Underneath Metal Floating Stair Switchback Stringer

Metal Stair Stringer

The term “stringer” refers to the spine of a staircase. As the backbone of your stairs, the stringer is a critical element of any well-constructed staircase. A newer invention, the metal stair stringer has quickly become a renovation in stair design, appealing to contractors and DIY homeowners alike.

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Traditionally, stringers were made from construction lumber and would be installed in threes: one stringer on each side of the stairway, and one in the center for support. Wide stairways required a few extra stringers for structural support. In these conventional stairways, the stringer was actually built inside the walls, hidden in drywall or paneling, where it became part of the structural membrane of the house.

However, modern homeowners are moving away from traditional staircase design. Single metal stair stringers are beginning to replace the boxy, outdated wood stringers of the past. Instead of being hidden inside the walls, metal stair stringers are crafted to be seen.

What is a Metal Stair Stringer?

Floating Stairs Cable Railing Ash Thick Stair Tread

The metal stringer tube (that large, visible piece of metal below the staircase) is likely what comes to mind when you see or think of a metal stair stringer. Its main function is to support the floating staircase.

Most metal stair stringers weigh around 300 pounds, and they often require an arduous installation process. However, when it comes to DIY projects, our metal stair stringer will be your best friend. They are exceptionally versatile and can be installed in several different configurations. Because they ship pre-assembled, our metal stringers install quickly, allowing you to complete the project on your schedule.

Metal Stringer Bracket

A small but critical component, metal stringer brackets are designed to hold each stair tread in place. The bracket must be securely fastened to both the steel mono stringer and the stair tread. For the DIY homeowner, it’s important that brackets are shipped in a way that allows for easy installation.

Traditionally, stair brackets are welded onto the metal stair stringer prior to installation. However, this can cause issues for the DIY homeowner during the shipping process, because the stringer has to be shipped with all the brackets pre-welded onto the stringer.

floating stair tread bracket

Additionally, welding distorts the metal on the stair stringer, causing a scar where the bracket and stringer are joined together. It takes some serious strategic design to cover the metal where is has been welded.

Flow-drilling (or friction drilling) eliminates the weld entirely. First, we use a flow drill to create a long hole in the metal on the stair stringer. The metal is displaced by the friction that is caused from the flow drill’s quick movement, and it bends in toward itself — creating a circular tube. We change out the drill bit, then repeat the process to add threads to the circular tube so that a bolt can be inserted. Flow drilling also creates a rim around the top of this circular tube, where the bolt rests.

A bolted stringer is easy to ship and looks great. Instead of shipping the stringer with all of the welded brackets, we can ship the stringer and brackets separately, and the customer can easily bolt them together on the job site.

Floating Stair Treads

Stair treads have a simple purpose: to support your feet as they go up the staircase. Depending on the type of stairway, stair treads can be made from wood, metal, or plastic.
They can be made out of non-slip materials for indoor stairways, or thermally modified in order to withstand the elements outdoors.

walnut stair tread detail

For the DIY homeowner, thick stair treads are a dream. When we make our thick stair treads, we glue each piece of lumber together to create a strong step for your feet. It looks great, feels great, and is super supportive. Our thick stair treads are built by cutting, planing, and gluing pieces of hardwoods together. Crafted from high-quality hardwoods, our thick treads have unique wood grain and are capable of withstanding a lifetime of wear. They can be ordered in a variety of stunning finishes.

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If you’re ready to narrow down your options and get more specific pricing, fill out our design help form by clicking the button below, or give us a call at (574) 742-1030. You can expect a quick conversation discussing general information about your project and you will also receive a quote either during the call or soon thereafter.

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