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Stairworks, Inc manufactures and installs wood stairs and handrails. The area's premier wood staircase manufacturer specilizing in wooden circular staircases. Providing high quality stair products and services to homeowners, remodelers, contractors and builders in Eastern PA and Souther NJ.

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Stair Terminology


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.
Bullnose: 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 easings, and goosenecks.
Gooseneck: A handrail fitting used at a landing or balcony to complete a smooth transition between varying heights. A gooseneck 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 Quarterturn: 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 shoerail 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.