Parts of a Stair Stringer

Parts of a Stair Stringer

Learn about the parts of a stair stringer, including treads and risers. Get tips on building sturdy staircases and installing newel posts.
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Knowing the parts of a stair stringer is like knowing the bones of your stairs. Stair stringers are the backbone of your steps, holding everything together. They have top and bottom cuts, tread and riser notches, and the outer edge, all working in harmony to support your steps. Adding carpet stair treads can further enhance safety and comfort, giving your stairs a cozy feel.

What are the Parts of Stair Stringers?   

Stair stringers are the slanted boards that hold up the treads (where you step) and risers (the vertical parts). Here are the main parts:

  • Top Cut: The top end of the stringer that attaches to the upper floor.
  • Bottom Cut: The bottom end that sits on the lower floor.
  • Tread Notches: The slots where the treads fit.
  • Riser Notches: The slots where the risers fit.
  • Outer Edge: The visible side that runs along the stairs. 

What are the Components of Stringer Tread and Riser?   

Each stair stringer has a few important parts:

  • Treads: These are the horizontal steps you walk on. They need to fit snugly into the stringer notches.
  • Risers: The vertical boards between each tread. They add stability and can be open or closed.
  • Nosing: The edge of the tread that sticks out over the riser below.
  • Stringer Board: The main diagonal board that supports the treads and risers.

These parts come together to make a solid staircase.

What is the Formula for Stair Stringers?   

Building stair stringers involves some simple math to get the rise (height) and run (depth) just right. Here’s how you figure it out:

  1. Measure the Total Rise: The height from the lower floor to the upper floor.
  2. Decide on the Number of Steps: Divide the total rise by the desired height of each step (usually around 7-8 inches).
  3. Calculate the Total Run: Multiply the number of steps by the tread depth (usually 10 inches).

With these measurements, you can mark and cut your stringer.

Should Stair Stringers be 2x10 or 2x12?   

Choosing between 2x10 or 2x12 stringers depends on how strong and long your stairs need to be. Generally:

  • 2x12 Stringers: These are more common and preferred because they provide more support and can handle heavier loads.
  • 2x10 Stringers: These can be used for shorter spans or lighter loads but are less common.

Most staircases use 2x12 stringers for their strength and durability.

What is the 27 Rule for Stairs?   

The 27 rule is a handy guideline for comfortable stairs. It says that the sum of one tread depth and two riser heights should equal 27 inches. For example, if your tread is 10 inches deep, each riser should be around 8.5 inches high. This rule helps make sure the stairs are easy and comfy to walk on.

Adding a Stair Riser Cover   

Stair riser covers can protect your risers and give your staircase a fresh look. They come in various materials like wood veneer, tile, or peel and stick wallpaper. Installing riser covers is an easy DIY project that can brighten up your stairs.

How to Install a Stair Newel Post   

How to install a stair newel post might sound tricky, but it’s doable with the right steps:

  1. Measure and Mark: Mark where the newel post will go.
  2. Drill Holes: Drill holes for the bolts.
  3. Secure the Base: Attach the base of the newel post to the floor.
  4. Attach the Post: Use strong screws or brackets to secure the post to the base.
  5. Align with Handrail: Make sure the post lines up with the handrail.

Following these steps helps make sure your newel post is solid and secure.

Final Thoughts   

Understanding the parts of a stair stringer and how they work together is key to building a sturdy staircase. Whether you’re dealing with treads, risers, or installing a newel post, knowing these components will help you create a safe and stylish staircase. With some planning and a few basic tools, you can tackle your stair projects confidently.

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