A newel post is one of many important parts of any staircase design. Since the staircase is a prominent feature of most homes, it's important to plan it carefully. A staircase can reflect your personal style and preferences, and knowing all the choices for a staircase is important in order to pick the style just right for you.
Main Parts of a Staircase
Hand railings are found on all staircases, be they straight or curved into a spiral shape. The handrails are then supported by a series of vertical posts, which are smaller. These posts are called spindles or balusters. Balusters are typically a lantern shape, resembling a pomegranate flower. When several balusters are combined with the newel post and handrail, they're called the balustrade. The newel post marks the start of the hand railing and is a vertical post designed for support.
Additional Staircase Parts
Risers and threads are also parts of a staircase. That spot where you'd place your foot upon when climbing the stairs is the thread. The riser is that vertical place between each step or thread. A newel post is usually placed at the start and end of a staircase, as well as where the stairs turns. Spiral staircases also have newel posts since they make up the central support point for the spiral. This critical piece of the staircase is essential for safety and construction reliability.
Some posts come in a square shape, which is referred to as Box Newel. Round newels, which are placed at the hand rest, are called a Turned Newel. Amish-crafted newel posts are some of the most attractive, having the appearance of fine furniture and blending nicely with home styles. They're made with durable, quality woods and the crafters pride themselves on their work. Prices for these types of posts are higher, but the quality is obvious. It's possible to find newels at lower prices which are also stylish, but which may require a bit more maintenance and upkeep. One way to ensure your posts look good all year round is to oil them regularly with Murphy's oil. This maintenance is worth the extra work and gives a rich and polished look to the overall staircase.
Newel post designs date back to the Colonial days and often are the mark of a skilled artisan. They can be modified to fit just about any style home, be it classical, modern or early American antique. With the sheer number and variety of styles, you can add a distinct and unique look to your home.