Gunatilaka, Ajith, Angela Clapperton, and Erin Cassell. To understand the role of the nose or edges of stair treads and the importance of a secure stair tread edge that does not break or collapse, look closely at our photo at left. California is the one exception where they Require 42 "guards. Participate in discussions on the finer points about building stairs. retrieved 8/29/2012, [43] International Building Code, Stairway Provisions, Section 1009: Stairways and Handrails, retrieved 8/29/12, original source: [copy on file as IBC Stairs Code.pdf], [44] Model Building Code, Chapter 10, Means of Egress, retrieved 8/29/12, original source:, [copy on file as NJ_Bldg_Chapter10.pdf] adopted, for example by New Jersey. Handrails are required on one side of the stairs with 4 or more risers 34” to 38” above stair nosing. The greatest [stair tread] nosing projection shall not exceed the smallest nosing projection by more than 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) between two stories, including the nosing at the level of floors and landings. The stair treads looked fine but someone stepping on the un-supported edge of the stair tread cover simply broke it away and fell down the stairs. Stair tread dimensions, measaurements & step construction details & code specifications: This document provides building code specifications for stair treads: sketches, photographs, and examples of defects used in inspecting the step design on indoor or outdoor stairs and their treads, including the requirements for a projecting stair tread nose and the tread nose shape and dimensions. The deck joist span is distance between supporting beams below the joists. We will teach you how to cut stair stringers to meet code for rise and run step limits. Predictable and preventable missteps that are not “slips, trips and falls,” but. Is this different in commercial buildings? ​​​​​The city will tell you right up front what the setbacks from property lines or sidewalks are. But the optimal projection design may be different in avoiding ascending versus descending stair falls as well as the injury risks different in ascent from descent. Nagata, H. (1985). Building evacuation: Research findings and recommendations. Through bolts, lag screws or expansion anchors should be at least 1/2 "in diameter. Handrail ends shall be returned or end in newel posts. The city will tell you right up front what the setbacks from property lines or sidewalks are. Input your elevation change and this will figure out your rises and runs, Maximum 36 "oc solid stringer spacing for 2" thick treads, Maximum 18 "oc notched stringer spacing for 2" or 5/4 "thick treads, Maximum nosing of 0.75 "to 1.25" - maximum nosing radius of 9/16 ", Closed risers: minimal nominal 1" thick riser material, Handrails must not project inwards more than 4.5" on either side of stairway. otection 2013, Tokyo. Construction Details: Guardrails • Stairs • Handrail All decks 30” high or more above finished grade, are required to have a guardrail. UK, BRE Information Paper IP 15/03. accessibility standards based on a 30-degree slope limit for the closed riser, relative to vertical. R311.7.5 Stair treads and risers. 4 (2012): 270-284. not pass code. Open risers are permitted, provided that the opening between treads does not permit the passage of a 4-inch diameter (102 mm) sphere. Deck stair handrails height should be at least 34 vertical inches from stair tread nosing to the top of the stair handrail. The radius of curvature at the leading edge of the [stair] tread shall be no greater than 9 / 16 inch (14.3 mm). A 36 ”rail measured from the top of rail to the deck surface is required. Check with your local county or city hall to see if there are any easements or covenants on the title of your land that grant access to the city. Material: HOW TO PICK THE RIGHT MATERIAL? Understanding and Preventing Falls: An Ergonomics Approach (2004): 42. Where the nosing overhang is formed by simply sloping the riser structure to alter pitch—to improve usability and safety. Pauls, J. The broken stair tread nosing photos above illustrate this hazard found in an art center in New York City - a public space. permitted. All Rights Reserved. provided along with citations by Pauls and Barkow, 2013, within The previously-hidden danger on the stair treads shown below was that someone, trying to make the stairs more safe, installed rubber stair tread covers that projected past a broken stair tread nose. the problem of narrow treads From Research to Practice [27] "The Dimensions of Stairs", J. M. Fitch et al., [28] Stair & Walkway Standards for Slipperiness or Coefficient of