Standard Stairs Dimensions – Which are By Regulations

Standard Stairs Dimensions for Houses you will need to know, to build a two-story house well and safely.

Many people who want to make their own home need to have a minimum knowledge of design and construction, and among these are knowing what the measurements of a staircase are . There are many types of stairs and each one has its particular characteristics.

In the process of designing and building the STAIRS, there are some elements and concepts that must be taken into account before starting. Read on for everything you need to know about stair design and measurements.

What are the Measurements of a Staircase

Before beginning to analyze, what are the measurements of stairs for houses, let’s review some important elements that must be taken into account for the design and construction of interior stairs in a home.

What are the measurements of a ladder
Ladder with 2 branches of metal and wood

Among the important elements to consider are the following:

Parts of a Staircase

Among the main parts of a ladder are:

  • The step: which is made up of the tread and the riser.
  • Footprint: Horizontal part of the step or rung. We place our foot on the footprint when we go up or down the stairs
  • Riser: is the vertical (or slightly inclined) part of the step. Join two consecutive footprints.
  • Branch or section: a branch or section is made up of several (up to 16 or 18) steps and is also made up of the stair ramp.
  • Ladder ramp: it is the part that is located below the steps, and that supports the ladder and the steps.
  • Start: area from where the ladder leaves.
  • Landing: area where the ladder ends.
  • Break: We have a break between two consecutive branches
  • Railings: elements on both sides and that accompany the stairs, separated by about 90 centimeters and are used to support people and their safety.

If you want to see more ABOUT THE PARTS of a ladder, you can continue with the link.

parts of a ladder
Parts of a concrete staircase

Types of Stairs that We Can Have at Home

Among the main types of stairs are:

  • straight stairs
  • spiral stairs
  • 2-section stairs
  • U-shaped stairs
  • Stairs in “L”
  • Stairs with 3 sections

Location of Interior Stairs

The stairs inside a house are usually located in the following places:

  • Stairs at the entrance
  • corner stairs
  • Stairs in the hall
  • Stairs in a corridor
  • Stairs in a courtyard
  • Stairs in the middle of a hall

The types of stairs and the location that we give them inside the house are closely related, since one influences the other and vice versa. For this reason, it is that when designing a staircase, these two aspects must be considered at the same time.

If you want to see a more extensive analysis on WHERE TO LOCATE THE STAIRS IN A HOUSE, follow this link.

At the same time it is necessary to consider the space and the area that is available for the location of a certain type of staircase. And it is there, where we begin to see and wonder… what are the measures of stairs for houses .

what are the measurements of a ladder
2-Branch metal ladder.

Stairs Regulatory Measures

First of all, we will discuss What are the Standard Measurements of an interior Staircase for a house.

The world is full of stairs, with small stairs, standard stairs or decorative and monumental stairs. All of them have their regulatory measures.

The interior stairs of a house are architectural and structural elements, which are used for vertical circulation and communication between one level and another of the house. 

But in addition, they constitute elements that are integrated into the decoration and interior design, so they must be treated with care and a level of taste and adequate details.

Interior stairs can enhance the space where they are located, or they can end up being annoying elements, both aesthetically and functionally.

What are the Standard Measurements of a Staircase?

A standard staircase width of 1 meter is considered. Likewise, steps with a tread of 280 cm and a riser of 18 cm are generally accepted. 

The slope of the stair ramp is usually around 35 degrees and the usual height of the handrails is 90 centimeters. In the case of a straight concrete stair, the thickness of the slab or ramp is normally 150mm.

internal staircase
2-flight steel staircase.

What are the Minimum Measurements of an Interior Staircase

The correct design of a staircase, whether metal or concrete (these are the most used materials today), depends on its measurements and the shape that we give it, and must satisfy the requirements of different people, throughout its entire life. useful life.Once they are built, it is a headache, to be able to change them and change the space around them.

In small houses and confined spaces, we need small stairs that fit the existing minimum space. So we need to know what are the minimum measurements of a ladder. Let’s look at some Stair Standards from different countries. Let’s see…

What are the Measurements of the Steps of a Staircase?

