What parts do you need to build a staircase?

The staircase is something we take for granted as everyone has one (unless you live in a flat or bungalow) but there’s a lot more to making one of these structures than you might think.

So let’s have a look at the individual bits and pieces needed to make a staircase.

Newel post

These are the central pillars on staircases and usually support handrails or bannisters. Spiral staircases or those with any sort of turn will need more than one and they’re available in lots of different materials and styles.

Newel caps

You’ll need these to sit on top of your newel posts to give them a lovely finish.


Stairs should have a handrail on at least one side if they’re more than one metre wide (or both sides if wider). They can be fitted to the wall with a bracket or to your newel posts, and you can match them to your posts or go for something different with a contrasting handrail.


Possibly the most important part of a staircase, treads are where your feet ‘tread’ when you walk up and down stairs. Usually, they’re made of wood in domestic properties though you can find them in a range of materials to suit any environment.


Staircase spindles are the individual pillars where handrails are fixed to with newel posts at either end. They’re usually smaller and thinner than newel posts but should be of a similar design and made of the same material so your staircase spindles matches your staircase.


Staircase strings or stringers are the housings on either side of the treads. When constructing a staircase, treads and risers are fixed into the string or stringer. They can be closed to hide the edge of the stairs from view or cut to display the side profile of each step. To give your staircase a bit of personality, add a design or bracket to your string.

Base rail

A base rail is where your spindles sit on your staircase. You can match the base rail to your string and spindles to give an overall attractive look and feel.


Risers are the vertical bits on a staircase attached to the treads. They can be open in design if you want a gap in your staircase, and there are lots of different design you can add in now, including glass risers, dowel risers and bull-nosed risers.

You can find all these stair parts and much more online at Pear Stairs and Wonkee Donkee Richard Burbridge.