Stairways that require the user to step unevenly (e.g., two steps forward followed by one step up) can be confusing and sometimes dangerous for people impacted by blindness. Treads and risers on stairs should be arranged so that users can maintain a consistent climbing rhythm.

Follow these guidelines for treads and risers:

  • A flight of stairs should have uniform riser heights and tread depths.
  • Risers should be a maximum of 180 mm high.
  • Treads should be at least 280 mm deep from riser to riser.
  • Risers should be closed, not open.
  • Treads should be covered with, or made from, a slip-resistant textured surface extending the full width of the tread. This surface should cover at least half the depth of the tread starting at the nosing.
  • Carpeting with bold patterns should not be used. Bold patterns can cause perceptual problems and obscure the edges of the treads.