Starting steps protrude into a room at the base of a staircase and may be visible from several sides. This added surface area can showcase materials and finishes of the risers and treads. It can also be used for base newel posts or elaborate volutes. A substantial starting step can also give scale and balance to a staircase by providing a proportionate base for wider newel posts and handrails.
Starting steps have made a resurgence in contemporary stair design. These exaggerated first stair treads are a great way to establish a tone for your stairs and to draw the eye up the newel post and across the entire balustrade. Starting steps also provide utility and functionality when stairs meet a landing by allowing multi-directional access to your stairs.
Starting steps are typically described as “single bullnose” or “double bullnose.” This refers to the overall shape, specifically whether the step has room for a radius cap or volute base on one (single) side or both (double) sides. The deciding factor is usually a wall on one side of the step. Also, notice that there are specific starting steps designed for use with box newels.
When ordering a new starter step, measure across the existing stairway. This will ensure the correct fit.