Minimum Size of Stair Treads

Minimum Size of Stair Treads

This blog post will discuss the minimum size for stair treads. And we will discuss the factors that determine the correct size of treads.

Are you looking to add carpet stair treads to your home, but unsure of the minimum size they should be? 

Knowing the measurements of your stairs will give you an idea of what size carpet stair treads are best for your staircase. 

The International Residential Code (IRC) sets the minimum tread depth at 10 inches and the maximum riser height at 7 3/4 inches. These measurements are based on the average stride of an adult and are designed to ensure that each step is safe and comfortable to use. An average size stair step is around 35 inches long. 

With that being said, you'll want your minimum size of stair treads to be around 29 inches, to allow 2-3 inches of space on each side of the stair treads. You'll want the depth to be the full width of the stair step., which on a standard step would be 10 inches. The minimum size stair treads is also heavily determined by your personal preference. 

Another factor to consider before installing carpet stair treads is what type of tread are you looking for? Calypso - Indoor / Outdoor may be an option for you. Oak Valley Designs offers custom sized carpet stair treads to fit your needs.

Why the Minimum Size of Stair Treads is Important for Safety

Stair treads are an essential component of any staircase, providing a safe and secure surface for your feet to land on as you ascend or descend. The minimum size of stair treads is crucial for safety, as it helps prevent slips and falls.

To determine the appropriate tread size for your staircase, measure the depth of the stair from the edge of the nosing to the back of the tread. This measurement should be at least 10 inches to meet the minimum tread depth requirement. 

Next, measure the length of the step from side to side. This will give you the measurements  you need, to determine what size you need for your staircase. 

Personal Preference

While safety is the primary concern when it comes to stair treads, personal preference also plays a role in determining the size of your treads. Factors to consider include the overall style of your home, the size of your staircase, and the level of foot traffic in the area.

Custom options for stair treads can help you find the perfect size and style for your home. Popular sizes and styles include narrow treads for smaller staircases, wider treads for larger staircases, and alternating tread stairs for unique designs.

Custom Options for Stair Treads

In addition to size and style, custom options for stair treads also include different materials and nonslip options for added safety. Materials such as wool, sisal, and nylon are popular choices for their durability and aesthetic appeal.

Nonslip options such as rubber backing or adhesive strips can provide added safety and prevent slips and falls. When choosing custom options for your stair treads, consider your lifestyle and the level of foot traffic in the area.


Choosing the right size and style of stair treads is crucial for both safety and personal preference. By understanding the factors that determine minimum tread size and exploring custom options, you can find the perfect solution to your question, "what is the best tread width for stairs?". With proper installation and maintenance, your stair treads can provide added safety and style for years to come.