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Stair Parts Glossary of Terms

Stair Parts Glossary of Terms

 

Astragal Molding – A type of molding in the profile of a semicircle with two concave pieces of wood attached adjacently; primarily used to decorate the midsection of a Box Newel Post.

Balcony – An elevated platform enclosed by railing, posts, and balusters.

Baluster – A vertical structural component of the balustrade; can be either wood or metal.

Balustrade – The collection of Newel Posts, Balusters, and Handrail assembled to create a barrier alongside treads and risers of the staircase; a 4” sphere should not be able to pass through the balustrade.

Bending Handrail – A bent/warped wooden rail used for curved or spiral stairs

Bending Mold – A flexible tool (plastic) used to lock the bending handrail in a particular shape during the installation process

Box Newel Post – A Newel Post that has a square face, body, and base

Bullnose – The rounded trim in front of a tread; can be attached to the tread via molding.

Coped End – A starting fitting with one end finished and the other end cut to connect to the handrail

Cove Molding – A type of molding used as nosing for stair treads; can also be used to decorate the adjoined area where walls, ceilings, or floors meet; another name for Scotia Molding.

Curved Tread – A type of tread where one end is longer than the other end, creating the shape of a trapezoid; used for landings where the staircase shifts directions.

Dowel Pin – A cylindrical piece of wood used to connect two components of the staircase (usually with glue), such as a Pin-Top Newel to a Tandem Cap fitting or a baluster to a tread.

False Riser – A rectangular piece of wood (5 ” wide, 8” in length, and  ” thick) used as vertical faces on the left and right side of a carpeted stair tread.

False Tread – A special type of tread with two planks of wood attached perpendicularly and adjoined by a length of molding; primarily used on the left and right sides of a carpeted tread in order to provide a landing place for the balusters.

False Tread Molding – A molding that replicates the rounded trim at the front end of a tread

Fillet – A rectangular section of wood (same size as the baluster) that fills in the space of the plow in a plowed handrail

Fitting – A railing component that allows the handrail to change direction; used as connectors for different sections of the handrail.

Fluted – Signifies that the faces of a baluster or Newel post have been milled to create indented grooves that looks like a flute or collection of flutes.

Gooseneck – A combination of fittings that allows the handrail to change direction in both the vertical and horizontal plane, such as an Up Easing connected to a Level Quarter Turn Cap which connects to another Up Easing.

Guardrail – The balcony’s protective railing that prevents people and objects from falling through; another word for the Balustrade.

Half Newel Post – A Newel Post sliced in half; placed alongside the wall; provides an area for the handrail to return.

Handrail – The ascending/descending top section of the staircase, meant for hands to hold on to while walking up or down the stairs.

Landing Tread – A wooden base that provides a landing place for balusters and posts

Left Hand Curve Arm High – A volute that rotates counterclockwise from the left side of the staircase; rises into the handrail at a faster rate than the Quick Rise Left Hand Volute.

Left Hand Turnout – A starting fitting that curves in from the left side of the staircase and rises into the handrail

Left Hand Volute – A curved starting fitting that rotates counterclockwise from the left side of the staircase and rises into the handrail.

Left Hand Volute Quick Rise – A volute that rotates counterclockwise from the left side of the staircase; rises at a faster rate than the standard Left Hand Volute.

Level Quarter Turn – A fitting that changes direction of the handrail by 90° on a horizontal plane

Level Quarter Turn 135° – A fitting that changes direction of the handrail by 135° on a horizontal plane

Metal Baluster – A vertical segment of metal made to a particular style; used to connect the top rail to the bottom rail.  Stair Parts Depot offers metal balusters in finishes of Semi Gloss Black, Satin Black, Powder Coated Grey, Antique Bronze, Oil Rubbed Copper, and Oil Rubbed Bronze.

Newel Plate – A metal plate used to connect the Newel Post to the tread, landing, or floor

Newel Post – A wooden column used to support the load of the staircase, essential for structural integrity

Newel Post – The main column block or collection of blocks used to support the staircase. Stair Parts Depot offers Newel Posts in 6 different styles: Traditional, Colonial, Sheraton, Hampton, Contemporary, and Classic.

Newel Post Bolt – A large screw used to secure the Newel Post to the tread, landing, or floor

Nosing – A rounded front end of a tread; can attached to the tread via a type of molding.

