Fitts Wood and Iron Stair Components

gl o s s a ry The Staircase • In Simple Terms gl o s s a ry t e b a s i c s

Baluster: A support used to fill the open area between the rail and the stair tread or knee wall. Balustrade: A complete rail system that includes the handrail, balusters, and newel posts. Box Newel Post: An oversized square newel that is usually hollow and is used in a post-to-post balustrade system. Bullnose Starting Step or Tread: A starting tread that has one or both ends rounded to a semi- circle and projects beyond the face of the stair stringer. Fitting Cap: The part of the fitting that accepts the newel post; used in conjunction with a pin top newel in an over-the-post A piece attached to the end of a rough tread to simulate solid wood treads, usually with a carpet runner down the steps. Fillet: A thin strip that is usually flat on one side and fits into the plow of a piece of handrail. Gooseneck: A fitting that is used in the transition of a handrail to a landing or balcony; compensates for the change in the rise of the stair and may make a change in direction. Handrail: The top rail used in a balustrade system; provides a gripping surface for added support. Handrail Fitting: A part used in a balustrade to compensate for a change in direction. Handrail fittings can be used in both post-to-post and over-the-post balustrade systems. Handrail Height: balustrade system. False Tread Caps: The vertical distance between the upper surface of the top rail and the leading edge of the tread or the finished floor. Landing: A horizontal platform at the end of a flight or between two flights of stairs, usually used to make a change in direction. Landing Newel: A post used on an intermediate or second floor (balcony); generally used where there is a change in direction or where a rake rail meets a level rail.

Landing Tread: A part used as the tread on a landing that forms a level surface with the finished floor on the second floor (balcony). Also used as a level surface to attach balusters. Newel: A large vertical column or post to which the handrail is attached. Newels provide structural support for the balustrade. Nosing: The part of a tread that extends beyond the riser; can also extend beyond the fascia on a balcony. Open Stair: A stair that is open on one or both sides, thus allowing riser and treads to be visible. Over Easing: A convex rail fitting used to transition from a rake rail to a level rail. Over-the-Post: A balustrade system in which the handrail runs over the post and is continuous (uninterrupted). Plowed Handrail: A recessed area in the bottom of a handrail or in the top of a shoe rail; the square top and bottom of a baluster is designed to fit into the plow. Post-to-Post: A balustrade system in which the handrail runs between the newel post, with the top of the post projecting above the rail. Quarter Turn: A rail fitting that makes a 90 degree or right angle turn. Quarter Turn Cap: A quarter turn cap is made to mount on top of a pin top newel in an over-the-post rail system. Rake: The angle or slope of a stairway that is determined by the rise and run. Rake Rail: Rail section that runs parallel to the slope of the stairs. Rise: The vertical distance from one tread in a stair to the next. Riser: The vertical face of a stair step.


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f i tts | glossary

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