The interior staircase we use every day comprises several components that are important to know when it comes to renovating it or choosing materials for its construction.
Referring to the following illustration, we can define 3 sections of the staircase:
- The bottom section – most visible from the first floor – includes the starting newel post and the overhanging starter step. If your staircase is to change direction (as shown), balanced winder treads, a corner newel post and an external guardrail are required.
- The flight of stairs is supported by the stringer, the key element in staircase construction. Placed on the opposite side of the wall (day side), its materials can be wood, stone or metal, depending on the design of your project.
If the staircase doesn’t run along a wall, two stringers are used for support. The distance between them must not exceed 47 ¼ inches, and the minimum width of the staircase is set at 36 inches according to the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) building code.
To ensure safe ascent and descent, the tread depth of the step (the surface on which the foot is placed) must be between 8 ¼ and 14 inches, and the standard riser height is 7 ½ inches.
The guard railing includes a vertical baluster installed on the bottom rail. Composed of wood or metal bars, the baluster can also be made of tempered glass. Finally, the handrail or banister (required when there are more than 3 steps) must be fixed at a minimum height of 36 inches.
- The mezzanine floor hand railing includes a smooth horizontal banister and a base plate. To avoid any risk of falling, the required height is 42″ from floor to railing. If you opt for spindles, they must be spaced at least 4″ apart to protect young children who approach them.
Wood is still the most popular material for a staircase, but using metal for the banisters is gaining in popularity for its more modern look.
Since a staircase is made to last, it is important to consider the qualities of different wood species. Maple, red oak and yellow birch are the quality woods we stock at Boiseries Algonquin.
As the staircase is an architectural element of your home, it’s important to make sure it matches the style you’ve chosen. The right choice of wood species and stain will enhance this structure, which you will see from every angle.
Looking for a contemporary look? Choose Zen-style steps, without rounded nosing. Combine them with square metal rungs and railing brackets in the same finish, and you’ve just transformed a busy passageway into a pleasurable experience!
→ How many times will you go up and down the stairs leading to the upper floor?
Whether you’re renovating the staircase in your home or looking for ideas for your new build, don’t be left to your own devices with all your questions. Come and meet our in-store experts. They’ll guide you through the choices available to you, for a result that really lives up to your expectations.
When the time comes to choose the colour of your stain, consult our blog Interior wood stain application techniques in the GUIDES & TIPS section of our website.
Finally, if choosing the components of your staircase one at a time is causing you headaches, take a look at our staircase kit selection, which offers custom-made kits at very attractive prices!See staircase kits
Contact us for personalized advice or drop by our showroom.