In the case of risers, they will always be closed, and the steps must have a constant height and depth along the entire length of the stair. Small deviations of 5% are accepted , which is almost imperceptible. Steps with overhangs should be avoided to minimize tripping hazards and the effects of falls.

Step Measurements – Minimum Measurements

Here we must go to Blodel’s Law , which establishes the following:

1 tread + 2 risers = 62 – 65 cm

The reason for this formula is that an average person usually travels between 62 to 65 centimeters for each step they take. And going up or down stairs is also a type of natural displacement, which occurs, but with an inclination, for which reason these values ​​stated in the Blondel formula or Law are taken as a reference, so as not to have to take very large or too short steps, and avoid a sudden and uncomfortable rise or fall.

Notwithstanding this, each country establishes its own measures of stairs for houses and design requirements, establishing certain minimum measures for the steps, specifically in internal stairs for the house.

Measurements of a ladder
Stair with 310mm tread and 173mm riser (inclined risers)
Step or Footprint Measurements

The minimum measures of the counterpass or footprint differ from one country to another. However, we will see some of them.

For example, in Spain , the minimum footprint is considered to be 28 cm for public spaces, according to the Technical Building Code (CTE). It also points out that in restricted-use stairs (those that are not for public or commercial use) the minimum footprint will be 22cm.

In Mexico , a step of 26 centimeters would be the minimum to design an interior staircase in a home.

In Peru, a minimum of 25 cm is established for the passage of a staircase in a residential building. They clarify in their technical code that residential stairs cannot be of the spiral type, this is for stairs for public use.

measures of stairs for houses
Cutaway view of a straight staircase

The measurements of stairs for houses in some Central American countries would be at least 27 centimeters for the footprint, although 28 cm is usually used.

In Germany , for a long time, a footprint of 28 centimeters has been considered as a minimum for a duplex house.

Measures of the counterpass or riser

In Spain , the minimum riser is considered to be 13 cm and the maximum riser can be 20 cm (stairs with restricted use).

In Mexico , a step of 15 centimeters would be the minimum to design an interior staircase in a home.

In some Central American countries , 16 centimeters would be the minimum for a stair riser.

In Germany , the minimum riser is set at 17 cm for the interior of a duplex house. In other stairs (non-essential stairs), such as those in a basement or to go up to the roof, the minimum width can be 50 cm.

So, what is the measure of the step and counterstep of a staircase? As a general rule, the following relationships can be taken, which would be minimal, between tread and riser (17 / 27 cm) or (17 / 28 cm).

Minimum Width of an Interior Staircase of a House

It is clarified that these measures of stairs for houses always refer to a staircase for the interior of the house, since for external stairs or in stairwells of residential buildings, the minimum dimensions would be different.

what are the measurements of a ladder
Staircase with step and counterstep of 20 centimeters and inclination of 45 degrees, width of 50 centimeters.

So, the measurement of the minimum width is generally established at 80 centimeters for a staircase inside a home.

On the other hand, when it comes to a residential building, with up to 2 houses, the stairs (interior or exterior) to go up to the house on the upper floor must be a minimum of 80 centimeters.

For example, for stairs in stairwells, outside the dwelling (residential buildings with more than 2 dwellings), 1.0 meter wide stairs are required).

Measures of Stairs for Houses: Rest of the Stairs

It is recommended that a landing measure at least the same as 3 Footprints. For example, if the tread is 28 cm, then the landing will measure 84 cm wide, since the length of the landing is established by the width of the branch, or the width of the two branches together, if it were a staircase in “OR”.

When sizing the rest, it must be taken into account if the staircase is going to be used to enter or remove furniture. In the event that the way to remove or enter furniture is the staircase, the landing must be given a greater width, so the recommended minimum measurements should be 1.25 to 1.40 meters wide.