Friction (COF) or Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF), NSFI 101-B  (National Floor Safety Institute), NSFI Walkway Auditing Guideline (WAG) Ref. At this point, one might have a suspicion that the cause of the problem is Thank you! The 1/2" difference in dimension is due to a 1/2" stainless steel accent strip being inserted around the edge of the tread. Understand what design loads and safety factors for testing are. learn more about building decks from builders and people like you. If that stair tread edge or nose is sloped, uneven, slippery, damaged, or worse, breaks during use, a fall is likely. The handrail should reach a height of 34 to 38 inches above the stair nosing. Residential Landings, Decks, Stairs and Railings MAY 2001 This brochure provides answers to commonly asked questions about the design, construction and place-ment of landings, decks, stairs and railings for site -built and manufactured homes. The undersides of nosings shall not be abrupt. Proprietary nosings for non-domestic stairs. The code has some very specific requirements for deck stairs: Stair rails on decks should be between 34 inches and 38 inches high, measured vertically from the nose of the tread to the top of the rail. MIT Even in the case of that prohibition, the shape or profile of the leading edge of the step tread remains an important design feature to resist falls. Your selection of decking material will determine the maximum spacing of your joist. The first step up is 9" and the last step up is 3". Journal of Assistive Technologies 6, no. (1980). You should also know the size of the post you are considering to use. In a building with a staircase, how big should the area be at the bottom of the stairs be for safety? anti slip nosing Fires and Human Behaviour, John Wiley and Sons, 256-258. Pauls quotes Templer (1992) in a very helpful summary of the concern and of the recommendations about stair tread nose projections as I quote below, followed by Pauls' own conclusions in the Pauls PDF included in the citations I've provided, some careful thought has gone into the debate thus far. The illustration and comments below are adapated/excerpted from Jake Pauls (undated) PDF on the topic, retrieved 5/22/14 and cited in the references just below. "relating stair nosing projection, tread run dimension, shoe geometry, descent biomechanics, user expectations, overstepping missteps, and closed-riser heel scuff missteps." (ed.) Connection Diagrams:   FIVE DIFFERENT TECHNIQUES. Deck Stair Code Information from IRC 2009. - DF. decade after Templer, 1992, the needed convincing evidence was published; highlights are . What you will notice from this checklist is that there is not really a specific deck building code per se. It’s hard to say there’s a “best practice,” but the building code gives some guidance on good principles that should be followed to ensure a safe and long-lasting set of exterior stairs. Guards are required when then deck is 24 "(60 cm) above grade. Thirty-six inches is the most common residential height, but some jurisdictions vary. Below the stel plate is another 36" x 10" tread, for design purposes. Professional Deck Builder • May 2018 Building Bracketed Stairs 40 nose overhang (code requires a minimum projection of 3⁄4 inch and a maximum projection of 1 1 ⁄4 inches) and 1 1⁄2 inches for the 2x10 riser thickness. Or use the SEARCH BOX found below to Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia. MIT press, 1995. Stair treads shall be no less than 11 in (280 mm) wide, measured from riser to riser. (2013). reflecting widespread confusion about the term which now means “the leading edge of the tread.”, 7.2. Learn the math and how to trace out the number and size of rises and runs to cut out your stair stringer. I (D Friedman not Pauls) suggest that in assessing stair tread nose designs we must distinguish between falls when ascending a stair vs. falls when descending the stair. 