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When you enter a house, it's not unusual for the first thing you notice to be a staircase. The staircase remains a central building element in every home. However, you mustn't neglect its aesthetic aspect, which must be harmoniously integrated into the home. For any staircase, whether residential or commercial, you need a solid foundation.

As an age-old architectural element, the stair string is an essential component of any staircase, whatever its size. So, before thinking about treads, handrails, and balusters, the first element a staircase builder needs to consider is the stringer.

Prestige Metal is proud to offer you this steel stair stringers buying guide, which will tell you about the many facets and advantages of steel stringers, as well as their dominant role in the structural support of residential staircases.

What is a steel stringer?

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The steel stringer is located under the stair treads to provide support. It can be positioned in the center of the staircase, creating a space where the treads fit, or it can be placed on the sides of the treads, forming a space where the treads, risers, balusters, and banister bars fit together.

Steel stringers can be used in all types of residential and commercial buildings:

  • Bungalows
  • Prestige homes
  • Multi-storey homes
  • Condo tower
  • Duplex / Triplex
  • Hotel / Inn
  • Commercial space
  • Apartment complex

What are the benefits of a steel stringer?

The use of a steel stringer in the construction of a staircase offers several benefits:

  • Sturdiness and durability: Steel is an extremely strong and durable material, making it an ideal choice for stair stringers. It can withstand heavy loads without deforming, ensuring the staircase's longevity.
  • Stability: Steel stringers offer great stability to the staircase, which is essential for user safety. They minimize the risk of bending or warping, ensuring a stable tread surface.
  • Versatile design: Steel can be shaped in a variety of ways to create a variety of staircase designs, whether modern, contemporary, industrial, or traditional. It offers great design flexibility.
  • Easy care: Steel stringers are generally easy to maintain. Periodic cleaning and the application of a protective coating can suffice to keep them in good condition.
  • Eco-responsibility: Steel is recyclable, making it an environmentally friendly choice. Recycled steel stringers help reduce the carbon footprint of construction.
  • Weather resistance: Steel stringers are resistant to corrosion, especially if treated with protective coatings such as paint or galvanization. This makes them suitable for both indoor and outdoor staircases.
  • Quick installation: All stringers are specially designed to be easy for the contractor to install. All stringers are supplied with an installation drawing. Whether central or lateral, stringer installation is often faster than traditional staircase construction.

What are the different types of steel stringers?

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Central steel stringer

A central stringer is in the middle of the staircase, supporting the treads from the center outwards. Staircases with a central stringer are often used to create an elegant, contemporary look. The central stringer can be single or double, depending on the structural requirements of the staircase.


What are the benefits of a central stringer?

  • Elegant aesthetics: Staircases with a central stringer offer a contemporary, elegant look. The open design gives the impression that the steps are floating, which can be visually impressive.
  • Natural lighting: The space beneath the staircase is usually open, allowing natural light to pass through and illuminate the surrounding area.
  • Space-saving: The central stringer design maximizes the space available under the staircase, which can be useful for storage or other functional uses.
  • Load balancing: Central stringers are designed to evenly distribute the load on the treads, ensuring high staircase stability.
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Lateral Stringer

Lateral stringers are placed on either side of the staircase, supporting the treads from the sides. They are more common in traditional staircases and offer great stability.

Lateral stringers are a popular option for staircase construction due to their design flexibility and ease of installation. They are suitable for a variety of architectural styles and offer the possibility of customizing the staircase to the specific needs of the project.

What are the benefits of a lateral stringer?

  • Stability: lateral stringers give the staircase great stability. They distribute the load of the treads evenly over the sides, making the staircase strong and stable.
  • Design versatility: Staircases with lateral stringers can be designed in a variety of styles, whether modern, contemporary, traditional, or industrial. Lateral stringers offer design flexibility and can be combined with different materials to create the desired aesthetic.
  • Simplicity of installation: Lateral stringers are generally simpler to install than central stringers, as they are mounted directly on the sides of the staircase and do not require a complex central support.
  • Adaptability: Lateral stringers are equally suitable for straight staircases, spiral staircases, or staircases with curves, making them versatile for different types of staircases.
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Mono stringer

A mono stringer is characterized using a single, often large, central beam to support the stair treads. The mono stringer is popular in modern and contemporary architecture because of its clean, open appearance, minimizing visual obstructions. The treads are usually fixed to the central beam, and the outer edges may be cantilevered or supported by other means, creating a striking visual effect.

