Minimum Stair Width for All Purposes

Having a proper measurement for all your home elements is crucial, especially when we talk about the minimum stair width. The measurement standard or rules was not made for anything. It was made to make the stairs as safe as possible. Ignoring this will harm in the long run.

Staircase’s main purpose is to deliver you from one-floor level to another one. It also has another purpose which is for an aesthetic component for your home. Sometimes when we talk about aesthetics, the measurement can be a little bit different than the rules.

But, as a responsible homeowner, we should not ignore the standard measurement to ensure stair safety without ignoring your home’s aesthetic function.

A different kind of building has a different measurement to, for example, the measurement for residential building compared to a commercial building measurement. Different standards used can also lead to different numbers of measurements.

This time, we will talk about the measurement of the stairs for residential and commercial buildings and the IBC standard measurement.

Minimum Stair Width Residential

The most common and efficient method to traverse floors in residential buildings is through stairways. Some may have more budgets to install an elevator in their home, but it is not usual. 

A residential building is where people lived as opposed to industrial or commercial buildings. That’s why using a safe stair measurement will ensure more safety for the people who live there.

Minimum Stair Width Residential

The standard used for the residential stairway comes from the International Residential Code or IRC. IRC is an independent residential code that decides minimum measurement for one and two-family buildings with three stories or less. The number must be obeyed to ensure the safety of the building.

According to 2012 IRC, the minimum stair width for basic stairs with one handrail is at least 31.5 inches and 27 inches for stairs with two handrails. For spiral staircases, the minimum width is 36 inches. That is the measurement required to fit IRC regulations.

Minimum Stair Width Commercial

Commercial buildings are a building that is intended for commercial use. This includes office buildings, warehouses, or retail buildings. A little bit different from the residential building, commercial building’s main purpose is to do business rather than live daily.

Minimum Stair Width Commercial

The standard used for the measurement can vary from the International Building Code (IBC) to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Fixed Industrial Stair regulations. Both standards must be done correctly to ensure the safety of the stairs. If the minimum requirements are not fulfilled, safety will be compromised.

Both regulations stated that the minimum stair width is 22 inches wide. This number comes from calculating the stair to be as safe as possible and also made with efficient resources. With less space required, less cost needed to make and maintain the stairs.

Minimum Stair Width IBC

IBC as the standard of measurement in stair width has been mentioned above. The International Code Council (ICC) is the institution responsible for creating the codebook. Several countries have implemented the standard, like the USA, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and many other countries.

The IBC regulation really puts attention to the health and safety of the buildings made. The code intends to provide safety while also avoiding unnecessary costs in the process.

Minimum Stair Width IBC

The code regulation was printed in the codebook with totals of over 700 pages. The codebook tells us about building occupancy classifications, building heights and areas, interior finishes, foundation construction, and many others. Now, we will talk about stair regulation, especially the stair width measurement.

According to the IBC, stairways must be at least 36 inches wide. This measurement applied for stairs with an occupant of fewer than 50 people. If the building is open for the public, obeying IBC guidelines is a non-negotiable requirement.

Building stairs is a necessary step for a building with two stories or more. Building a safe stair is a must to ensure safety for the people who stay in the building. There are differences in measurement used for different kinds of buildings. Residential building and commercial building is different one another, alas, they have a different measurement.

Many regulations can be used for reference in finding the minimum stair width. IRC, IBC, and OSHA are some of the regulations that are commonly used for reference. The purpose of this regulation is no other than to provide safety of the building while also cut the unnecessary cost in building it.

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HomeTips is an experienced author and expert technician. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects related to home improvement, including installation, maintenance, and repair.