Design Solutions - Fall 2021 - 55

RELATIVE HUMIDITY
Just like other fine custom
woodwork products, the wood in a stair
is susceptible to changes in relative
humidity throughout the year. Section
3.2.3e reminds us to include expansion
joints on platforms and intermediate
landings. For more information on
Woodwork Dimensional Stability
see AWI-200-2018 Care & Storage
Standard. When woodwork dries
out, joints can separate, leaving the
fasteners to span the gaps between
woodwork members. A wiggly newel
post or creaking step may not have to
do with the installation but with the
uncontrolled relative humidity in the
interior environment. Check the special
information about Wood Stair, Handrail
and Guard Systems starting on page 26.
If a tread is curved, the riser
supporting it will also be curved.
Section 3.2.2.3 advises the method
of manufacture for Premium, Custom
and Economy grades. Options for
solid kerfed stock, kerfed veneered
plywood, solid form and bending
plywood all have their places within the
grade tables. Consulting with the stair
manufacturer and viewing examples
will help determine which method is
best for your project within its grade.
HANDRAIL AND GUARDS
There's nothing quite like the
warm and secure feeling of a wellproportioned
wood handrail that has
been designed with the human hand
in mind and installed with solid finality.
Since a handrail or balustrade can
easily exceed the available lengths
of solid lumber, the new standard
offers guidance on pages 12-14 about
numbers and types of joints allowed.
Straight rails, curved rails, drops, turnouts
and ends are all specifically called
out accompanied by illustrations which
are then found on pages 34-36.
fall 2021 I designsolutions
55

Design Solutions - Fall 2021

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