Definition of Cable Railing, Stair and Gate Terms

Railing Terms

ADA Handrail – Handrails that are made to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Bracket – a projection from a vertical surface that provides support for the handrail.

Baluster – A vertical member such as a post used as an in-fill to limit the size of the opening within a balustrade. It may also function to provide support to the top rail.

Balustrade – A railing system consisting of everything below the top rail that may consist of any combination of the following: newel posts, ornamental or glass panels, balusters, and base rail.

Cable Railing – A railing made up of posts and horizontal or vertical wire rope cables used for the infill between the posts.

Corner Post – Posts made to specifically transition the railing from one straight run to the next.

End Post – Sometimes referred to as termination posts. A post made to handle the tension load of cable and is used at the end of a railing run.

Escutcheon Plate – A decorative plate used to cover the hardware on the bottom of the railing post.

Fascia Mount -The railing post is made to mount to the front face, or the band board  on the sides of a deck or stairs.

Guard Railing – A structure made of a top rail and a series of post supports and an infill,  that is used as a guard or barrier. Guard railings are required on elevated surface of 36” or higher.

Infill – A term used to describe the portion of the railing system below the top rail.

Intermediate Post – Railing posts that is located between the end posts and corner posts. Sometimes referred to as line posts.

IPE – A very dense Hardwood otherwise known as Braziain Walnut often used as a top rail. 

Nut Cap – A round cap made to hide individual hex lag head and washer. 

Surface Mount – Railing posts are made to mount to the surface of a step or the floor.

Top Rail – uppermost horizontal member of the railing supported by the posts of the railing system.

Cable and Fitting Terms

Cable Fittings A variety of small parts used to attach and tension the cable to the railing posts or structure.

Keuka Jaw – Small cable fitting piece made to grip an 1/8th inch cable and works in conjunction with a Keuka stud. U.S. Patent No. 10,436,23

Keuka Ratchet Stud – A combination of the Keuka jaw and Keuka stud working together as a ratchet to grip an 1/8th diameter cable. U.S. Patent No. 10,436,23

Keuka Stud – A small threaded barrel that works in conjunction with the Keuka Jaw and threads into a level or stair fitting. U.S. Patent No. 10,436,23

Lag Fitting – A ⅜” inch diameter x either  2 in. or 4 in. long lag screw which allows our stair fitting to attach to a wood structure. .

Level Fitting – A straight stainless steel barrel with a flange on one end that attaches 1/8th inch diameter cable to a straight run of railing posts.This fitting also provided the ability to tension the cables. U.S. Patent No. 10,436,23

Stainless steel cable – or wire rope made with 1 x 19  – 1/8th in diameter or 3/16 in diameter stainless steel cable. The cable has 19 individual wires.

Stair Fitting – A pivoting stainless steel fitting that is used on pitched or angled runs. This allows a cable to attach to a post at the top or bottom of a stair or ramp.

Undermount – The railing post is made to slice through the decking and attach to the deck framing below the surface of the deck.

Stair Terms

Banister – A rail supported by posts and fixed along the side of a staircase.

Bull nose – A rounded leading edge of a stair  step.

Cantilevered Stairs – Are characterized by having one stringer or rigid structural beam on the inboard  side of the treads and open, unsupported on the outboard end of the treads.  

Closed-Stringer – A staircase with the treads and riser ends are housed in the face of the string and concealed.

Curved Stairs – The steps follow a gradual helical arc and typically do not make a full circle.

Double Stringer – a floating staircase design that features two stringers (or beams)  under the steps, and set in from the edge of the tread.

Floating Stairs – Characterized by an open design without risers between the treads giving the impression of the stair treads floating. 

Gait Line – A pitch line that follows the angle of the stair connecting the nosings of the treads, aka nosing line.

Handrail – A handrail is a rail that is properly sized to be grasped by the hand.

Infill – The material used to fill the railing space between the posts, typically cable,  glass, or metal. 

Landing – A landing is a small platform used to break up a flight of stairs. 

L-Shaped Stairs – A run of stairs with a bend (typically 90 degrees) in the middle of the stairs.

Mono-Stringer – a floating staircase design that features one stringer (or single beam) under the steps and supports the center of the treads. Also known as center stringer stairs.

Newel – A post at the head or foot of a stair supporting the handrail

Nosing – The horizontal, protruding edge of the tread on the steps.

Open-Stringer – A staircase where the rise or vertical space between each step is open. 

Riser – A stair riser is the vertical surface between the adjacent treads on a stair.

Spiral Stairs – Follow a helical arc and radiate around a central pole.

Stairs – A series or flight of steps.

Staircase – Term used to refer to the steps, railings, and stairs.  It can be used interchangeably with the words stairs or stairway.

Straight Stairs – Any stairs that do not change direction.

Stairwell – The overall spatial shaft/opening where the staircase is built.

Step – A step is the tread and the riser. 

Stringer – A means to provide structural support for the treads.

Total Rise – The total vertical distance from one floor to the next.

Total Run – The total horizontal distance of a flight of stairs.

Tread Run – The horizontal distance between the nose of one tread measured back to a projected vertical line to below an adjacent tread.

U-Shaped Stairs – Two straight runs of stairs joined by a landing that creates a 180 degree turn.

Winder Stairs – Instead of a flat landing winder stairs have pie-shaped or trapezoidal  steps.

Winder Step – Are a series of steps that are narrower on one side. They can be used to form a circular or spiral staircase. 

Zig Zag Stairs – Stairs with the stringers cut in a zig zag pattern.

Finish Terms

Anodized – An attractive aluminum finish formed by an electrolytic process in which the metal forms a protective oxide layer. .

Brushed Stainless Steel – Typically a #4 polish in a vertical direction using a 150 – 180 grit abrasive sandpaper.

Fine Brushed Stainless Steel – Typically a #6 polish having a finer grain and a brighter sheen than a #4 brushed stainless steel.

Hot Dip Galvanize – The process of dipping metal in molten zinc to protect the underlying steel from corrosion.

Mirror Polished Stainless Steel – A highly reflective finish that is polished and buffed to remove a mirrored look.

Powder Coat A type of coating that is applied as a free flowing dry  plastic powder that is typically applied electrostatically and cured under heat forming a durable finish in any color or texture

Gate Terms

Gate – A hinged barrier used as an entry or opening in a railing.

Hinge – A flexible device for gate to swing..

Latch – A metal bar with a catch and lever used for fastening a gate.

Pool Latch – Release mechanism is located at least 54 inches high or placed on the pool side of the gate at least 3 inches below the top of the gate.

Self-Closing Gate – The gate hinge is designed to pull the door closed after it has been opened and released.

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