Stair and Railing System Component Introduction


Welcome to the stair and handrail component section of the site. This area is a piece by piece listing of the wood  items we manufacture for use in our staircase and railing systems.

As a custom staircase manufacturer, one thing to keep in mind at all times when viewing the index is that any baluster or handrail profile can be customized or reworked style wise to fit your application and that what you see here is by no means the end of what we can do for you.

In this section you will be focusing primarily on the railing systems handrail, baluster and newel post profile-shape-size. The combination of these components  is where the  railing systems style comes from. To a lesser extent the profiles of certain stair components also add to the over all design but it is the individual railing components where you will encounter the bulk of your design decisions.  The combining of the individual pieces is how you build style into your staircase and get the look you are after.

There are a few guidelines to keep in mind when thinking of putting things together with each other in a railing system. If you forget them don't worry we won't and you can always give us a call to walk you through them. The major one is that the baluster, newel post and rail  scale together and then scale with the stair material thickness. How do you apply this while viewing?  It is fairly straight forward, first, railing to baluster ratio : the railing sits on top of the balusters, so your baluster can not be wider then the rail .  An 2 1/4" baluster does not scale right with a 2" railing on top of it. You would need to either upsize the railing or downsize the baluster.

The second ratio is railing to newel post, if your railing will be terminating at a newel post and not all rails do, some layouts call for the railing to pass over the posts in a continuous manner, however if you are terminating railing into a newel post usually the square, then the railing width can not be wider then the top square of the newel post. You can not put a 3" railing with a 2 3/4" ball newel post as the square of the newel post where the railing will terminates will be to narrow. You would need to upgrade the newel post to 3 1/2" wide to have the 3" rail terminate properly on the square.  

Lastly the the railing system to stair components aspect.  As the railing sits atop the staircase it's easy for the railing system to look top heavy. Quite simply,  you don't want a railing that looks to heavy for the stair it is attached to. The stair grounds the railing visually and there for it should look like it is more then capable of supporting what's on top. The width of your baluster should give you a good indication of the tread thickness that you should be aiming for. An 1 5/16" baluster looks good sitting on an 1 1/8" thick tread or thicker. An 1 3/4" baluster atop the same tread would  make that tread look to skinny. So your stair tread should be equal to or thicker then your baluster as a general guideline. 

The components listed have been scaled to work with one another however because you are not seeing them together in context, you need to keep the scale in mind. Think  N R B T = Newel post - Rail  - Baluster Tread  with the Newel post having the biggest width dimension, the Railing in the middle, having a smaller width then the newel post but a larger width then the baluster, the Baluster having the smallest width dimension in the set and the Tread in proportion to or greater then the baluster.

Now that we have scale out of the way, this is where handrail and baluster customization and profile comes in. If you really like a baluster that is too big or small for the railing you want or visa versa, then you would have us customize the scale of the baluster so that you can retain the profile/shape but it is now at the right scale to go with your other components. 

To take this concept to it's farthest end, you could view the entire component index as a shape/profile index and not really pay to much attention so scale but rather look at the shapes of  things or portions of shapes, mix and match them up to create your own profiles for each component, then apply scale to the profiles you have envisioned.

 Suppose you like the detail/profile on the first half of one railing style and the bottom half of another style? Then you simply tell us and we will  merge and scale the two together into the one that  you want.

This holds true for newel posts and balusters, suppose you like the bottom turning of one baluster, and the reveal detail on another baluster and the way yet another finishes at the top with no top square like a pool cue. We will combine the elements from the 3 separate balusters that you like into one baluster profile and then upscale it to a newel post profile to match the balusters. It doesn't end there, you can create your own profiles for railing, balusters and newel posts you don't have to limit yourself to what you see here.