Staircase Terminology

Handrail or BannisterĀ 

The handrail is the smooth rail fixed to the top of the balluster.


A baluster is the vertical post or spindle between the handrail and the baserail. It can be plain, turned, square or flat.


Balustrade is the collective name for the complete assembly of handrails, baserails, newels, spindles and caps.

Colonial Stop Chamfer

Over-the-Post or "Continuous" Handrail

An over-the-post system is where specially designed fittings allow the handrail to flow over the newels and spindles, creating smooth sweeping lines.

Classic Oak


A post-to-post system is typical of most staircases. It has a newel post positioned at the top and bottom of the stairs, with a handrail fitted between them.

The post-to-post handrail system with a bracket fix is a patented Richard Burbidge Limited System, which uses a bracket to fix the handrail to the specially designed newels.

Post to Post

Stair NosingĀ 

Stair nosing is the edge of the tread projecting beyond the face of the riser and the face of a cut string.


This is the post where coats accumulate in most houses! The newel accommodates the strings, handrails and treads of stairs.