4 (1986): 171-181. are covered in the Technical Bulletin, “Application of Building Code Provisions to Partially Developed Areas in Residential Construction.” Oblique stairs - Oblique stairs are stairs where the angle between the line of the front of the tread and the edge of the stair … . the width required, tread type, hand rails height. He asked me why stairs have nosings and I had to confess that I didn't really know. REMEMBER THESE THINGS. In addition, guardrails cannot be ladderlike. - BOCA 2001. In part the differences in opinion on stair tread design, not just nosing but riser height, stem from differences in how different people climb and descend stairs. • Backward-sloping nosing overhangs should be used rather than Stair Tread Nosing When building your stairs, it usually works well to use two deck boards to build the stair tread. Nature of the danger: The idea of projecting the front edge of the tread beyond the face of the A nosing not less than 3/4 inch (19 mm) but not more than 1 1/4 inch (32 mm) shall be provided on stairways with solid risers. Applied ergonomics 32, no. ISBN 10: 1-933264-01-2, The minimum height of the railing varies based on the height of the deck. Clearly there is a conviction that nosings After screwing the brackets to the stringers, I … Building evacuation: Research findings and recommendations. IRC 312.1 b. What about open riser stairs? Note: Templer uses “nosing” with two different meanings, This is all great information to learn before you start your big project. Abrupt nosing overhang projections present difficulties - the shod foot tends SAFE, SUPPORTED STAIRS: Deck-stair construction varies, but the general requirements are consistent: proper footing support, and an adequate landing. Combining risk from two leading factors in stair-related falls. Be sure to find out - You don't want any surprises after its built. At above left you'll see some pretty nice handrails on both sides of the stairs - features that may help arrest a fall. Extended backer board  below rim joist. Victoria, Victorian Injury Surveillance & Applied Research System (VISAR) at the Monash University Accident Research Centre (2005). The radius of curvature at the nosing shall be no greater than 9/16 inch. The Deck Post Size Table will help you answer that question or learn more about loads for posts. - IBC 1002 [14a], Definition of stair tread nose: The leading edge of treads of stairs and of landings at the top of stairway flights. © 2004-2019 311.7.4.3 – Stair tread nosing must extend out ¾” to a maximum of 1 ¼” past front of riser unless the tread is 11” or larger (just like above 3/8” max. For the purposes of this section, dimensions and dimensioned surfaces shall be exclusive of carpets, rugs or runners. That means that the tread must extend at least 1” past a riser. f. Guards shall be required for decks and stairs as follows: 1. So build your deck the right way, from the ground and posts up. Though I'm not an ergonomics expert, for several years I have been studying and photographing different people ascending and descending tall stairs in Mexico where the various pyramids give challenging examples of very tall stairs. The Work Environment: Occupational Health Fundamentals 1 (1991): 241. Maximum 16'-6 "span for solid stringer (southern pine), Maximum 7'-0 "span for notched stringer (southern pine). [26] >Steps and Stairways, Cleo Baldon & Ib Melchior, Rizzoli, 1989. Make sure your project does not extend into those areas. Another way to refine the deck’s appearance is to carefully line up the visible fasteners. Minimum 36 ”at all points above the permitted handrail height, Minimum 31.5 "width below handrail height where handrail is on one side, Minimum 27 "width below handrail where handrails are on both sides, Maximum rise of 7-3 / 4 ”- maximum difference among risers 3/8", Minimum tread width of 10 "- maximum difference among treads 3/8". The tread is the part of the stair that you walk on and is held in place by fasteners mounted to the horizontal surface of the stair stringers. Wood stair nosings are for indoor or outdoor residential areas with light traffic. Building Learn the math and how to trace out the number and size of rises and runs to cut out your stair stringer. Why should large overhangs cause accidents? Covenant and easements are generally covered by local building departments. Turning to the potentially provocative recommendation, as hinted at the beginning of this [14a] "Visual Interpretation Of The International Residential Code (IRC) 2006 Stair Building Code", The Stairway Manufacturers Association, [Portions of this document reproduce sections from the 2006 International Residential Code, International Code Council, Falls Church, Virginia. Find out WHAT the irc says about building code requirements for decks. Stair tread nose research & stair code citations are included. A flight of stairs shall not have a vertical rise larger than 147 inches (3734 mm) between floor levels or landings. New stairs should have reduced pitch. Press, Cambridge, MA. Pauls, J. and Barkow, B. It is necessary to check the local building code while constructing anything. Attachment methods vary depending on the style of stairs but this is a very common and reliable technique. of the International Conference on Fall Prevention and Pr "Steps