A Closed Stair, also known as a "Boxed Stair" will have a wall on either side of the stair tread. The stair treads and risers will butt up against the inside of the staircase stringers on either side. This type of stair is usually rectangular, not a closed pie shaped as shown
Stair stringers are never straight. Therefore installing Closed Hardwood Stair Caps is not as simple as cutting to a measurement. They must be trimmed several times in order to fit each unique opening. Sometimes closed or boxed stairs do not have walls on either side. In these cases Spindles or Pickets will be installed atop stringers instead of on the stair treads.
Open One Side Stairs
A One Side Open Stair will have one side of the tread and riser adjoining the wall, where as the other side of the tread will slightly extend (which is the nosing and return) over the stringer. Spindles or Pickets will be inserted into the stair treads open side of the staircase, supporting the handrail.
Open one side hardwood stair caps need to be scribed in order to fit correctly.
Open Both Sides Stairs
A Both Sides Open Stair will have both sides of the tread slightly extending over the stringers (which is the nosing and return). Therefore with a both sides open stair you will have Spindles or Pickets on either side inserted into the stair tread, supporting the handrails on either side.
Open both side Stair Caps need to be measured perfectly before manufacture in order to fit correctly
Open Riser Stairs
An Open Riser Stair only has treads. There are no risers. You will be able to look straight through the staircase. This is great for allowing light to enter an area, where as in a conventional staircase the risers would have blocked the light. The underside of the treads must obviously be in a finished condition. One caveat is that you lose "Under the stairs" storage.
A common misconception is that risers can simply be removed to create an "Open riser staircase", but risers provide stability to the staircase. Therefore one can not just remove the risers to open up the staircase. The stringers will have to be strengthened or a completely new staircase will need to be installed.
A Curved, Helix or Circular staircase will typically turn 90 degrees from top to bottom (or from floor level to floor level). One side is usually open and the other closed. Along with a "First step" usually curved on the open side, you will have a combination of rectangular as well as "Pie shaped" treads which makes up the 90 degree angle between levels of the home.
In order to properly install a "Pie shaped tread" Hardwood Stair Cap, templates are required. We first create an over sized template, manufacture the tread, finish with stain and varnish and then fine tune template on site. Similar to the "kite winder" series. The difference is a second template is not needed to fine tune.
Beware of "Precut pie shaped capping treads". Helix or curved staircases are not created equal. The amount of "pie shaped" stair treads that make up the 90 degree turn varies from 4-14 steps. So naturally the radius will change also. It is not a one size fits all solution.
Stairs with Landings
A staircase with a landing will typically turn 90 degrees from top to bottom (or from floor level to floor level). All of the treads will be a rectangular shape. The landing which is typically about 10 to 12 square feet in area will allow for the 90 degree turn in the staircase. Landings can either be finished in regular hardwood flooring planks or boards, or a solid hardwood piece cut to fit.
A staircase that turns 180 degrees will have a larger landing. Usually about 25 sq/ft
These treads are installed using the scribing method
Stairs with Triangle and Trapezoids (Kite Winder)
A staircase that has triangular and trapezoid shaped treads AKA "Kite Winder" will also make up a 90 degree turn in the staircase from top to bottom (or level to level). This type of staircase will have a triangle then a trapezoid followed by an additional triangular shaped tread. These odd shaped treads are cut out of solid hardwood to fit.
In order to properly install a "Kite Winder" series of Hardwood Stair Caps, templates are required. We first create an over sized template, manufacture the tread, finish with stain and varnish and then fine tune template on site.