What are the benefits of a mono stringer?

  • Robust and durable: By opting for a single stringer, you guarantee the strength and durability of your steps and staircase. Single stringers can withstand heavier loads, ensuring greater safety for you, your family and your employees.
  • Better aesthetics: Single stringers offer a refined appearance that can be easily customized with our wide range of available colors and finishes. The single stringer can also be combined with a variety of materials to create a truly unique product.
  • Space-saving: with their single support beam, single stringers take up less space and give a feeling of openness to the environment. They are perfectly suited to spaces such as condos, apartments, or lofts.
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Double stringer

A double stringer is distinguished by its two central beams supporting the steps instead of just one. Double stringers are favored for their ability to create more traditional, robust staircases, ideal for supporting heavy loads or intensive use. They also offer a different aesthetic, enabling the design of more massive, classic staircases.

What are the benefits of a double stringer?

  • Greater stability: Double stringers give the staircase great stability by evenly distributing the weight of the treads and the people using them. This ensures that the staircase is strong and durable.
  • Enhanced aesthetics: Double stringers can be designed to be aesthetically appealing. They can be manufactured in a variety of materials, such as wood, metal, or glass, and can be customized to match the style and design of the surrounding space.
  • Versatility: Double stringers can be used in a variety of stair configurations, including straight, spiral, or quarter-turn staircases, making them versatile for different architectural needs.

Closed Stringer

Also known as a solid stringer, the closed stringer is the lateral or inclined part that supports the steps, distinguished by its completely closed characteristic on both sides.

It is composed of two vertical panels framing the steps, offering structural stability and a solid appearance. Closed stair stringers are frequently used on interior and exterior staircases for both aesthetic and functional reasons.

What are the benefits of a closed stringer?

  • Greater stability: Closed stringers offer greater structural stability to staircases by completely framing the treads on both sides. This makes them robust and suitable for staircases that will be subjected to frequent use or heavy loads.
  • More aesthetic: The closed stringer offers a solid, continuous appearance to the staircase, which can be aesthetically pleasing. They can be designed in a variety of styles and materials to suit different decors and aesthetic preferences.
  • Safer: Because of their stability, closed stringers contribute to user safety by minimizing the risk of staircase deformation or failure.

Open stringer

An open stringer is a structural component of a staircase attached to only one side of the treads, usually on the outside, leaving the other side open. This design gives the staircase a light, airy appearance, giving the impression that the treads are floating or suspended.

Open stringers are commonly used in contemporary and modern staircases because of their elegant aesthetics and ability to maximize visual space, making them suitable for tight spaces and creating a feeling of openness in the room.

What are the benefits of an open stringer?

  • Modern aesthetics: Open stringers create a modern, airy look for the staircase, giving the impression that the treads are floating or suspended. This can add a contemporary, elegant touch to the space.
  • Maximizing visual space: By leaving one side open, open stringers maximize the visual space in a room. This can be particularly useful in small or cramped spaces, as it avoids visually overloading the environment.
  • Perception of space: The visual openness created by open stringers can give the impression of a larger, more open space, which can be beneficial for small properties or compact living spaces.

What are the components of a stair stringer?

Stringer body: This is the main structure of the stringer, forming the base on which the stair treads rest. It is generally made of wood or metal, depending on the material chosen for the stringer.

Lower support: The lower support is the part of the stringer that rests on the floor or surface on which the staircase is installed. It can take various forms, such as adjustable metal feet, wooden plinths, or other fastening mechanisms.

Treads: The treads of the staircase rest on the body of the stringer. They are the surface on which you walk up or down the staircase. Treads can be made of wood, metal, glass, or other materials, and are attached to the stringer to ensure the staircase's stability.

Landing (or intermediate landing - if applicable): In the case of stairs with a landing, the stringer may have a horizontal section between two sections of steps. This landing provides space to rest or turn as you ascend or descend the staircase.

