Stair Parts Glossary

Here at Stair Parts USA, we understand that during your search for stair parts and supplies diagram, you may become overwhelmed by stair parts terminology. That's why we have created our Stair Parts Glossary! This handy tool provides you with the definitions of stair parts in a clear and concise way that will help you in your search. Browse through our Stair Parts Glossary below.

  • Balusters- Vertical posts that support the handrail system. Often called spindles. The two most popular types are made fromwrought iron andwood.
  • Balustrade -Refers to the collection of newels, balusters and handrail on a staircase.
  • Bullnose -The shape formed on the edge of a step or tread.
  • Fittings - Specially designed stair parts that provide a smooth transition during handrail height changes or handrail directional changes. Examples of fittings for our 6115 style handrail: Right Hand Volute, Left Hand Turnout, Start easing, and 2 Rise Right Hand Gooseneck with Cap.
  • Gooseneck - A handrail fitting used at a landing or balcony to complete a smooth transition between varying heights. Example: 2 Rise Straight Gooseneck without Cap(Link fits 6115 Handrail).
  • Handrail - The horizontal member or balustrade system that sits on top of the balusters and is supported by the newel posts.
  • Landing Newel- A newel post positioned at a landing or balcony.
  • Landing Tread- A structural molding, used on all landings and balconies, to create a transition between the stair and the finished floor, and also as a level surface to attach balusters. Standard overall width is: 3 1/2" or 5 1/4" and overhangs the balcony 1-1/2" or 1 1/4", allowing cove or trim to run underneath.
  • Level Quarter Turn - A level handrail fitting that turns 90 degrees.
  • Newel Posts - Larger than a baluster. Found at the top and bottom of the staircase and generally every 8' on balconies. (Box Newels, Turned Newels.
  • Riser - The vertical face of the step.
  • Rosettes - Decorative pieces that end a handrail system at the wall line. They are often used to prevent damage to the drywall when the handrail is pulled tight to the wall.
  • Stringers - Structure that supports the risers, treads, and balustrade.
  • Tread - The step or part of the stair one walks on.
  • Tread Brackets - A decorative moulding that is fastened to the outside of the stringer. It is often called a "Scroll" or "Scroll Bracket."
  • Volute - A handrail fitting that is typically used on a pin top starting newel and curves away from the stair in a circular manner. They are either left hand or right hand depending on the location to be installed. (link pictures a Right Hand Volute).