We talk about the different parts of a staircase including the walls string, the stair string, glue blocks, stair wedges, closed string, open string, balusters, newel posts, newel cap, handrail, balustrade, stair nosing, risers and treads, support carriage and tread support brackets. We have diagrams on how stairs are put together and information on the timber joints used to make them up.
Interestingly the word balustrade is often misunderstood. It is a French word coming from a description of a pomegranate seed as it opens and describes a row of balusters capped by a rail (handrail in the case of stairs) but most often seen, at the time on top of parapet walls where the balusters (uprights) were rounded at the bottom and went smoothly up to meet the stone capping. This design of baluster is still used today as can be seen from the image.
Throughout history staircases have been made grand. Marble staircases leading to elaborate quarters of royalty. Concrete staircases going on for miles in blocks of high-rise flats. Stone staircases in the Tower of London and even the enormous staircase called Jacobs Ladder at Cheddar Gorge in Somerset
In our decorating section we show you how to decorate a hall, stairs and landing and how to tackle this safely with a standard DIY scaffold in the stairwell to allow you to get to the top of the stair bulkhead ceiling. We deal with toilets and cupboards under the stairs and how to make the most of the storage room available.