Risers: Risers are vertical panels located between the treads to close the space between them. Not all staircases have risers, but they can improve the aesthetics and safety of the staircase.

Handrail (if applicable): The handrail is a railing or bar attached to the stringer to provide extra support and help people climb up and down the stairs safely. It can be made of wood, metal, or other materials.

Finishes: Stair stringers can be finished with materials such as paint, stain, or varnish to enhance their appearance and protect them from wear and tear and the elements.

What types of steel are used in stringer production?

Mild steel (carbon steel)

Benefits: Mild steel is widely used due to its availability and affordability. It is strong enough for most staircase applications and can be easily welded and shaped to create custom designs.

Stainless Steel

Benefits: Stainless steel is corrosion-resistant, making it an ideal choice for both indoor and outdoor staircases. It is durable and offers a modern, elegant aesthetic. It's also easy to maintain and clean.

Corten steel (self-patinating steel)

Benefits: Corten steel is a self-smoothing steel that develops a protective rust layer on the surface, offering a rustic yet contemporary appearance. It is durable and weather-resistant.

Galvanized steel

Benefits: Galvanized steel is coated with zinc to protect it from corrosion. It is suitable for outdoor staircases and damp environments. It's also easy to maintain.

High-strength carbon steel

Benefits: High-strength carbon steel is stronger than conventional mild steel, making it an appropriate choice for applications requiring high load-bearing capacity, such as staircases in commercial or industrial buildings.

Textured effect Corten steel

Benefits: Corten steel can also be textured to add an extra aesthetic dimension to the staircase, creating a more interesting and unique surface.

Brushed or polished stainless steel

Benefits: Stainless steel can be finished with brushing or polishing for a smooth, shiny appearance, ideal for high-end and contemporary staircases.

How to create a unique staircase design from a steel stringer?

Now that you've chosen the stringer for your staircase, you can create a staircase with a unique look, with quality components and a clever combination of diverse materials (glass, steel, metal, wood, etc.). First, here's an overview of the main types of staircases, with examples.

What are the main components of a staircase?

To create a style that's out of the ordinary, you need staircase components that, when combined, will harmonize and meet your styling needs.


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The balusters are elements of various shapes (round or square cross-section, arabesque) located between the stringer and the handrail. At Prestige Metal, you'll find a multitude of models to suit romantic, minimalist, industrial, contemporary, modern, and traditional styles.


Materials used:

  • Forged steel balusters
  • Stainless steel balusters
  • Metal, wood, and glass balusters
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Handrail support

A handrail support on a staircase is an essential component of the staircase structure, providing support and a secure grip for people climbing up or down the stairs. Handrail supports can be made from a variety of materials, such as wood, metal, steel, or glass, depending on staircase style and aesthetic preferences.


Materials used:

  • Forged steel handrail support
  • Stainless steel handrail support
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Stair railings and accessories

A stair railing is a protective barrier placed along the edge of the staircase, usually on the open side of the staircase, to prevent accidental falls. Typically, a stair railing consists not only of a handrail, but also of balusters.

As with balusters, you can define the style of your staircase with different types of railings, such as glass railings for a more contemporary look, or stainless-steel rod railings for a sleek, modern look.


Railing materials and accessories

  • Stainless steel glass clamps (for glass railings)
  • Stainless steel newel posts
  • Steel cable railing system
  • Stainless steel handrail
  • Stainless steel rods
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Newel posts

A newel post (or staircase newel post) is an architectural element usually found at the base of a staircase. It may be located at the bottom end of the staircase, where users begin to ascend or descend, or it may be placed a short distance from the bottom end of the staircase.


Materials used

  • Forged steel newel posts

What are the elements to consider before buying a steel stair stringer?

