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The Anatomy Of Stairs

A staircase is made up of various components, with each element being an opportunity to showcase design ingenuity. Understanding these components is the first step to creating a visually stunning and safe architectural feature that perfectly complements your project.

By familiarising yourself with these elements, you can better work with a staircase manufacturer to design and create a bespoke staircase that meets the requirements of your project as it brings out the best in every aspect of your project.


Staircase string uk

The string of a staircase refers to the inclined or sloping board that runs along the side of the staircase, supporting the treads and risers. In simple terms, its primary function is to ensure the stability and strength of the staircase, acting as a load-bearing element.

Strings can be classified into two main types: closed strings and cut strings. Closed strings, also known as housed strings, are fully enclosed, concealing the ends of the treads and risers.

staircase string uk

On the other hand, cut strings have their treads and risers visible from the sides, adding a unique visual element to the staircase design. The choice between closed or cut strings depends on the project style, structural requirements, and personal preferences.


Defined as vertical supports positioned at intervals along the length of the staircase, posts provide structural integrity and prevent any excessive movement or swaying.

staircase post uk

Posts serve as strong anchors, securely holding the handrail and stair balustrade system in place. They ensure the stability and safety of a staircase by effectively absorbing and evenly dispersing the weight and forces exerted on the staircase to the foundation or supporting structure.


The rail is a prominent element of a staircase that serves both functional and aesthetic purposes. It’s the horizontal bar running along the length of the staircase, which provides support and guidance as users navigate the stairs, offering a sturdy handhold for balance and stability.

stair handrails uk

Rail design comes in a variety of options, such as the graceful and flowing continuous rails that span across the stairs, and a modern straight rail for a more contemporary look. If you’re seeking to add a touch of elegance, a curved rail or decorative volute rails featuring captivating spirals at the top or bottom might be the perfect fit. The choice of rail is entirely yours, make it a detail that infuses your staircase with personality and makes a unique statement that matches your project's aesthetic vision.

Stairs Balusters

Stairs balusters are the vertical pieces positioned between the rail and the tread or string to add structural support to a staircase. They act as a protective barrier to prevent falls, and are used to support a top rail.

stair balusters uk

Balusters are available in different shapes, materials, and finishes, which allow for customisation according to your project’s needs. They can range from simple and subtle to intricately carved or ornate designs, adding a touch of whimsy to the staircase, and playing a part that makes your staircase a wow factor in a project.


The tread is a fundamental part of a staircase as it provides the horizontal surface that you step on as you move across the stairs.

stairs tread uk

They are designed to be durable and resistant to wear, making them crucial for the safety and longevity of the staircase. In terms of materials, there are various options available to suit your design preferences and project requirements. Common materials used for treads are durable and high-quality timber like oak and redwood pine.

It’s important to choose the right type of timber for your staircase to make sure they are a perfect match for your overall aesthetic and practical needs.


The riser connects and closes the gap between treads, providing structural support and preventing slips.

stairs riser uk

Apart from providing stability to the stairs, the riser can be a design element that contributes to the overall aesthetic of the staircase. Depending on the overall staircase design and desired aesthetic, risers can be open or closed. Open risers create a sense of openness and airiness, contributing to a more modern and contemporary feel. On the other hand, closed risers often offer a more traditional and solid appearance.

You may also play with materials, colours, and patterns to enhance the visual appeal of the risers. Glass or translucent risers, for example, create an illusion of space and light.

Key Components of Stairs

From the string that provides structural support to the post that ensures stability, each component serves a purpose. Apart from offering a practical handhold, the rail allows for customisation to match your project's unique aesthetic.

The stair balustrade maintains the proper spacing and support along the handrail, while treads provide a horizontal stepping surface. Risers close the gaps between treads and add a touch of classic style.

Staircase Success Service - The Staircase Solutions

Designing a staircase can be a daunting task, considering the complexity of the components involved, and the need to make sure all the variables in the specification are right to best-suit the objectives of your housebuild project. But you don't have to navigate this process alone. Consult a reliable staircase expert to ensure the staircase element a successful part of each and every one of your projects.

Staircase Success Service helps to produce the right outcomes for each project. Speak with one of our staircase experts today, and see how we can help with your next project!


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