Welcome to the Custom Spaces resource centre, here you will find information and guidelines that will assist you in understanding the terminology used in building your staircase and the standards which must be met in the design and construction. 

The Custom Spaces team will take your home to the next level. 



basic stair components

Strings – The inclined boards in which the treads and risers are enclosed.

Tread – The top or horizontal surface of a step.

Riser – The board that forms the face of the step. The maximum individual rise for domestic flights is 220mm.

Newel Cap – The ornamental top of the newel post. Often carved shaped or turned.

Landing – A resting place, or wide step anywhere within the staircase or top of a flight of stairs. Landings are often used to change the direction of a stair.

Handrail – A protective rail designed to prevent people or objects from falling into an open stairwell. A moulded rail following the pitch, or rake of the staircase – which also forms the top/upper edge of the balustrading.

Baluster – The vertical member, plain or decorative, that acts as the infill between the handrail and Channel (or tread if cut string).


Tread Nosings

The treads are the material on which you walk, we offer 5 basic nosing profiles which can be used to change the style of your staircase to match the surroundings.

Half round nosing

Half round nosing

A half round nosing is defined by having two partially rounded edges with a flat surface between this flat surface creates a desirable look which can be used on virtually any surface and so is easily repeated.

Round nosing

Round nosing

A full round nosing is easily noticeable due to the fact that it contains a continuous curve on the front edge of the nosing. This is the most common design choice when producing a staircase due to the ease of creating this profile.

Pencil round

Pencil round

A pencil round nosing is designed to match the curve of pencil at the exposed edge’s of a tread. See above for an Example.

Square aris

Square aris

A square aris nosing is typically used with a modern style construction staircase. This detail is characterised by its sharp lines which are created by giving the edges only a 1-2mm champher providing the contemporary look that is highly sought after.

No nosing

No nosing

A staircase with no nosings is generally constructed using a combination of Pine and MDF this is due to the availability of MDF components and their cost effectiveness.





Construction of Staircases


Closed Rise
A Closed Rise staircase is the standard construction for a timber staircase, by having the treads closed it allows the space beneath the staircase to be used for storage. This sort of construction is most commonly used by budget conscious builders and low-income clients.

Open Rise
An Open Rise staircase is defined as a staircase in which has the riser board is removed to create an opening through the staircase. These are most commonly used in a foyer as they allow the viewer to see straight through the staircase into the rest of the home.


Closed Stringer
A Closed string staircase is the most cost effective construction method, the treads and risers are grooved into the stringer and then glued & wedged to create a solid flight.

Closed Rise/Closed Stringer

Closed Rise/Closed Stringer

Open Rise/Closed Stringer

Open Rise/Closed Stringer

Cut Stringer
Cut String staircases are used when the client wants see the end-grain detail of the treads and/or risers. A Cut stringer is defined as a stringer, which is cut in a sawtooth fashion to allow the treads to overhang the stringer.

Capped Cut Stringer

Capped Cut Stringer

Closed Rise/Cut Stringer

Closed Rise/Cut Stringer

Cut stringer with Frets

Cut stringer with Frets

Open Rise/Cut Stringer

Open Rise/Cut Stringer

Mono Stringer
Mono-stringers stair designs tend to be one of the more expensive construction methods. As they are open in design. The stringer itself tends to be less apparent due to its located centrally and underneath the treads themselves. The ability of mono-stringer to promote a sense of lightness and openness is regarded as a desirable property. When compared to traditional closed or enclosed stairs, mono-stringers demand the use of relatively stronger materials in order to be structurally sound.


Steel Stringer
By using dual steel stringers, the staircase is allowed a sleeker look, because of the strength difference between Steel and Timber you can obtain a cleaner fixing. More often than not, this design is part of an open rise construction and is most suited to modern homes.

Curved Stringer
Curved Staircases are one of the most labour intensive build’s requiring a complete 1:1 replica of the clients wall to be constructed in our factory. The construction of a common curved staircase requires in excess of 25+ hours of labour.



Timber Samples


Blackbutt, is a premium native Australian hardwood, very safe due to the fact that it is so dense it is actually fire-rated.


Red Ironbark

A premium native Australian hardwood, Red Ironbark is renowned for being a high quality timber. Red Ironbark timber has a high density.


American Oak

American white oak is the trade name for a variety of hardwood species from the Quercus genus. The timber is imported from eastern USA. 



Brush box is a medium to large sized Australian hardwood that grows along the edges of the rainforest areas of New South Wales and Queensland. It is used for a variety of applicationsincluding stairs.


Radiata Pine

Radiata pine is a softwood whose availability and ease of use make it popular for all kinds of stair construction.


European Beech

European beech is a light, bright wood that is straight-grained, with uniform texture and color. It is relatively heavy, hard and strong but is fairly easy to machine and it can be sanded to a high polish.



Merbau is a popular hardwood from South East Asia used in a wide range of stair applications.


Pacific Maple

Pacific Coast maple is close grained and fine textured. It has exceptional machining, turning and bending properties. It nails, screws and glues well. Pacific Coast maple accepts stain and finish beautifully for your stair design.


Spotted Gum

Spotted Gum is a very dense, oily Australian hardwood that ranges from pale to dark brown.Spotted Gum is commonlyused for staircase construction.