Understanding the different staircase parts


Whether you’re looking to refresh your existing staircase or install a new one, it’s important to know what each part of the staircase does.

As there are multiple parts, the staircase fittings experts at Stair Crazy have compiled a guide to help explain the purpose of each part of your staircase, the different designs available, and the most common installation methods used by tradespeople.

What are the different staircase parts?

Multiple elements make up a stairway offering both practical and decorative uses.

The main parts of a staircase are as follows:

Newel Posts

The newel post, or the newel, is the central supporting column of your staircase. A newel post may sit at the foot of your staircase, where it changes direction or at its top.

The newel posts, base rail, spindles, and handrail collectively make up the balustrade – the structure running along your stairs to prevent falls.

The purpose of a newel post is to support your handrail, also known as a bannister.

However, they’re also a fantastic style feature that can improve your home’s aesthetic and refresh your staircase if changed.

Newel Caps

The newel cap is a decorative feature that sits above your newel post. Newel caps come in many different designs and materials.

Modern caps tend to be flat and made from either timber or metal depending on the staircase but traditional styles are often more decorative and include spherical or acorn designs.


Also known as a bannister, the handrail is a long piece of material that sits above the spindles parallel to the ground, with materials including oak and metal.

It supports people using the staircase, providing a space for users to hold onto whilst moving up and down the steps.

Handrails can be installed on your wall if your staircase doesn’t have spindles.

Base Rails

The base rail is a vital part that provides a base for the spindles to be fixed onto, running up your stair string parallel to your bannister between your newel posts.

Grooved base rails can hold glass panels instead of spindles, which is perfect for clinical settings or very modern homes.


Also referred to as balusters, staircase spindles are a set of vertical columns that stand between the handrail and base rail.

Spindles have a practical use, acting as a barrier and preventing falls on the staircase. But they’re also a beautiful style feature that can transform your space.

Choose from a variety of materials – oak offers a wonderful traditional feel, whilst metal exudes sophistication and provides a modern look.

Spindles are crafted into an array of designs – from straight to spiral, there’s a style to suit all tastes.


The horizontal step platforms we stand on whilst using a staircase are known as treads.

Whether your aesthetic is rustic, contemporary, modern, or minimalistic, there’s a tread style for you.

Oak is a hugely popular tread material as its incredibly robust and can be painted to meet the colour scheme of your home.

Importantly, treads can be replaced without removing the entire staircase meaning you can revamp your hall and landing without breaking the bank.

Invest in stair parts from a trusted supplier

When shopping around for parts of a staircase parts, be sure to purchase from an established provider of high-quality parts for your staircase revamp or replacement.

Quality products are safer and more robust, keeping your staircase functional and looking fresher for longer.