If you’re building or renovating a multi-level home, you will need safe and comfortable stairs. Fortunately, people have been building stairs for so long that it has become an almost exact science. The right measurements really can have a big impact on how your stairs feel to use each day.

According to research and experience, each step should be a minimum of 34 inches wide, while the rising height between each stepping level should be no more than 8 inches. A stair tread, which is where your foot actually steps, should be a least 10 inches deep for safety. That includes having a lip of around an inch to stop slipping. This does not however mitigate the need for using a material with good grip for the tread on each step, or at least a strip of non-slip tape. Additionally, at least 80 inches of headroom is recommended above each step, to avoid and head bumps or bending, which can be dangerous when climbing stairs.

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