When buying a staircase stringer, there are many things to consider when choosing the right model for your project. Here are the main elements to consider:

  • Stringer type: Choose whether you need a central or lateral stringer, single or double, depending on the style of staircase you want to design.
  • Steel type: Choose the stringer material according to your aesthetic preferences, the durability required and the environment where the staircase will be installed (indoor or outdoor). Common options include mild steel, stainless steel, Corten steel, galvanized steel, etc.
  • Load Capacity: Make sure the stringer you choose can safely support the intended load of the staircase. This will depend on the size of the treads, the number of steps and the intended use of the staircase.
  • Dimensions: Carefully measure the height and width of the staircase to ensure that the stringer will fit perfectly. Prestige Metal can customize your stair stringer to meet your specific needs.
  • Finishing and aesthetics: Select the aesthetic finish of the stringer according to the style of the staircase and the overall aesthetics of the room or environment. Finishing options can include painting, brushing, polishing, powder coating and more. You'll find a wide variety of finishes and colors at Prestige Metal, to meet your customers' expectations.
  • Cost and budget: Set a realistic budget for the purchase of the stringer and take into account the total cost of the staircase, including other necessary components such as treads and railings.
  • Safety and construction standards: Make sure that the stringer complies with the safety standards in force in your area, to guarantee the safety of staircase users. Also, if you're a building contractor, it's important that the stair stringer also complies with the construction standards established in your region.
  • Customization options: Prestige Metal offers a multitude of customization options, including dimensions, color and finish. Based on your customers' needs, our advisors can customize the stringer to meet specific design requirements.

By taking these elements into account when purchasing a stair stringer, you'll be able to help your customer make an informed choice that meets your needs and preferences for your staircase project.

How do I order steel stringers from Prestige Metal?

The process of ordering a stair stringer from Prestige can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the project, the specific materials required and the customer's preferences.

However, here is an overview of how to order stringers from Prestige Metal:

  • Needs assessment: First, the contractor needs to assess the project's requirements. This includes determining the size, shape and style of the stair stringer required, as well as technical specifications such as exact dimensions.
  • Material selection: Depending on project requirements and customer preferences, the contractor will select the appropriate materials for the stair stringer.
  • Meeting with a specialized advisor: If you need further information or advice before ordering your stringer, we invite you to meet with an advisor. He or she has all the latest information on stringer manufacturing, as well as on manufacturing and construction standards in Canada and the United States.
  • Preparing the quotation: Once we have received your request for a quotation, the Prestige Metal team will prepare a detailed quotation for the stair stringer, including the cost of materials, labor, fabrication costs and all other expenses associated with the project. The quotation should also include a projected schedule for manufacturing and shipping the stringer.
  • Submitting the quote to the customer: Once the estimate has been prepared, the contractor will submit it to the customer for review and approval. The customer may request modifications or adjustments to the specifications if necessary. Only after final approval of the quotation by the customer will the manufacturing process begin.
  • Stringer manufacturing: Our technicians then proceed to manufacture the stair stringer to the agreed specifications. You can rest assured that all our stringers will be custom-made to your specifications, while complying with the regulations and standards in force in Canada and the United States. Our stringers are meticulously crafted to be easy to install and to meet customer requirements.
  • Customer delivery: Once the stair stringer has been manufactured, it can be delivered to the project site or installed by the contractor, as agreed in the contract.

What are the regulations and standards for stair stringers in Canada and the United States?

Prestige Metal is always on the lookout for new construction regulations and standards concerning staircase components (balusters, steel stringers, newel posts, steel cable guardrail systems, etc.).

Although our team does not install staircase components, we rigorously comply with the standards prescribed by the National Building Code (Canada) and the International Building Code (ICB and ICC), so that architects, general contractors, renovation companies and designers can meet their customers' needs.


As an example, here's an overview of the standards and requirements set by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) for the various components of an interior steel staircase.

  • Escape height (distance between steps and ceiling): 1.95 m (76 ¾ in.)
  • Riser height: between 14.6 and 20 cm (5 ¾ in. and 8 in.), the standard being 19 cm (7.5 in.)
  • Stair nosing: minimum 2.5 cm (1 in.)
  • Depth of each step (tread): minimum 23.5 cm (9 ¼ in.)
  • Tread of one step: depth from 21.6 to 29.2 cm (8.5 to 11.5 in.), but usually between 25.4 and 30.5 cm (10 to 12 in.)
  • Stair width: minimum 86.4 (34 in.)
  • Distance between stringers (support pieces): maximum 120 cm (47 ¼ in.)

