Balusters: Vertical posts which help support the handrail and comprise an integral design element in the formation of the balustrade.
Balustrade: Refers to the collection of newels, balusters and handrail on a staircase.
Box Newel: A large, square, solid or hollow newel used in post-to-post balustrade systems.
Bull nose: Used as a starting step - a tread and riser assembly that has one or both sides finished in a radius.
Cap: A widened area of a fitting that typically sits on the newel post in an over-the-post balustrade system.
Fillet: Strips which are used to fill the plowed spaces between square top balusters on plowed handrail and shoe rail.
Fittings: Specially designed stair parts which provide a smooth transition during handrail height changes or handrail directional changes. Examples: volutes, turnouts, starting easing, and goose necks.
Goose neck: A handrail fitting used at a landing or balcony to complete a smooth transition between varying heights. A goose neck consists of an up-easing, a vertical rail drop and a level cap.
Handrail: The horizontal member of a balustrade system that sits on top of the balusters and is supported by newel posts.
Landing Newel: A newel post positioned at a landing or balcony.
Level Quarter turn: A level handrail fitting which turns 90 degrees.
Newel Posts: Larger in diameter than balusters, newel posts form the major support of the balustrade system. Newel posts are located at the bottom and top of a staircase, and positioned at turns and support positions for the balcony rail.
Nosing: The portion of a tread or landing tread which protrudes beyond the face of the riser.
Over-the-Post: A balustrade system which utilizes fittings to smoothly transition over newel posts forming a fluid line of continuous handrail.
Plow: A routed bottom section of the handrail or shoe rail used for inserting square top balusters. The gaps between the balusters are covered with fillet.
Post-to-Post:A balustrade system which features handrail that runs between finial-topped newel posts that project above the rail at specified intervals.
Rake: The slope or angle of the staircase. The angle of ascent is determined by the rise and run.
Rise: The vertical measurement from the top of one tread to the top of the next tread.
Riser: The vertical component of a step which in conjunction with the stringers, supports the treads.
Rosette: A decorative piece of wood which ends the handrail into the wall.
Run: The horizontal distance measured by the entire stairway.
Shoe Molding: A quarter round molding strip used to attractively finish the bottom of the starting step where the riser meets the floor.
Shoe Rail: A molding piece running along the floor of the landing or balcony which is plowed for the insertion of balusters and fillet and provides a professional finish.
Starting Newel: The first newel used at the bottom of a staircase.
Starting Step:The first tread and riser at the bottom of the staircase.
Stringers: A supporting structure which runs the length of the stairway and supports the treads, risers, and balustrade system.
Tread: The horizontal member of the staircase that forms the portion of the stair upon which one walks.
Tread Brackets: A decorative molding which is fastened to the outside of the stringer.
Volute: A handrail fitting which is typically used on a starting newel and curves away from the stair in a circular manner.