Staircase Types
These are the 7 standard stair types that are used in most practical applications. We also make custom design stairs to showcase the unique décor of your home.
Type #1 stair is a complete boxed in stair with housed stringers on both sides. On this stairway, the ends of each tread and riser are installed into recessed stringer routings creating a box appearance.

Type #2 stair has a boxed in section. In addition, there is an open section with RH or LH returned end treads one side only the first few steps, usually no more than six. The exact amount of returned end open treads is determined by location of the finished wall line. We ask for this information on line “G” of our order form.

Type #3 stair is closed or boxed in one side. The opposite side is open with all returned end treads. When ordering, indicate RH or LH on line “M” of the order form.

Type #4 stair is similar to the Type #2, which is a combination of open end boxed in section stair, except the open section is open both sides with mitered RH and LH treads. The exact amount of returned end open treads is determined by location of the finish wall line. We ask for this information on line “G” of the detail sheet.

Type #5 stair is returned end open both sides, each tread having mitered RH and LH ends. There is not a boxed in section to this stair.

Type #6 stair is an excellent, heavy duty, modern appearance stair for open area installations. This finish stair does not have risers installed and has a boxed in or open end appearance depending on stringer location.

Type #7 stair is a boxed in type house basement stair with no risers installed. Our basement stair is economically priced and can be stocked for average ceiling heights.

Many ask us; "is it possible to install hardwood flooring on an existing staircase that's covered by carpet? If so what are the procedures involved? We've been thinking of adding this information for well over a year and thought it's time had come.

The answer is yes you can! However, you'll get varying opinions on what is best. For the most, part wood flooring on steps is done with solid treads and risers. The purists would scream if they saw strip or plank being used. But it's all in the eye of the beholder. Both are quite popular depending on where you reside and other factors.

In this example we'll show how to remove the carpet, padding, tack strip, and prep prep the steps for the work. I would suggest anyone considering this kind of project, that may have a dry walled staircase, to have stair stringers installed before your project begins, if none are in place.

What are stair stringers?  There are other terms such as skirt board or skirting. The illustration on the right should provide a good example. Stringers provide a much cleaner final appearance in our opinion but this customer preferred existing drywall on the sides of the steps.

In this case, stringers provide no added strength to the steps as they aren't attached to the stairs but the wall board itself. We would recommend having them painted or stained prior to installing the hardwood. Expect to do some minor touch up once the steps are completed as there will be some minor scraping and marring during the installation.

What to buy? How to measure for the job? Typical step construction measures 11 inches in depth for the step itself and approximately 6 3/4 inches for the riser. Step being the area that is stepped on and riser provides the face of the step. Common stairs in our example measure 36 inches across.


RISER -- 3/4" thick, various widths, used to create the vertical "rise" in the step.

TREAD -- 1" to 1-1/16" thick, 8" to 12" wide, the actual step surface.

NOSE (Nosing) -- also called stair nose, bull nose, stairwell trim, landing tread. Thickness is same as flooring( 3/4" or floor material is sometimes used). These are used to create finished edges on the top step, around stairwell, sunken living room, etc. Finished moldings should match your floor or be painted to match other nearby trims. The detail of using the correct moldings makes for a good installation, and speaks well of the installer. Make sure these details are addressed before or during the installation.