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The first step up a staircase that is typically a little larger to accept the newel post and possibly some smaller spindles is usually referred to as a "starter step". The first step that starts your run from floor to floor.
Starter stair treads can be made in a number of different designs depending on the overall layout of your steps but here is information about the most common wood starter step that we get asked for..
As you can see by the picture of this oak stair tread, the entire left hand end is rounded, until it meets the corner of the stringer... thus it gets its name as a "half" round starting step.
The end is "half" of a circle.
The bullnose continues from along the front edge of the tread, right around the curved left side until the tread meets the stringer and then the step is notched back to match the depth of the remaining stairs.
The diameter or size of the half round end can vary drastically from 12" to over 20" in some cases.
We have computerized cutting technology on-site to accommodate any size of half round tread that you require. That being said though, your size should to match the "tread box" underneath plus the amount of wood you need to create an evenly sized lip around the perimeter.
A = the length that the tread hangs over the edge of the stringer. At a minimum it must be at least one half the distance of "D". In other words if your starter step has a 12" (D) half round end, then "A" should be at least 6" so that it meets the stringer square on.
If you are planing to use a volute as part of your hand railing installation then A usually needs to be at least 10"
B = the overall length of the tread from one side to the other
C = the standardized depth of the tread, not including the notched section for the half round end. This is usually 10" to 11 1/4" , designed to match the rest of the staircase.
D = the depth of the half round finished end. We have templates made for 12", 14" and 15". Any other size can be made, but incur extra design charge to make a new template.
E = length of the tread just up until it hits the notch
These are the measurements that we need to make sure we cut a starter tread to match your existing box.... then you can order a wood starting step directly from ourselves as the manufacturer!