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Guide to the ADA Standards

Stairways [§504]

Requirements for stairways address treads and risers, surfaces, nosings, and handrails.

Stairs with riser 4” – 7” high and tread depth 11” min.  Notes:  Treads and Risers (§504.2 and §504.3) All steps on a flight must have uniform riser heights within a range of 4” – 7” and uniform tread depths that are 11” min. Open risers are prohibited. Tread Surface and Wet Conditions (§504.4 and (§504.7) Tread surfaces must comply with requirements for ground and floor surfaces (§302) and cannot have changes in level other than slopes not steeper than 1:48. Treads and landings subject to wet conditions must be designed to prevent the accumulation of water.

Three nosing profiles shown.  Tread edge radius with note: The radius of curvature at the leading edge of the tread must be ½” max.    Angled riser with note:  	Risers can slope under the tread at an angle not exceeding 30º from vertical.  Curved or beveled nosing with note: Nosings cannot project more than 1½” over the tread, and the underside of the leading edge of the nosing must be curved or beveled.

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Recommendation:  Providing visual contrast (light-on-dark or dark-on-light) on the top and bottom steps that is approximately 2 inches wide and located either on nosings or at the leading edges of treads is helpful for people with low vision.


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