preferred stair angle of accent

go do it

as a contractor my general rule of thumb  to have a stair that is comfortable is to use a rise of 7" and a run of 11" producing an accent angle of 32.47. i was taught this by an old dog builder plus it is easy to remember 7/11.

without any complications what is most preferred angle of accent?

Mar 23, 14 7:17 pm


7:11 is comfortable, but takes more space than a steeper stair, obviously.  Many codes have disallowed steeper stairs, so it may be a moot point, depending upon the code in your jurisdiction.

Remember the good old days when you could still do 8:9 and a 30-inch width?  Now that was a functional, space-saving stair that saved many a compact floor plan...

Mar 23, 14 8:17 pm  · 

There is no standard angle, a comfortable stair is all about the relationship between rise and run.

2R + T = +/-25

7" rise x2 = 14, subtract from 25 = 11" tread

5" rise x2 = 10, subtract from 25 = 15" tread

Mar 23, 14 8:18 pm  · 
go do it

Thanks citizen... I always get angle and angel mixed up too.

Oh I know all of the relationships involved but I was hoping for a "if I had my druthers"

angle. I think that a long straight run set of stairs with low angle of ascent is kind of hot.

A laid back lazy look.   

Mar 23, 14 8:31 pm  · 

The only really low-angled stairs I've experienced are in public building lobby or plaza situations.  I don't like them if too low... they disrupt normal step-taking...

Mar 23, 14 9:05 pm  · 

I like 6" risers and 12" treads...

It is a more generous feeling tread and not to steep of a stair and makes floor to floor dimensions fall in 6" increments which is nice.

Mar 23, 14 9:22 pm  · 
Miles, I like the rule of thumb but have always felt 8" rise / 9" run to feel steep, yet is common in residential and allowed here by code.
Mar 23, 14 11:12 pm  · 
go do it

here are a couple more rules/guidelines:

       * the sum of 1 riser and 1 tread should equal 17 to 18 inches

       * the product of 1 riser and 1 tread should equal  70 -75 inches

Mar 24, 14 12:29 am  · 

Or, you could just take a look in the building code. Around here at least, the code dictates minimums and maximums for rise and run. It's not any more complicated than that. 7/11 ( or what should actually be called 11/7 ) is a pretty universal starting point.

Mar 24, 14 1:08 am  · 

I would suggest carrying a ruler with you at all times and just measure all the stairs that you feel comfortable walking up and down on. You may feel silly at first but after a while you'll discover your preferred angle.

Mar 24, 14 6:25 am  · 

I purchased a small pocket ruler just for the sort of activity randomized describes. People look at me like a total loon when they spot me doing this, but this way I know for a fact that most of my favourite stairs fall between the 4" rise/16" tread and 6" rise/12" tread...

Mar 24, 14 1:09 pm  · 

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