Opening Cap – A starting fitting that connects the handrail to a Pin-Top Newel Post

Over Easing – A convex fitting that changes the direction of the handrail by 135° on a vertical plane

Panel Molding – A type of molding used to create the look of raised panels on a wall, cabinet, or Newel Post.

Peak Cap – The pyramidal top section of a Box Newel post; can be sold separately from the post

Pie Tread – A type of tread where one end is longer than the other end, creating the shape of a trapezoid; used for landings where the staircase shifts directions; another name for Curved Tread

Pin-Top Newel Post – A Newel Post that has a Dowell attached to the top; used to connect to capped fittings.

Plowed Handrail – A handrail that has a rectangular section cut off from the bottom in order to receive square-top balusters

Plugs – Cylindrical pieces of wood ( 1” diameter,   ” – ” in length); used to cover holes left behind by drilling during the installation of staircase.

Quarter Turn Cap – A fitting that changes direction of the handrail by 90° on a horizontal plane; connects to a Pin-Top Newel Post.

Quarter Turn Cap 135° – A fitting that changes direction of the handrail by 135° on a horizontal plane; connects to a Pin-Top Newel Post.

Rail Bolt – A bolt that is used to secure the handrail to the post or wall

Return End – An ending fitting with one end finished and the other end cut to connect to the handrail

Right Hand Curve Arm High – A volute that rotates clockwise from the right side of the staircase; rises into the handrail at a faster rate than the Quick Rise Right Hand Volute.

Right Hand Turnout – A starting fitting that curves in from the right side of the staircase and rises into the handrail

Right Hand Volute – A curved starting fitting that rotates clockwise from the right side of the staircase and rises into the handrail

Right Hand Volute Quick Rise – A volute that rotates clockwise from the right side of the staircase; rises into the handrail at a faster rate than the standard Right Hand Volute.

Riser – The vertical face of a step used to compliment the horizontal tread; treads and risers go together to form the steps of a staircase.

Rosette – A round or oval section of wood attached to the wall; provides an area in which the handrail can return.

Sander – A power tool that uses sandpaper to smooth out the surface of wood products

Scotia Molding – A type of molding used as nosing for stair treads; can also be used to decorate the adjoined area where walls, ceilings, or floors meet.

Shoe – A square base for the metal baluster; secures the bottom section of the metal baluster to the tread.

Shoe Rail – The bottom railing of a staircase; supports square balusters.

Skirt Molding – A type of molding used to create the look of raised panels on the wall, cabinet, or Newel Post; another name for Panel Molding.

Spindle – A vertical structural component of the balustrade; another name for the Baluster.

Spiral Stairs – A staircase in circular or helical form; Bending Handrails and Pie Treads are used during the construction of a Spiral Staircase.

Stair Gradient – The slope (angle of inclination) of the staircase measured from the horizontal base to the angle of the handrail; cannot exceed 30° due to the stairs being too steep to climb, and other safety reasons.

Step – A tread and riser adjoined perpendicularly

Tandem Cap – A fitting that adjoins two sections of a handrail to a Pin-Top Newel Post

Top Cap – Another name for Handrail

Tread – The horizontal step of a staircase

Tread Bracket – A decorative piece of wood attached alongside the tread and riser

Tread Return – A rounded trim of wood attached adjacent to the treads and risers

Up Easing – A concave fitting that changes the direction of the handrail by 135° on a vertical plane

Up Easing 90° – A concave fitting that changes the direction of the handrail by 90° on a vertical plane

Volute – A curved starting fitting that flows in circular form before rising into the handrail. Stair Parts Depot offers volutes that rise at three different rates: the standard Volute, Quick Rise Volute, and Curve Arm High Volute.

Wall Cap – A rectangular plank of wood (  ” thick, 7 ” wide, and 4 – 15 feet in length) used to provide a protective outer surface to any wall-like structure.

Wall Rail – A handrail attached alongside the wall

Wall Rail Bracket – A metal bracket used to support the load from the handrail into the wall

Wooden Baluster – A vertical piece of wood intricately cut to a particular style; used to connect the top rail to the bottom rail. Stair Parts Depot offers wooden balusters in styles of Traditional, Colonial, Sheraton, Hampton, Classic, and Contemporary.