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Glossary of Stair Terms

Your understanding of the basic terms in this stair glossary are necessary before you proceed with your stair building project.

Balusters
Also known as spindles, these are the verticle pieces that set on the step (usually 3 per step and 3 per foot on balconies and landings.) typicaly three sizes per step. 36" front baluster 39" middle baluster and 41" rear baluster. 36" balusters are typically used on level sections.( check with your local buiding codes.)

Base
Base is used at landings to tie wall skirts together.

Cap
Also known as wall cap is used to finish off the top of a knee wall or half wall.

Channel
This mould can be used as a bottom shoe rail that will sit on top of nosing, cap, knee wall or butriss stringer. Balusters can attached without channel using dowel or dowel scews.

Color
Iron balusters can be ordered pre-finished in standard or custom colors.

Cove
This is a trim that can be used under nosing, wall cap, treads and tread ends.

Facia
This is similar to an outside skirtboard ,except is not as wide and is used at landings and balconies when you are using outside skirts.

Fillet
This is used to fill the channel in between the balusters when channel is being used.

Fittings
These are used mainly on over the post systems to transition the hand rail over the post, although can be used to make goosnecks, radius or ease trasitions rather than mitering.

Flat Trim
This is used as an alternative to cove trim and should be used along the edge of risers to hide end grain.

Iron
Iron balusters can be used in place of wood depending on personal prefference.

Nosing
Also known as landing strip, this mould is placed along balconies and landings and used to terminate carpet, wood or tile against. Please specify the thickness of the flooring you will be installing so the finished heights will be flush.

Posts
Posts are the main structure in you handrail system and should be placed at the beginning of each section, end of each section, corners or turns in direction and spaced no further than 8' apart.

Rail
This is the main moulding that ties into posts and that the balusters are installed into to complete the balastrade system.

Risers
These are used to cover the face of the step, either all the way across the step or just the side.

Rossettes
These are wood plates that can be used againt the wall to terminate a hand rail into.

Skirts
Also known as kick boards, this is the asthetic board that run parallel to the rake of the stair and protects sheet rock from shoes and vacume cleaners.

Skirt Trim
This trim can be used on top edges of plywood skirtboards to hide end grain.

Templates
These are patterns that can be provided to us made out of plywood or card board that have radius lines for us to manufacter curve nosings, Handrails and tread ends.

Treads
Treads are used to cover your step all the way across to the wall skirt.

Tread Ends
Used in place of treads, These are to cover onty the side edge of the step and allow to accept balusters. They are astetic only and are used when carpet will be covering the balance of the step.

WR Brackets
These are wall mounted hardware that allows a handrail to be mounted to a wall without needing balusters or newels to support it.