stair parts glossary


Following are some industry terms describing stair parts.

Baluster: one of the upright spindles which supports the handrail.

Box Newel: a newel post that is assembled rather than turned from solid pieces of wood and suitable for use with all balusters.

Closed Tread: a tread which is installed between two walls.

Cove Mould: used to trim underneath the tread where the riser and tread meet.

False Tread: a tread cap which is either left or right handed and fits over a false tread. Carpet is run between the tread caps.

Fillet: used to fill the plow between the balusters in shoe rail and plowed handrails.

Half Newel: used on the wall when ending a run of handrail.

JA Bracket: mounting kit used to secure newel post to the floor. This eliminated the need for cutting out subfloor, etc.

Kneewall: when a wall is constructed on the staircase so that the  treads do not overhang the wall.

Landing Tread: used on balcony areas to place balusters on.

Level Quarterturn: used without a newel to make a  90 degree turn on balconies.

Newel Post: supports a handrail at the bottom or top of a staircase. Newel posts are used on balcony areas also when a rise of handrail changes.

Over the Post: handrail runs over newel posts with use of handrail fittings.

Post to Post: handrail runs between newel posts.

Quarterturn with Cap: this fitting is used as an over the post handrail system when capping a newel on a balcony area at a 90 degree junction.

Returned End: fitting used at the end of a wall rail to give it a profiled end.

Returned Tread: a tread which overhangs the wall on one or both sides.

Riser: the vertical part of a step.

Rosette: used on the wall at the ending of a run of handrail.

Shoe Rail: used with balusters on kneewall stairs and on level balconies.

Starting Easing with Cap: an over the post system which does 
not require a starting step.

Tandem Cap: allows for additional newels to be inserted  into a long level stretch of rail for strength.

Tread: the horizontal part of a step.

Turnout: used on the first step of a staircase in an over the post system.

Upeasing: used when changing the elevation of the handrail.

Volute: an over the post system which requires a starting step  and a volute newel.


The Stair Body consists of treads, risers and stringers, which may be combined as an open stairway in which the treads and risers are exposed from a side view, or a closed stairway which encloses the treads and risers with a stringer.

The Balustrade System includes newel posts, balusters and rails which are combined as a post-to-post system or an over-the post system.

A Post-to-Post system is built with the rail cut to lengths which fit between the newel posts.

An Over-the-Post system is built with the rail placed on top of the newel posts as a continuous length.

At Interior Trim & Supply, we have the expertise to help you plan the best stairway for your needs and choose the stair parts needed for the installation.-


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