Staircase Remodeling Basics and Design Ideas

If you are itching to make a big impact on the look of your home, remodeling your staircase is an excellent start. It takes up a large part of your home’s visual space, so making changes there can transform your whole home’s look and feel.

But where to start? You might have a specific look in mind for your staircase remodel. Or you could just be browsing for ideas. Either way, it’s best to start with the basics. Here we cover all the parts of a staircase and go over some of the details you want to consider before your staircase remodel.

Need to talk to someone about your staircase remodel? Contact our knowledgeable experts!

What Are The Parts of a Staircase?

Before you look into a staircase remodel, it would be helpful to be familiar with the parts of a typical staircase. This way you can be prepared for any decisions you might need to make about the look and feel of your new staircase.

Let’s go over the basic parts of a staircase.


The risers are the vertical spaces between one stair and the next. It can be closed, meaning there is material in the space, or open, where you can see through to the other side. Many people use this space to add decorative accents, such as colorful paint, stencils, or designs.


The tread is the flat part of the step you stand on. This can be made out of various materials or covered in carpet.


Balusters hold up the handrail along the staircase. These are traditionally made of wood or metal. Some people also use the term “spindle” to refer to the balusters.

Classic balusters, stained wood treads, and white risers make this staircase a beautiful centerpiece for the home.

Newel Posts

A Newel post is the large post at the bottom and top of the staircase. Newel posts can also be at the landings where the stairs change direction. The decorative topper of the newel post is called the newel cap.


The landing is the space immediately at the top of the staircase.

Landing Return

The landing return is partway up the staircase where the stairs change direction. There are a few different kinds of landing returns, based on the angle and formation of the stairs at the turn. The most common landing return is a ninety-degree turn.

Stair Nosing

The stair nosing is a section at the front of the tread that makes the step safer to climb and easier to see. Depending on how the staircase treads are made, they can be part of the tread itself or an extra strip of material added to the front.

What To Consider Before Remodeling a Staircase?

Thinking about remodeling your staircase can feel like a big decision. After all, your home’s staircase is a major visual statement and a big part of your daily life. We suggest you think about these three things when you consider remodeling your staircase.


How much do you want to spend on your staircase remodel? Depending on your answer, that number could determine what materials you can use and how much of your original staircase you can change.

Have questions about how much your dream staircase remodel would cost? Contact us today for a quote.


Since your staircase is a big part of your home’s structural integrity as well as a visual anchor between the first and second floors, consider the style of your new staircase will care. Are you more concerned about timeless style or expressing a modern aesthetic? Is this your forever home or do you have future homeowners to think about?

See some of our staircase designs here.


One crucial question to ask yourself is who will be using this staircase? If you have small pets, kids, or people with disabilities in your house often, consider how you could remodel the staircase to work better for them. This might mean using a less slippery material on the treads, like carpet, or closing the risers to make the steps easier to manage. Also, consider what you can add for extra support, like handrails.

How Can I Ensure My Staircase Remodel is Safe?

Since staircases are such important structural components of the home, it is extremely important that you hire a professional custom staircase contractor with experience.

Our Gibin Remodeling employees are held to the highest standards of safety and workmanship. We adhere to all of the California staircase building codes and safety regulations. We understand the importance of your safety, comfort, and satisfaction, so we build custom staircases that will last for decades to come.

Talk to one of our consultants today and find out more.

How Can I Make My Staircase More Modern?

If your staircase looks a little dated, you can easily add some modern flair to your stairs with thoughtful choices.

Decorative Balusters

Balusters come in a variety of materials and designs and are the most obvious way to update your staircase. Iron balusters can be timeless and traditional or modern and fresh depending on the shapes they use. Clean lines can bring any staircase into this century. Some people prefer the look of horizontal bars instead of vertical balusters, which immediately updates the look.

Modern Newel Posts and Caps

Traditional newel posts are wooden and either square or turned (given a rounded look or design through the woodworking process of woodturning). Contemporary newel posts have clean lines and are often painted to match the stairs or the rest of the room. The newel post and cap can go a long way in changing the look of the whole staircase.

Eye-Catching Risers

Since risers face out, there are almost limitless possibilities for personalizing them. Adding pops of color on the stair risers makes a big impact, so don’t be afraid to choose an accent paint color or even plan some tile or stenciled accents.


Decorative risers make a big impact.

Unique Materials

To really modernize a staircase, think outside the usual materials. Using glass or glass-look acrylic always creates a sleek, modern vibe, giving the whole staircase an airy feeling. Shiny steel still feels new, and marble or stone is always a beautiful choice. Mixing materials can create an eclectic feeling for a truly unique look.

Custom Staircase Remodeling

Whatever your dream staircase remodel looks like, you need a staircase remodeling contractor who can work with you to bring it to life.

Your home is where your life unfolds, and you deserve a contractor who understands. We are committed to giving you the best experience possible.

Contact us today to start the process of creating your dream home.