Association lists - Staircase construction

To offer products of the highest quality and to adequately meet construction and stringer manufacturing standards, Prestige Metal must work closely with construction-related associations in Quebec, Canada and internationally. Our team is fully licensed to design and manufacture steel stringers. For more information on our licenses and accreditations, please consult the list below.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about stair stringers

How many stringers are needed for a staircase?

At least one stringer is required for a staircase designed with a central or single stringer under the treads. Two stringers are used in the case of a double or twin stringer placed outside the treads.

Do stair stringers need to be supported?

Stair stringers may require additional support depending on the length of the stringer and the width of the staircase. Wooden stringers generally need extra supports between 6′ and 10′ in length, while metal stringers generally don't need extra supports.

What is the maximum length of a stair stringer?

The maximum length of stair stringers depends on the material used to construct the stringers, the size of the stringers and the requirements of the stair building code. The IBC stair code limits stair stringers to a maximum vertical height of 12′ in a single run.

Can staircases be built without stringers?

Staircases can be built without stringers if each step provides its own structural support, by building them as caissons or adding supports for each step. Building staircases in this way can be less economical than using stringers.

I want to buy a stringer from Prestige Metal for the staircase in my house. Can I order one directly from the company?

Unfortunately, no. If you've found a stringer that meets your needs in our company, you'll have to go through your building contractor, who will order it with your measurements and specifications, directly from Prestige Metal or one of our distributors.

I'm a contractor and I need to buy several stair stringers for the construction of a condo tower. Can I order them directly from Prestige Metal?

Before placing your order with Prestige Metal, we recommend that you make an appointment with one of our advisors to discuss your needs and budget. You can also purchase your stringers from one of our distributors across Canada and the United States.

Why choose Prestige Metal to manufacture steel stair stringers?

With its commitment to aesthetics, meticulous choice of materials and attention to detail, Prestige Metal has been satisfying the most demanding customers since 1997. Made up of designers, craftsmen and technicians, the Prestige Metal team forms a solid, close-knit unit.

Every day, they pool their skills and creativity to design, imagine and manufacture balusters, newel posts, modules, and stair accessories of exceptional quality, while respecting budget constraints and shipping deadlines.

Doing business with Prestige Metal, specialists in the design and manufacture of stringers, offers many benefits when choosing and acquiring this essential component for staircase construction.

Here are a few reasons why you should work with Prestige Metal:

  • Technical expertise: Manufacturers specializing in steel stringers have in-depth expertise in the design, manufacture and installation of these elements. Their experience enables them to design sturdy steel stringers that comply with safety and quality standards.
  • Customization: We can tailor-make steel stringers to meet your specific requirements. They can be adapted in size, shape, style, and finish to match the design of your staircase and space.
  • Material quality: We always ensure that we use the highest quality materials, guaranteeing the durability and strength of these components. We can also advise you on the choice of materials to suit your intended application and aesthetic requirements.
  • Standards compliance: Since we deal with building contractors, renovation companies, designers, and architects, we must have a thorough knowledge of the construction and safety standards in force in Canada and even the United States. We make sure that our stair stringers comply with these standards to ensure user safety.
  • Custom fabrication: Our team can produce custom steel stringers to suit specific dimensions, load requirements and unique designs.
  • Competitive cost: Although custom-made steel stringers may seem more expensive at first glance, a Prestige Metal can help you find cost-effective solutions while maintaining quality and durability.
  • Quick installation: All stringers are specially designed to be easy for the contractor to install. All Prestige Metal stringers come with an installation plan. Whether central or lateral, stringer installation is often faster than traditional staircase construction.

Please note that we do not install staircases. We are proud to offer our products throughout Canada and even the United States, through specialized distributors and retailers. Many architects, general building contractors, renovation companies and interior designers have used our products in their construction and design projects and have come away completely satisfied.

Any questions?

If you'd like to find out more about our stair stringer manufacturing process, our stair components or simply request a quote, we invite you to contact us. Our team will be delighted to advise you!


Prestige Metal
2120, Lavoisier
Quebec, QC, Canada
G1N 4B1
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1-800-881-8811 (Toll Free)

1-888-334-3002 (Toll Free)