and stairs." Many of these authors also point out a key factor that is hardly an "also-ran" in the discussion: in stair tripping falls can be ascribed the lack of visual contrast between the tread and the riser - something that can be rather obvious at some stairways, particularly single steps between floors where I've personally observed, photographed, and even witnessed stair falls in both ascent and descent. These are simple handrail shapes that are permitted by building codes for decks. This article discusses how stair tread nose projection should be designed, shaped & sized. Risers shall be solid and vertical or sloped from the underside of the leading edge of the tread above at an angle not more than 30 degrees (0.52 rad) from the vertical. Make sure that some stair railing code works in conjunction with other sections of the stair code. Decks 24 "to 5-10" (180 cm) need 36 "guards and anything above 5-10" requires a 42 "high railing. Why do we need a rounded "nose" on stair treads? InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. narrow treads rather than large nosing overhangs, but there is The leading edge (nosings) of treads shall project not more than 1.25 inches (32 mm) beyond the tread below and all projections of the leading edges shall be of uniform size, including the leading edge of the floor at the top of a flight. Any analysis of what load a structure may bear upon itself and its foundation must involve the support post network and soil bearing capacity. - 2017/04/05 by private email to Editor. Click to Show or Hide Citations & References, OSHA estimates that there are 24,882 injuries and as many as 36 fatalities per year due to falls from stairways and ladders used in construction. Deck Guards: a. Deck guardrails shall be a minimum of36 inches (914 mm) in height and constructed to withstand a concentrated load of 200 pounds (91 kg) applied at any point and in any direction along the top railing member. Pauls, Jake. We've tried to summarize them and put them all together for you. discrepancy is allowed) The reason for the codes? 2, studies of hazards, falls, and safer design. The minimum stair tread depth measured from nosing (also the stringer rough cut) is no less than 10". Before you can use the Deck Post Size Table in a meaningful way you have to understand the loads that your deck must withstand. Ideas For Deck Designs - Stair Nosing I have a contractor building a large deck on my home. horizontally away from the nosing as it pivots, so the cause of these accidents remains in It offers a partial solution There are usually limits to how close your deck can be to another building. depicted in Figure 6, there could be an appropriately shaped nosing projection, with no carpet may be hazardous. Input your elevation change and this will figure out your rises and runs . 134-138. 3/4" to max. International Code Council, 500 New Jersey Avenue, NW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20001, Tel: 800-786-4452, Our recommended books about building & mechanical systems design, inspection, problem diagnosis, and repair, and about indoor environment and IAQ testing, diagnosis, and cleanup are at the. Combining risk from two leading factors in stair-related falls. Construction Details: Footing Requirements Handrail ends shall be returned or end in newel posts. The tread width and riser height shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8". Building deck stairs are often the most challenging part of a DIY deck project. Proceedings of the 9 If the tread nosing was already broken away that condition can still contribute to a fall, though more from the problem of the inconsistency of the tread nose edge - causing an angling of the foot and a possible slip, rather than causing a fall due to the suddenness of collapse of a breaking-away piece of the stair tread or landing supporting a person's weight. Proc. Can you legally build a permament object within 30 inches of the last stair? During your planning stage, don’t forget to consider the spacing for your beams. S. Hyde, Jon R. Abele, ISBN-13: 978-1-933264-01-1 or Q. Marietta, William. See the tread nose dimensions specified in the article above - STAIR TREAD NOSE SPECIFICATIONS. When ascending stairs and in some cases when descending stairs, the stair user naturally places their foot and their weight at the leading edge of each step - the tread edge or tread nose. Roys, Mike. 1. Minimum 36 ”at all points above the permitted handrail height. More than one of these rubber/plastic glue-on stair tread covers had a broken nose, probably because the stair tread "skins" were not properly trimmed