Stair Widths

Diagram comparing multiple measured widths of stairs with a single person for scale

Stair widths are based on the use and occupancy loads of adjacent spaces and must be serviced with handrails on one or both sides depending on the stair width. For stairs serving a single user (typically private residential), a minimum of 36” | 91 cm is required. In general public spaces a minimum of 44” | 112 cm must be met—providing ample space for one person and allowing the tight passage of two people. Comfortable two person stair widths range between 49” | 125 cm to 60” | 152 cm. For three simultaneous users, a minimum of 74” | 188 cm is recommended. Handrails must be placed every 60” | 152 cm.

Consult the building code for details on specific occupancy loads.

Collection of dimensioned stair widths with people ranging from 1 person to 3 person widths

Stair widths are based on the use and occupancy loads of adjacent spaces and must be serviced with handrails on one or both sides depending on the stair width. For stairs serving a single user (typically private residential), a minimum of 36” | 91 cm is required. In general public spaces a minimum of 44” | 112 cm must be met—providing ample space for one person and allowing the tight passage of two people. Comfortable two person stair widths range between 49” | 125 cm to 60” | 152 cm. For three simultaneous users, a minimum of 74” | 188 cm is recommended. Handrails must be placed every 60” | 152 cm.

Consult the building code for details on specific occupancy loads.

Common Questions

Details

*Under Development*

1 Person (Private): 36” | 91 cm
1-2 People (Min. Public): 44” | 112 cm
2 People: 49” | 125 cm
2 People (Comfortable): 60” | 152 cm
3 People: 74” | 188 cm
Human Body Accommodation: 22” | 56 cm

Drawings include:
Stair Widths front elevations, front (people)

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