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To calculate the staircase, it's important to take accurate measurements of the stairs. Here Christian is measuring correctly the total rise of the stairs from the bottom of the first floor to the top of the second floor.

To calculate the staircase, it’s important to take accurate measurements of the stairs. Here Christian is measuring correctly the total rise of the stairs from the bottom of the first floor to the top of the second floor.

 

As if counting stairs wasn’t tricky enough, let’s look at how to measure them. 🙂

 

Definition of stairs

Stairs are a series of steps on a stringer that lead from one level or floor to another.

A step consists of a

– tread, the top surface of a step or stair, and a

– riser, the vertical section between the treads of a staircase.

The stringer is the inclined beam that supports the steps, quasi the backbone of the stairs.

Sometimes the tread overhangs the riser to create more space for feet, this is called nosing.

 

How to measure stairs

You measure the total rise of a staircase from the bottom of the first floor to the top of the second floor.

Note: Ensure this measurement goes to the top of the second floor, not to the bottom of it. Remember from ‘How to count stairs‘ that the staircase includes the landing, so the last step up onto the landing is the last stair to count. Accordingly the height of the stairs reaches to the top of the last stair, the last tread. It is easy to forget calculating in the last tread as it often continues into the landing and as such is not visually separated as a stair.

 

The total run is measured from the first riser to the last riser.

This is pretty straightforward and also helps when counting stairs: The number of risers is equal to the number of steps.

As you look at the staircase, each part that goes up vertically is a riser. The first riser starts on the bottom floor and connects to the first tread. The last riser starts on the second-last tread and reaches up to the top landing, which is the last tread.

Note: The nose has no impact on the total run or the tread depth. However, when you’re looking to lay carpet on your stairs, you need to calculate the nosing in.

 

 

 

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