and sized to fit the tread. manufactured to facilitate retrofitting existing steep stairs—without tearing out the current Each stair tread is 11 inches (280 mm) deep minimum with a sloped riser. Ensure that you order the nosings prefinished, so that you don’t have to wait a few days for the finish to seal. Avoid a bouncy, soft deck. Bottom line on stair tread nose design safety: within certain dimensions (given below) stair tread nosings actually seem to make stairways safer. includes risers and going ration. Keep in mind that for an elderly or disabled person, living in a home with no stairs at all and with careful attention to remove trip hazards such as thresholds, wires, loose rugs, are all important changes. The minimum width for stairways shall not be less than 36 inches clear. Attachment methods vary depending on the style of stairs but this is a very common and reliable technique. Locate upper and lower bolts maximum 5.5 "/ 6.5" / 7.5 "apart vertically for 2x8 / 10/12 respectively. . Quite simply it is because it is what feels normal to most individuals, and helps eliminate tripping hazards. . More detailed information can be found in the California Residential code. What are the dimensions I need to use for my stair? "Home modification guidelines as recommended by visually impaired people." "Preventing home fall injuries: structural and design issues and solutions." 4.9.3 Nosings. And they are the hardest and most labor intensive part of building a deck. Deck post size is important. to Residential Exterior Stairs & Decks Bulletin 3 Division of Building, Safety, and Inspection for 2015 International Codes This handout provides answers to commonly asked questions about the design, construction, and placement of landings, decks, stairs, and … Stairs Australian standard AS1657 AS1657 Stairs details. [PDF] from, - retrieved 5/22/2014, original source • Abrupt nosing overhangs and any overhang greater than [17.5 m Indeed hundreds of photo examples themselves show that while there is a wide range of what's comfortable for different people there are very common ways that people place their feet on tread surfaces ascending and descending. In Canter, D. [9] Falls and Related Injuries: Slips, Trips, Missteps, and Their Consequences, Lawyers & Judges Publishing, (June 2002), ISBN-10: 0913875430 ISBN-13: 978-0913875438, [12] Slips, Trips, Missteps and Their Consequences, Second Edition, Gary M. Bakken, H. Harvey Cohen,A. Keep in mind as well that this particular point of study pertains to catching the heel of a show while descending a stair, not the toe of a shoe on ascent. projection be 17.5 mm. STAIR RISE & RUN CALCULATIONS for details on how to calculate the proper uniform stair height for a given total rise in the stairway. Does thickness of tread matter to pass code. These data demonstrate that work on and around ladders and stairways is hazardous. All the treads are 1.5 thickness. . (A Proc. source: (1992). Should stair tread nose projections be eliminated? This article discusses how stair tread nose projection should be designed, shaped & sized. Construction Details: Guardrails • Stairs • Handrail All decks 30” high or more above finished grade, are required to have a guardrail. We're building a stair and the top tread (nosing) needs to be thicker than what we have detailed for the rest of the treads to capture the sub floor. While this is subject to future careful study, standards and codes could eventually be revised When you encounter a stair such as this one it is reasonable to presume that the builder probably made multiple construction and safety errors, leading to a suggestion that the entire structure should be examined with great care. materials, standards or the code requirements for your deck, please call the Code Information and Resource Center at 980-314-CODE (2633) or ... nose). Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, USA, 15-19. Furthermore, such nosing-and-closed-riser assemblies could be Make sure your project does not extend into those areas. In my OPINION, an open riser or a too-large stair tread nose projection seems from my layman observations to increase the risk of a stair fall on ascent by catching the leading edge of a lifting foot or shoe, while, I agree with Pauls that on descent, a too large projection may catch the shoe heel and also cause a fall. And of course do not build in that area. Lag screws must go through band board at least 1/2 ". Pauls, J. cover— We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website. HEIGHT DIAGRAMS: US and Canada. (1980). Templer, J.A. Staircase width refers to the side-to-side distance if