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Stair Considerations When Combining Beauty and Safety

Your stairs may look grand, like something from a gothic castle, but are they safe? In staircase design, it can be easy to overlook the elements that make a huge difference in safety, instead focusing on the aesthetic aspects. The trick isn’t to focus on one at the expense of the other but rather to blend the two seamlessly. Here are some considerations to help you:

Rise-to-run dimensions

The total of the run and rise should be 17 inches, meaning that the shorter the run, the steeper the stairs. However, you should note that there are certain exceptions. For instance, a rise of about 9 inches is too steep for comfort.

Rise-to-run consistency

While it’s essential to have the correct rise-to-run dimensions, it’s equally crucial that they be consistent throughout to avoid tripping on risers or treads that aren’t the same size as others.

When climbing stairs, our bodies get into a rhythm that enables us to move without even looking closely all the time. To do this safely, there must be consistency throughout.

Staircase width

The IRC stairs code states that, to comply with stairway requirements, the minimum width for residential stairs should be at least 36 inches. The stair riser must be up to 7.75 inches and can not vary more than 3/8 of an inch. 

You should also consider other factors like how often you have two people abreast going in opposite directions simultaneously. Here, you can increase the width as necessary and include two landings.

Other considerations

When deducting the part of the overlap, the thread or step must be at least 22 centimeters long. This ensures enough footstep and safety for everyone when stepping down each step and walking up and down without complication.

Furthermore, the front of the stairs must have a width and length not less than the width of the stairs. This helps those walking up and down to have a resting spot at the destination. Before walking down the stairs, there will also be sufficient space to prepare to step down easily.

Design beautiful stairs without compromising safety

Designing stairs the correct way has as much to do with safety as it does aesthetics. It’s vital to combine the two for the best results skillfully. 

If you’re looking for a contractor to help you with your staircase and railings, feel free to request a quote. Our experts are happy to discuss how to achieve your goals with you.


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