The Guild of Master Craftsmen

Plan drawings showing stone steps

Stone Steps - Step By Step

A set of stone steps is made up of discreet units, treads and risers.

Treads are the horizontal pieces of stone that you stand on and the risers are vertical pieces that support the treads and cover the face of the base.

A larger stone at the top (and sometimes bottom) of a flight is referred to as a landing stone, and the step into a house is the threshold stone.


Labelled diagram of a flight of steps

 

A Few Other Terms Explained

Length
The left to right measurement of a tread. Somewhat confusingly, you may also refer to it as the width of the staircase! Either way, it is the long dimension.
Going
The front to back measurement of a tread, the footfall,which includes the thickness of the riser and the overhang.
Rise
The measurement from the top of one tread to the top of the next tread. The total fall is the distance from the surface of the top tread to the ground.
Bull-nose
The rounded edge of a tread which prevents chipping and provides aesthetic value.

 

Measuring Your Own Steps

 It's worth bearing a few points in mind:

  • The going of the tread should usually be 100mm longer than the going of the base that the tread will sit on. This allows for the thickness of a 50mm riser and gives scope for a 50mm overhang.
  • It may not be possible to have even rises for each step if you lay new stone over an existing base. You often end up with a large bottom step and a small top step.
  • If the steps are exposed on the left and/or right hand side then the edge should be bull-nosed along with the front edge.

 

For more detailed instruction on how to build a base for you steps take a look at our Step By Step Guide

 

If in doubt please get in touch and we'll be happy to help. If the site is in London we can visit and take the measurements ourselves - free of charge.

 

Whether your construction project is new build, renovation or D.I.Y. it is worth reading our Yorkstone and Portland Stone after-care documents:

York Stone Care and Maintenance Guide

Portland Stone Care and Maintenance Guide

 

If you are unsure which substrate materials to lay the stone on please check with us. This is especially important for Portland stone as using the wrong sand and cement can result in temporary, but unsightly salt migration through the stone following installation. 

 

Plan Image: Felixco, Inc. / FreeDigitalPhotos.net