Which Type of Stringer is Used for Stairways with Open Riser Designs?

Which Type of Stringer is Used for Stairways with Open Riser Designs?

An open riser staircase, also known as a floating staircase, is a modern design choice that is gaining popularity. It features spaces between the treads instead of closed risers, creating an airy and minimalistic look. There are different types of open riser stairways, including straight stairs and 90° (L-shaped) stairs. The cost of this type of renovation depends on various factors, such as the type of infill and staircase configuration. Open riser staircases typically use mono or double stringers to support their structure. It is important to ensure that open riser staircases meet international and local code requirements for safety.

Key Takeaways:

  • Open riser staircases have spaces between the treads, creating a modern and airy look.
  • Mono or double stringers are commonly used to support open riser staircases.
  • Meeting safety codes is crucial when installing open riser staircases.
  • The cost of an open riser staircase renovation depends on various factors.
  • Different types of open riser stairways are available, including straight and L-shaped designs.

Benefits of an Open Riser Staircase

An open riser staircase offers numerous benefits that make it an attractive choice for modern design enthusiasts. Its unique aesthetic and versatility allow for easy integration into various home setups.

One of the main advantages of open riser stairs is their ability to create a contemporary and airy look. By eliminating the closed risers, these staircases allow more light to flow through the room, creating a brighter and more spacious atmosphere.

Furthermore, open riser staircases offer versatility in terms of design and installation. They can be customized to fit different configurations, including straight, 90°, or switchback stairs, making them suitable for a wide range of architectural layouts. Moreover, these stairs can be installed by both professional contractors and DIY homeowners, thanks to their straightforward and easy installation process.

In addition to the overall design and aesthetic benefits, the stair treads play a crucial role in open riser staircases. Thicker treads are often chosen to complement the modern style, enhancing the visual impact of the staircase and providing a solid and comfortable stepping surface.

Benefits of an Open Riser Staircase:

  • Modern and contemporary look
  • Allows more light to flow through the room
  • Versatile design options
  • Easy installation for both professionals and DIY homeowners
  • Stair treads enhance the overall aesthetic and provide a solid stepping surface

Overall, open riser staircases offer a perfect combination of form and function. They bring a touch of modern elegance to any space while providing practical and safe access between different levels of a building.

Benefits of an Open Riser Staircase
Modern and contemporary look
Allows more light to flow through the room
Versatile design options
Easy installation for both professionals and DIY homeowners
Stair treads enhance the overall aesthetic and provide a solid stepping surface

Understanding Stair Stringers for Open Riser Designs

Stair stringers play a crucial role in supporting the structure of open riser staircases. In the past, traditional staircases used three stringers hidden within the drywall for support. However, with the rise of modern open riser designs, there has been a shift towards using metal stringers, specifically mono and double stringers.

Mono stringers have become a popular choice for open riser staircases. They are single metal pieces that provide stability and support to the staircase. These stringers are typically made of steel and can be bolted together on-site, making them a versatile and easy-to-install option.

Double stringers, on the other hand, consist of two metal pieces parallel to each other. They offer enhanced stability and are commonly used for wider staircases or those that require additional support. While mono stringers are more commonly used, double stringers can provide a more visually striking design element for open riser staircases.

Stair Stringer Function

Stair stringers are an integral component of open riser staircase construction, providing the necessary support and stability for the structure. Whether using a mono or double stringer, their primary function is to distribute the weight of the staircase evenly, ensuring a safe and durable design. Stringers bear the load of the treads and risers, transferring the weight to the foundation or supporting structure of the building.

It’s important to note that not all open riser staircases require stringers for support. Cantilevered stairs, for example, are designed to be fixed directly to the wall using a support structure. This design choice eliminates the need for traditional stringers while still maintaining the desired open riser aesthetic.

By understanding the different types of stringers and their functions, homeowners and designers can make informed decisions when it comes to the construction and support of open riser staircases. Stringers not only provide stability and support but also contribute to the overall visual appeal of the staircase, enhancing the modern and contemporary look of open riser designs.

Stringer Type Features Advantages
Mono Stringer Single metal piece Easy installation, versatile design
Double Stringer Two parallel metal pieces Enhanced stability, visually striking
Cantilevered Stairs Fixed directly to the wall No need for traditional stringers

Design and Construction Considerations for Open Riser Staircases

When it comes to designing and constructing open riser staircases, there are several important factors to consider. These considerations play a crucial role in ensuring both the aesthetic appeal and safety of the staircase.

Stairway Layout

The layout of the stairway is the foundation of a well-designed open riser staircase. Careful planning is required to determine the unit run, which is the horizontal distance covered by each step, as well as the tread depth and riser height. These measurements should adhere to local building codes to ensure a safe and comfortable stairway.

Balustrade Components

Aesthetics and safety go hand in hand when it comes to open riser staircases. Balustrade components, including balusters, newel posts, and handrails, not only add visual appeal but also provide crucial support. The design should take into account the chosen materials, finishes, and spacing to create a cohesive and secure balustrade system.

Dadoed Stringer

In service stairways with open riser designs, dadoed stringers are often used for added stability. These stringers are notched and fit securely into the treads, providing extra support and ensuring the structural integrity of the staircase. The dadoed stringer design enhances the overall strength and durability of the stairs.

Stair Gauge and Width

Precision is key when it comes to constructing open riser staircases. Using a stair gauge can aid in the layout of the stringers, ensuring accurate and consistent measurements throughout the construction process. Additionally, the width of the stairway is important for safety and accessibility. A minimum of 36 inches of clear, usable width is recommended to accommodate the movement of individuals comfortably.

By paying attention to these design and construction considerations, open riser staircases can be both visually striking and safe. Striking the right balance between aesthetics and functionality is key to creating a staircase that enhances the overall design of the space while providing a secure and comfortable means of transition between different levels.


Which type of stringer is used for stairways with open riser designs?

Open riser stairways can use either a single metal piece called a mono stringer or double stringers for support.

What are the benefits of an open riser staircase?

Open riser stairs offer a modern and contemporary look, allow more light through the room, can be installed in various configurations, and are versatile for both contractors and DIY homeowners.

What are stair stringers and their function in open riser staircase design?

Stair stringers are essential for supporting the structure of the staircase. In open riser designs, mono stringers or double stringers are commonly used for stability and support.

What are some important design and construction considerations for open riser staircases?

When designing and constructing open riser staircases, factors such as stairway layout, unit run, tread depth, riser height, balustrade components, dadoed stringers, and stairway width should be carefully considered.

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