Minimum and Maximum Slope of an Interior Stair

In small spaces and houses, the inclination that is needed for a staircase will be greater. To calculate the angle of inclination of a ladder, it is necessary to know the height to be saved and the length in plan that the ladder can take.

measurements of a ladder
Measurements of stairs for houses: slopes and inclination of a staircase

If we want to obtain the angle of inclination of the stairs, already having these two data (height to save and length in plan of the stairs), it can be calculated as follows…

A very simple and practical way of taking degrees to percent inclination is… We take the value of ( length of the stair / height that goes over the stair / 100 ). The result of this calculation should give approximately between 30 and 45 percent incline grade.

If you want to convert to degrees of incline, use this relationship: 1  degree  equals approximately 1.75  percent , or 0.573 degrees equals 1% incline. 

The maximum inclination of the stairs will depend on the relationship established between the tread and the riser. In other words, if the minimum measurements for the tread and the riser are respected, then the minimum and acceptable inclination that the stair ramp can take will be obtained.

Relationship between degrees and percent of incline (slope of a stair)
Relationship between degrees and percent of incline (slope of a stair)

In general, it is considered that the inclination should be in the order of 20 to 45 degrees of inclination , for interior stairs of a house. Values ​​closer to 30 degrees of inclination produce more comfortable slopes.

For a tread/riser ratio of 17 / 29 cm, the slope that is created is 30 degrees. (This value may vary slightly, depending on the slope or design of the riser.)

stair riser design
Riser design. Taken from the Book “Art of Projecting in Architecture”

For a tread/riser ratio of 18 / 27 cm, the slope that is created is 35 degrees. (This value may vary slightly, depending on the slope or design of the riser.)

What is the Ideal Height between the Ladder and the Ceiling?

The space between the ladder and the ceiling must be at least 2.0 meters. Likewise, this measurement may vary from one country to another, depending on the average height of its population.

In general, a comfortable free height above the ladder can be in the order of 2.1 to 2.2 meters of free space. on the ladder. This is necessary to maintain a level of security for all people, as well as a level of psychological and visual comfort when going up and down the stairs.

What is the height that the handrails should have?

The minimum height that the handrails must have is 80 centimeters and the maximum height of the handrail over the stair tread is 95 to 100 cm. This height is measured from the edge of the tread to the top of the handrail.

handrail height stair measurements
Measurements of stairs for houses: height of handrails

The standard measurement for the placement of the handrails is 90 centimeters.

Handrails must be placed on stairs that have 4 or more steps.

The stair handrails must be extended by about 30 cm, beyond the first and last steps, “according to Spanish regulations”.

How many steps should a ladder have?

In some countries it is established that there should not be more than 16 to 17 consecutive steps in a branch or flight of stairs.

measures of stairs for houses
Staircase from 17 to 18 steps (plan view)

In other countries, such as Germany, a maximum of 18 consecutive steps has been specified for the same branch. In the following image, you can see a straight stair design, which has just 18 steps or steps. In this staircase design, it is worth noting the pleasant combination of concrete and wood steps.

measures of stairs for houses
It is a minimalist staircase design, with 18 steps

In the case of stairs with two U-shaped branches, stairs in stairwells of multi-story buildings, each branch should not have more than 16 steps, which would result in a maximum of 32 steps (adding the two branches) for reach the next level.

What are the Ideal Measurements of a Staircase ?

In the case of the steps , which is almost always the most demanding part to solve, a ratio of 310 mm and 160 mm of tread and riser is accepted. 

This relationship is established in this way, since it is suggested that the inclination of the stairs is the most comfortable to go up and down, and the one that requires less energy from the person when climbing the stairs. 

However, the most commonly used measurements are 17 to 18 cm riser and 28 cm tread.

In the case of stairs for the interior of a house, it is very difficult to give ideal measurements for its design. 

When reviewing the measurements of stairs for houses, it is necessary to try that each staircase adapts to the space and environment in which it is located. 

Its design must be associated with the interior design of the house and with the tastes and needs of each family .

two-branch ladder
two-branch ladder

The regulations are drawn up to serve as a guide, especially for the professional or designer, who should consult them almost always, since they must not only articulate what concerns the design of stairs, but also all spaces and rooms, their functionality and decoration, in this case of a home.

The most important thing is to consult the regulations, interpret them and adapt them to each design situation that arises , respecting the essence of what the standards for the design of stairs propose, that is, understanding the objective of a certain statement of the regulations and applying it in depending on this, the existing conditions, and our tastes and needs.

