Oak Staircases - Technical


Below is a brief summary of the key areas your need to consider when looking for an oak staircase.

Most staircases fall within Building Regulations Part K so please call 01423 593794 if you need help.

Glossary of Parts


Below is the main terminology used when designing an oak staircase.


Tread – The actual step you stand on

Riser – The vertical piece of oak between treads

Stringer – The main diagonal support either side of the steps

Newel Post – The main vertical support at the base and top of the staircase

Open String – A design to allow the end of the steps to be open

Kite Winder – A triangular piece of oak design to create a corner

Half Landing – An area where the staircase doubles back on itself

Quarter Landing – An area where the staircase rotates 90 degrees

oak staircase
Stair Parts Diagram

Full Installation v Over Cladding

This option will depend on your circumstances, budget and attitude towards a new oak staircases.

A full installation will give you the opportunity to design an oak staircase to fit within your hallway and landing areas.  The installation will need to comply with building regulations if it is a new staircase for a new dwelling.

A full installation will allow you to change decide on where the steps start and finish.

From a timescale point of view, a full installation can be the same as over cladding depending on the oak staircases complexity and design.

Full over cladding can be time consuming but provides a more cost effective way of creating an oak staircase from your original stairs.

oak staircase
Q. Over Clad or New? A. Over Clad

Glazing Options

Glazing options have become more popular over the years.

The glass, as described in building regulations, states that any glazing below 800mm needs to be toughened.  From a safety point of view, any exposed edges need to be polished.

A general thickness of glass would be 10mm.

Another technical detail would be the colour of the glass.  In general the thicker the glass the more of a ‘green tint’ appears.  As an alternative, a ‘low iron’ or ‘ultra white’ glass can be used giving a more clearer appearance.

glass for oak staircases
Ultra White glass shown on the top

Building Regulations

The basics of complying to building regulations are as follows:

  • Oak staircases should have a maximum rise of 220mm and a minimum going of 220mm
  • They should have a maximum pitch of 42°
  • Flights should have a handrail on at least one side if they are less than one metre wide and on both sides if they are wider than this
  • Handrails on stairs and landings should have a minimum height of 900mm
  • No openings of any balustrading should allow the passage of a 100mm sphere
  • A minimum of 2,000mm of clear headroom is required above the pitch line


For detailed information, please download Building Regulations Part K

part K

For expert advice, further prices and general help, call 01423 593794