you were … The maximum riser height is 7-3/4" and the minimum riser is 4". FOOTINGS: THE FIRST STEP TO BUILDING A DECK. Locate upper bolts at least 2 "below the top edge of ledger. Like the other building codes, it also includes Staircase railing and guard construction guidelines for both new homes and remodeled homes. abrupt nosings. STAIR WIDTH. With those remarks, I turn the task—including detailed research—over to others. Pauls, J. and Barkow, B. Great discussions about using the Deck Foot Anchor™. R311.7 Stairways: The minimum width for stairs is 36". This seems unlikely because although the heel swings up toward the nosing, it also moves Deck, Porch, Landing, Stair, Ramp, and Guard Construction ... requirements of the California Code of Regulations Title 24 as amended by Santa Cruz County Code or California laws. Did you know there are at least nineteen different possible ways of securing posts into the framing. Be open to Staircase Width: 36 Inches, Minimum. - IBC 1002 [14a]. We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need. Find out how people use it. But research also concludes that while there are certainly trip hazards associated with projecting stair tread nosings, when designed within proper limits the stair tread nose probably improves stair safety. 101-A& 101-B (may appear as ANSI B101.0) sets rules for measuring walkway slip resist, OSHA - (Dept of Labor CFR 1910.22 does not specify COF and pertains to workplaces) but recognizes the need for a "qualified person" to evaluate walkway slipperiness, ADA (relies on the ANSI and ASTM standards)Â, [29] A. Sacher, International Symposium on Slip Resistance: The Interface of Man, Footwear, and Walking Surfaces, Journal of Testing and Evaluation (JTE), ISSN: 1945-7553, January 1997  [more focused on slipperiness of polished surfaces, [30] Algae is widely recognized as a slippery surface - a Google web search for "how slippery is algae on steps" produced more than 15,000 results on 8/29/12), [31] Slipperiness of algae on walking surfaces, warning, Royal Horticultural Society, retrieved 8/29/2012, original source:, [32] Slipperiness of algae: "Watch your step, wet rocks and algae are slippery" Oregon State University warning  1977  retrieved 8/29/2012, original source:Â. If a building inspector observes damaged stair treads the stairs should be marked as unsafe and access restricted until a proper repair can be made. Bc of the location of the stairs the top tread needs to match the nosing. So some researchers opine that tread noses are an important aid against tripping while others may disagree. If the rubber or plastic "safety tread" on the stair includes a rounded nose covering extension that is not supported by the actual stair tread nose beneath, breakaways like this are likely to occur. Listen in and see if it is a good solution for your next project. [copy on file as ] -. Roys, Michael S. "Serious stair injuries can be prevented by improved stair design." Cohen, H. Harvey, John Templer, and John Archea. more likely to catch the back of the heel as it pivots upward and this throws one off balance. question. the possibilities and go where the data plus painstaking analysis lead. The leading edge of treads of stairs and of landings at the top of stairway flights. Chat about every esoteric  railing topic  under the sun. A. available from the publisher, Lawyers ^ Judges Publishing Company,Inc.,, [13] Slips, Trips, Missteps and Their Consequences, Gary M. Bakken, H. Harvey Cohen, Jon R. Abele, Alvin S. Hyde, Cindy A. LaRue, Lawyers and Judges Publishing; ISBN-10: 1933264012 ISBN-13: 978-1933264011, [14] The Stairway Manufacturers' Association, (877) 500-5759, provides a pictorial guide to the stair and railing portion of the International Residential Code. The riser I have seen codes and specifications on deflection but not explicit tread thickness limitations.But in the minds of some code inspectors - the final legal authority - there may be a snafu on the nosing dimensions and an argument about whether there is a trip hazard. The nosing shall project no more than 1-1/2 inches (38 mm). Exterior stair railing code maintains that if your deck's stairs have fewer than two risers, a rail is not mandatory. The decking span you choose will effect the feel and potentially the safety of your deck. Apologies for the delay. Reader Question: 5/22/2014 Ian McIlvaine said: My father-in-law has tripped several times on his stairs and blamed the protruding nosing. Stairs that have four or more risers need to have a handrail on either side or on both sides of the stairs. Ledger board width must be => deck joist width but =