Some time ago, we published an article showing 100 STAIR DESIGNS , with examples that can be used for inspiration. However, each space is unique, and therefore, the design of the staircase must be treated independently of pre-conceived models.

What are the Measurements of a Concrete Staircase ?

Concrete stairs are more durable and resistant. If you want to reduce construction costs and for your staircase to have a useful life of more than 50 years, with minimal maintenance costs, a concrete or concrete staircase is the perfect choice.

The measurements of a concrete staircase do not differ from those that have already been explained here.

It is highly recommended to hire a specialist if you want to design and build a concrete staircase, as this will ensure a quality staircase for the interior of your home. 

This element (for example, a concrete staircase with an atypical design) can become one of the most complicated to design and build, since its reconsideration on site is not as simple as some would like.

You can see examples of STAIRCASE PLANS WITH DIMENSIONS , with different designs and their measurements.

When building concrete stairs inside your house,  you must use the correct mix of concrete  (sand – cement – ​​pea gravel) and place an adequate amount of steel or rebar, and this is known to a construction professional, be it an engineer or an architect. In this way, the stairs will support their weight and resist the load of use for many years in a row.

Be sure to consult a structural engineer or architect to comply with local building codes.

solid concrete staircase
Solid concrete staircase, does not require steel reinforcement

A suitable concrete staircase must have at least 3 steps or steps and a width of 80 cm for a home interior. 

Concrete stairs already have a certain margin of safety guaranteed (especially aesthetic-visual and psychological) since, being made of reinforced concrete, they need a greater thickness than metal stairs. Thicknesses of more than 12 cm are recommended for your ramp.

The reinforced concrete stairs have the goodness of being veneered with wood, leaving a very pleasant visual aesthetic. 

The construction measurements of a concrete staircase must take into account, in advance, that once veneered, the measurements will change, and this would affect the treads and risers.

What are the Minimum Measurements of a Spiral Staircase ?

This type of stairs are curved and develop in a circular way from a central axis, where the mast or column that supports the steps is located. They are ideal stairs for small spaces, since they do not have rest and can be developed and built in 2 square meters.

They differ from helical stairs , since the latter present a more open development and in the form of an ellipse, occupying more area or space. In addition, the helical stairs do not have a central pole to support the steps and do have an eye or open space in the center.

measures of stairs for houses
Measures of stairs for houses : spiral staircase
spiral staircase
3D spiral staircase

Spiral staircases are basically made up of a central column, steps and railings. The steps are fixed on the column and central axis, and the railing bars are anchored to the sides of the steps.

Spiral staircases must also meet requirements, for reasons of safety and comfort for use. Among them, we have the following:

  • They will have a minimum diameter of 1.70 m.
  • The minimum diameter of the supporting column will be 0.10 m (metal column).
  • The riser will also not exceed 0.20 m.
  • The footprints, on their smaller side, close to the central axis, will not be less than 5cm.
  • The corrugated laminated steel treads will have a minimum thickness of 5mm, and may be supported by angles, according to the structure calculation.

The width of the spiral stairs  should not be less than 80 cm, and will never be less than 50 cm.

Minimum Measures of a Spiral Staircase
Minimum free height on each step, must be 2.0 meters

In spiral stairs, the slope is usually steeper than straight stairs. This feature is related to the free height above the steps, which should be a minimum of 2.0 meters.

In spiral staircases the minimum width of the tread must reach 22 cm. Likewise, the outer edge of the footprint must not exceed 44 cm.

internal spiral staircase
Left turn spiral staircase

Spiral staircases  can be right turn or left turn. In this type of stairs, greater caution must be taken, as they are usually more dangerous, so during the design and construction all measures must be taken and all the requirements and details that a professional design proposes must be met.

It is recommended that the turn, during the ascent, be to the right. This allows the right hand to have the greatest role in gripping the railing during the descent.

The materials used are usually wood and steel, which are very light, although they can also be built with reinforced concrete.

If you want, you can see more STAIRCASE DESIGNS from here.

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