What are the Parts of a Staircase Called?

In some houses, a central staircase can be an unforgettable piece of interior décor. The vast majority of staircases, though, are comprised of numerous individual parts and components that lead to the overall style. However, homeowners aren’t always familiar with these pieces and what they’re called. One of the most common questions we hear is, “What are the parts of a staircase called?” We’re answering all of that right here and more!

At Turntech, we’re a custom woodshop that crafts a wide range of ornate wood pieces used in renovations. In-the-know homeowners and contractors trust us to build the custom wood pieces they can’t find anywhere else. This ranges from crown moulding, to staircase components, and much more. So, whether you’re planning a renovation or simply want to learn what the parts of a staircase are called, you’re in the right place. Learn more – and build with us!

White and brown wooden stairs


Main Stair Component Names

Knowing stair component names is must-have info if you’re planning an interior renovation. After all, it’s hard to research your style options when you don’t know what to call any of the staircase parts you see. These are the 5 main elements that you need to know and that you’ll likely want to upgrade:


Newell Post

  • One of the biggest style statements of a staircase, the Newell posts are the large wooden columns that anchor the handrail and baluster. Newell posts can be used at the base and top of the staircase, and in some cases, in the middle of the stairs as well. While Newells tend to be round or boxy in profile, you have a wide range of style possibilities when upgrading the individual look of them. You’ll be able to spot Newell posts just by looking for the largest piece on the staircase.



  • This is a stair component name you almost certainly know. A handrail provides added stability when using the staircase and provides an opportunity for an extra style accent. Since all well-crafted wood handrails should be equally sturdy, you’ll want to make your choice based on style. There is a wide range of handrail carving profiles from simple shapes to complex cuts.



  • When people ask us, “What are the parts of a staircase called?”, this is often the main one they are hoping to identify. Balusters are the part of a staircase that run the length of the staircase and connect the Newell posts. Balusters themselves are almost always comprised of a series of vertical wooden pieces. These pieces can have as much style flexibility as the rest of the staircase, either being simple or highly detailed in their carving. In some resources, you’ll sometimes see that balusters are called spindles as well.




  • The tread is the official stair component name for the steps themselves. While there isn’t much to do when upgrading the aesthetic of your steps, if they are overly worn out, new treads can improve the look of the entire staircase.

Wooden staircase treads



  • On a staircase, the cap is the name for the ornamental top that sits on the Newell posts. Some staircase caps are fairly unobtrusive and are a flat and carved piece of wood. This is the most common style on box Newells. On some curved Newell posts, the cap will be a delicately carved accent. There are truly an enormous range of post cap options when you’re designing in the formal style. Some homeowners even like to paint and attach DIY-made caps built from our custom craft balls!


Upgrading the Parts of a Staircase with Us

Now that you know the most essential staircase part names, you’re ready to start making choices about your interior renovation. Whether you want to find inspiration in our project gallery (or anywhere else on the internet), we can build almost anything. Since we are a custom woodworker, all you need to do is send us a picture of the design you’d like and answer a few questions – chances are we’ll be able to replicate it.

Whether you plan on a small upgrade or a full renovation, the Turntech team can craft whatever you need – from new Newell posts and caps to a full renovation complete with new treads and balusters. You can place your order 100% online – or reach out to our designers to discuss custom carving!

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