Canada Stair Calculator

This Page's Content Was Last Updated: June 27, 2022
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Inputs
cm
cm
1619
Steps
Stair Infographic
Results
Stringer Height: 257.81 cmStringer Length: 607.43 cmStringer Width: 31.13 cmAngle: 25.11°Step Rise: 17.19 cmStep Run: 36.67 cm

About the Stair Calculator

The stair calculator allows you to estimate the measures necessary to build a staircase. Building a staircase may be a complicated task because there are many different aspects and variables that must be considered. This calculator can provide you with an insight into how your stairs will look given the total run and the total rise. It also allows you to select the desired number of stairs and see how the dimensions change as the number of steps changes. The calculator estimates the dimensions of the stairs that are in line with the National Building Code of Canada, which means that it will warn you if the dimensions of the stairs are not up to code.

This stair calculator allows you to choose between flush and mount connections for your stairs, which will affect the dimensions of the staircase. You need to input the total run and total rise in the units of your choice. After that, you can calculate the dimensions of the stairs in the unit of your choice by adjusting the “To Unit” variable.

Calculator Variables

Even though there are quite a few values required to describe the dimensions of the stairs, you only need to input three simple variables.

Input Variables:

  • Total Run - The horizontal length of the stairs.
  • Total Rise - The total height between the two floors that will be connected by the stairs.
  • Mount - The way stairs connect to the deck. The standard mount uses decking as an extra step, which means that the height of the staircase will be one step lower than the total rise. The flush mount does not use the decking as an extra step, which means that the stairs will have the same height as the total rise.

Output Variables:

  • Stringer Height - This variable refers to how high the height of the staircase only. The stringer height for the standard mount is equal to the total rise minus the rise of one step because the decking is used as an extra step with this kind of mount. On the other hand, when a staircase uses a flush mount, the stringer height is equal to the total rise.
  • Stringer Length - This variable refers to the length of a stringer. This is a very important dimension for wooden staircases because this metric is used to estimate the dimensions of the materials needed to be purchased to make a good stringer.
  • Stringer Width - Stringer width is the width of the stringer at its widest point. Stringer width is another important variable for estimating the dimensions of materials needed to be purchased to make a stringer. The widest point is used to make sure that the planks used are large enough for the desired staircase.
  • Angle - This metric refers to the elevation angle of the stringer from the ground.
  • Rise - The height of a single step.
  • Run - The length of a single step.

How to Build Stairs Effectively

Just as with any construction project, building a staircase requires a clear and precise plan that has all the measurements ready. You may need to build a staircase to connect floors in your house, to build easy access to a deck, or to have a way to a basement. It does not matter why you are building the stairs, the most important part of doing it effectively is to think through the construction and make a detailed plan of the construction. Before using the staircase calculator, it might be wise to find square footage of the area where the stairs will be located. By understanding where the stairs will be, you can visualize the end result and ensure that you picked the appropriate rise and run for the staircase.

Timeframe of the project may be very important too. When you have a clear construction plan ready, you should find a way to finance the project. If you cannot pay out of pocket, you may need to find a lender who is willing to approve you for a construction loan. This loan may let you finish the project without the need to raise any more capital.

You need to have a clear plan and an accurate budget to ensure that the construction is done properly and is not delayed. Once you have the plan ready and you know how to finance your project, you can start using the calculator to estimate the dimensions of the stairs you need and the amount of material you need for the job.

How to Calculate the Stairs Dimensions

It might take a little bit of time to understand how the calculations are made for the stair dimensions. This section provides a step-by-step process into how the calculator finds all the necessary dimensions. The calculations might look complex, but a step-by-step process provided below can be useful to understand and estimate all the required dimensions for the staircase. It is important to note that the two different mounts will have slightly different calculations, so it is important to pick a mount type before estimating the staircase dimensions.

Similar to the calculator inputs, you will need the following variables to calculate the dimensions of the stairs:

  • Total Rise
  • Total Run
  • The Number of Steps

Even though you can choose the number of steps you want, according to the National Building Code of Canada, steps for stairs shall have a run of at least 280mm and the rise of at least 125mm and not more than 180mm. Given these requirements, to estimate the appropriate range of numbers of steps, the following formulas may be used:

You have the freedom to choose the number of the steps you want between the minimum and the maximum number of steps to comply with the building regulations. It is important to note that if the maximum number of steps is less than the minimum number of steps, your stair dimensions will not comply with the building regulations. You are still free to build the staircase using your own dimensions, but they will not be up to the building code, which may lead to liabilities later on. It is best to avoid construction projects that do not comply with the building code.

Standard Mount Calculations

  1. Calculate the Rise and Run of a Single Step
  2. The standard mount uses the deck as a step. This means that the number of runs in the staircase will be one less than the number of rises. Once you decide how many stairs you want to have, you can find the rise and the run of a single step. The formulas below provide you a clear explanation how to find the rise and the run of a single step.

  3. Calculate Stringer Height
  4. A stringer is the main item that keeps the staircase together. The standard mount uses the deck for an extra step, which means that the height of the stringer is simply the total rise minus the rise of a single step. The following formula can help you calculate the stringer height.

  5. Calculate Stringer Length
  6. A Pythagorean theorem can be applied here to find a stringer length. You can use the following formula for that.

  7. Calculate Stringer Width
  8. As a rule of thumb, a stringer width should be double the thickness of a single step. Using this rule, you can follow the formula below to find the width of the stringer.

  9. Calculate Elevation Angle
  10. The last metric that needs to be calculated is the elevation angle. The following formula will help you determine the angle.

Calculating for Flush Mount

Calculating the staircase dimensions for a flush mount is very similar to calculating the stair dimensions for standard mount. The calculations only differ in the first two steps of the process, while the other calculations are the same. The following steps can be used to calculate the dimensions of stairs using the flush mount.

  1. Calculate the Rise and Run of a Single Step
  2. The flush mount does not use the deck as a step. This means that the flush mount has the same number of rises and runs. In addition to that, both the number of runs and rises are equal to the number of steps. Once you decide how many stairs you want to have, you can find the rise and the run of a single step. The formulas below provide you a formula to find the rise and the run of a single step.

  3. Calculate Stringer Height
  4. A stringer is the main item that keeps the staircase together. The flush mount does not use the deck for an extra step, which means that the height of the stringer is simply the total rise.

  5. Calculate Stringer Length
  6. A Pythagorean theorem can be applied here to find a stringer length. You can use the following formula for that.

  7. Calculate Stringer Width
  8. As a rule of thumb, a stringer width should be double the thickness of a single step. Using this rule, you can follow the formula below to find the width of the stringer.

  9. Calculate Elevation Angle
  10. The last metric that needs to be calculated is the elevation angle. The following formula will help you determine the angle.

The calculators and content on this page are provided for general information purposes only. WOWA does not guarantee the accuracy of information shown and is not responsible for any consequences of the use of the calculator.