Orlestone Oak Staircases

Staircase Terminology

Newel Post - the load-bearing post at the bottom of a staircase. Newel posts are also used to support the handrail. They can be turned (see example>), plain square posts (see example>), or decorated square posts (see example>)

Finial or Newel Cap -The tops of newel posts can be left plain (see example>) or finished with individually carved post tops (see example>). Individually designed newel posts can be manufactured to your require (see example>)

Baluster or Spindle - the vertical post between the handrail and baserail. Spindles can be stop-chamfered, which are quite plain (see example>) or turned, which can be of any rotational design. See example>

Handrail - a length of timber which has been profiled to make it comfortable to hold in the hand. Handrails usually run in straight lengths between newel posts. See example>

Continuous Handrail - straight or curved lengths of handrail joined together and fitted to the tops of newels to create a continuous handrail. See example>

Balustrade - handrail, baserail, newel, spindle and cap assembly. See example>

Bullnose - a quarter circle extension to the bottom step creating a much larger bottom step. See example>

Volute - The decorative end of a handrail as an alternative to a finial or newel cap.

Nosing - the edge of the tread overhanging beyond the riser and the face of a cut string. See example>

Open tread - a staircase with treads only and no risers. See example>

STRING - the diagonal edge of the staircase where spindles join the treads.
Closed String - the treads and risers of the staircase profile are encased in an angled housing. See example>
Cut or Open String - the diagonal edge is cut away to reveal the shape of the treads and risers in profile. See example>

Treads and risers - the vertical and horizontal surface of the steps. For a solid oak staircase the treads and risers will be constructed from oak. If the staircase is to be carpeted MDF can be used for the treads and risers. See example>

Winders - Triangular or wedge shaped steps used where a staircase turns a corner. See example>

Quarter Landing - a square area, the same dimensions as the stair width, where the staircase turns a 90° corner.

Half-landing - A rectangular area where a staircase changes directon by 180°.


Orlestone Oak Staircases
  • Orlestone Oak staircases are bespoke, hand made, and turned from European oak.
  • Our standard 4, 5 and 6 inch newels are made from one solid piece of oak, not two pieces sandwiched together, which ensures a better finish and which will not split.
  • Other types of hardwood or softwood can be used in staircase construction.
  • Treads and risers can be made from solid oak, or MDF if the staircase is to be carpeted.
  • Our services include design, build and installation of internal and external staircases.
  • Orlestone Oak can undertake repairs and renovation to period oak staircases and balustrades.
  • Oak staircase features such as hand rails, newels and newel caps can be made to your original design and dimensions.
  • Our traditional acorn newel cap is a popular choice.
  • Newels can be hand carved with motifs to your original design.
  • Stop chamfered spindles are our standard and most popular design but we can also produce turned spindles.
Orlestone Oak Sawmill, Nickley Wood, Shadoxhurst, Ashford, Kent TN26 1LZ
T: 01233 732179 F: 01233 732241 E: sales@orlestoneoak.co.uk
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