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Al Ghurair University, Dubai academic City
• Stair constructions and calculations
• Concrete stairs
Types of concrete stairs
Concrete mix components
• Wooden stairs
Types of wooden stairs
Modern and unique wooden stairs design
Stair construction and calculations
For constructing any stair we need to be familiar with some
terminologies (parts of stairs) and how to calculate them for
construction. As stairs construction must be with strict
dimensions, codes and safety controls, the calculation part is
the most important. Some of the basic components and
terminology of stairs are:
Newel , etc.
Thread: the top surface of each
step where we step on
Riser: the vertical portion of
steps to give it height, placed
directly under the front lip of
String: the sloped boards
1. Calculating the whole construction and frameworks
for constructions staircase with even step sizes and
2. Ground prepping and frame molding: this is
basically preparing the foundation for the stairs in
order to avoid uneven steps and accidents during
pouring the concrete. The frame molds give the shape
of the stairs. The frame planks should be cut wider
and longer than the actual concrete steps, in order to
avoid spilling out of the mold.
3. Assembling the frames: it is very important to make
sure the frameworks are very strong and doesn’t have
any gap or unwanted blockage by wood piece, etc. the
sloped framework must end flat to the ground, no gap
should be there in between the foundation and all the
panels are attached sturdily.
4. Reinforcing staircase: this is a very
important step, which is often ignored by
amateurs, which is reinforcing the staircase
foundation with steel bars. It is highly
recommended to use steels rods to better
support the weight of the stairs and increase
the life span.
5. Bracing: means reinforcing the base of the
structure to make sure the concrete doesn’t
flow out or distort the shape during setting. As
concrete is very heavy, reinforcing depends
on each construction and design.
6. Pouring concrete: it is important to grease
the inner framework with form/ diesel oil
before pouring the cement. The cement mix
should be highly viscous in order to better
hold the shape and be compact.
7. Finishing surface: a compact shape is required for
each step with smooth finishing. To achieve this, the
surface is smoothened with trowel several times.
Magnesium trowel is used over the steps, followed by
edger to clean the edges. This process is repeated in
intervals till the cement solidifies.
8. Curing: the frames should be slowing removed as the
cement hardens, starting from the risers. Any
imperfections can be covered up by some extra
cement mix. All the frameworks are removed after
24hrs of hardening, followed by water sprays for
Pre-cast stairs- these are built in factories and delivered
directly to the construction site. They are ready to be
used and companies make them according to the client’s
Suspended stairs- the steps are not connected to the
ground, and are difficult to construct. The step formworks
must be well supported.
Poured-concrete stairs- the traditional custom made
stairs which are constructed according to the building
design, by using calculations.
Earth-supported stairs- the poured concrete reaches till
the ground, creating vertical slab which holds the steps.
These types should be braced strongly.
A concrete mix or cement mix for any construction have
four basic components: Portland cement, sand,
aggregate or rock and water. The ratio of these
components is a very crucial factor.
The less water added, the more strong the mix will be.
There is no definite ratio for the mix as a lot of factors like
type and quality of cement, environment, etc. affect the
Sample mix ratio for a stable and strong concrete mix:
Wooden stairs are not as simple as it might look. It is
best if the far more experienced people build it. it needs
specific dimensions and measurements and
calculations. Steps for constructions are below:
Prep Work: You should check your building codes in
your countries. They will be giving you specific
dimensions and measurements that you should
Decide your Final Calculations
Do your string alterations
Connect the stringers
Risers and threads