We’re often asked to build a stone staircase or steps. After all, using stone means a beautiful look and incredible durability. We love to build stone staircases using rock from our local quarries. Common choices of stone are sandstone, limestone or bluestone. Also, we often make stone staircases in conjunction with stone retaining wall project. So, when we meet customers looking for a stone path, steps or staircase, they usually have a good idea of what they want. But we often find they’re not sure about the terminology to explain it! And it’s not surprising. These terms are not exactly everyday words. Also, there’s a crossover with the language used for wooden staircases too. So, we thought a quick guide to staircase terminology might be handy. Let’s go.
Common Wooden and Stone Staircase Lingo
Sometimes known as the gallery, the balcony is the area at the top of the stairs that overlooks the staircase and landing.
These are the vertical posts, or spindles, that hold up the handrail.
This is the overall structure of baluster and railings used to support the system.
Often called the handrail, the banister is the long rail used to hold onto while using the stairs. Also, banisters can be on both sides or just one.
This is the extra-large tread at the bottom of the stairs. It’s often curved and shaped to accommodate the newel post.
Stone Staircase Flight
A flight is a section of stairs that goes from one level or floor to another. A staircase can have multiple flights.
The newel is a large structural baluster or post at the bottom of the stairs. It’s used to anchor the handrail and is often bolted down.
The quarter landing is a larger tread that leads the stair around a corner.
The riser is the vertical face section between each tread. This can be omitted to create an open look.
This is the part that runs down each side of the stairs to which the treads and risers are attached.
Stone Staircase Tread
The treads are the steps of the stairs that we walk on.