as a housed or routed stringer, has a groove into which the treads and risers fit. This design provides extra support and stability. An open stringer, on the other hand, has the treads and risers attached directly to the top edge. This design can give your staircase a lighter, more open feel. The choice between closed and open stringers can affect the look and feel of your staircase and its strength and stability.


Handrails and Balusters: Safety and Style


Now, let’s move on to the parts of the staircase that keep you safe: the handrails and balusters. The handrail is the part you hold onto as you climb the stairs. It’s an important safety feature, especially for children and older adults. But railings aren’t just about safety. They can also add a decorative touch to your staircase. Handrails can be simple, sleek, or ornate and intricate. They can be made from various materials, from wood to metal to glass, and they can be finished in multiple ways to match the style of your staircase and your home.


Balusters, or spindles, are the vertical posts supporting the handrail. They can also add a decorative touch to your staircase. Balusters can be simple, straight, or ornate and curved. They can be made from various materials, including wood, metal, and glass. The design and material of the balusters can greatly affect the look and feel of your staircase. For example, wood balusters can add a traditional, warm touch to your staircase, while metal balusters can give it a sleek, modern look. Glass balusters, on the other hand, can create a sense of openness and light.


Wood stair closed riser


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Newel Posts: The Anchors of Your Staircase


Last but not least, let’s talk about newel posts. These are the large, sturdy posts at your staircase’s beginning, end, and turn. They provide structural support and can also be a decorative element. Newel posts can be simple, understated, or large and ornate, serving as a focal point of your staircase. The design and material of the newel posts can significantly affect the look and feel of your staircase. For example, a large, ornate newel post can add a touch of grandeur to your staircase, while a simple, sleek newel post can give it a modern, minimalist look.


Staircase Landings: A Pause in the Climb


Another essential part of many staircases is the landing. This flat area partway up the stairs allows for a rest during the climb. Landings can be simple squares or rectangles, or they can be more complex shapes to fit the design of the staircase and the space available. They can also provide a space for decorative elements, such as furniture or artwork. The landing’s size, shape, and design can significantly affect your staircase’s look and feel.


Choosing the Right Parts for Your Staircase


Now that you understand the different parts of a staircase, you can make more informed decisions when choosing a staircase for your home. Do you prefer the traditional look of closed riser stairs with closed stringers, or do you like the modern feel of open riser stairs with open stringers? Would you like the treads and risers made of warm, natural wood, or do you prefer the sleek, industrial metal look? Do you want simple, straight balusters, or do you prefer ornate, curved ones? The choices are endless, and the right combination can create a staircase that is not only functional but also a beautiful addition to your home.


Bringing It All Together with Roble Glass & Railings


Understanding the different parts of a staircase is just the first step (pun intended!) in creating the perfect staircase for your home. The next step is bringing it all together, and that’s where Roble Glass & Railings comes in.


At Roble Glass & Railings, we’re experts in staircase design and installation. We can help you choose the correct parts for your staircase, from the treads and risers to the stringers, handrails, balusters, and newel posts. We offer a variety of materials and styles to suit your taste and the overall design of your home.


But our services continue beyond staircases. We also offer various other home improvement services, including glass and railing installation and repair. So whether you’re installing a new staircase or updating an existing one, we’ve got you covered.


Choosing the Right Staircase Design for Your Residential Space.

Ready to Take the Next Step?


So, are you ready to take the next step toward your dream staircase? For more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at 647-674-0041 or via email at Stay updated and inspired by following us on Instagram at


A leading company in the glass & railing industry across Ontario, Canada. Currently based in the city of Toronto with 5 years in the business and over six hundred projects completed with outstanding results. Serving homeowners, general contractors, consultants, and designing groups, in the commercial and residential construction industry.