Determining The Height Of The Stair Landing

By Greg Vanden Berge

Anyone who's interested in stair construction should understand how to determine the height of the stair landing. This is often one of the most confusing and difficult things for most carpenters who work in the construction industry today.

I will try to simplify this process so bear with me. The first thing that you're going to need to do is determine how many steps there are on the stairway.

For our example, we will use 13 steps which will be the horizontal section of the stairway that you actually step on while climbing the stairs and the vertical sections which we will call the stairway risers.

In almost every stairway, you will have one extra stair riser than your stair tread's. In our example we are going to have 14 risers and 13 steps or stair treads. If our stair landing is going to be seven risers from the floor, you simply multiply seven equal riser measurements and this will give you the overall distance that the stair landing will be off of the ground.

Let's say that our individual stairway riser is 7 inches. We multiply seven stair risers times our 7 inch rise and this will give us 49 inches. Our new stair landing will be 49 inches from the top of the finished floor to the top of the stair landing.

Now here's the secret that most people mess up on. You need to subtract the thickness of your stair landing sheathing from the overall measurement, before you install your stair landing joist or stair landing framing members. Here's another example, you're going to use 3/4" plywood sheeting for your stair landing.

You will simply deduct three quarters of an inch from your 49 inch overall measurement, before you frame your stair landing. That way when you're finished, the overall measurements from the top of the stair landing to the top of the finished floor will be 49 inches.

That wasn't that hard was it.

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