What is a Tread

Definition of Tread in Construction

The term tread is used to describe the horizontal portion of a stair assembly. The vertical surface is known as the riser and the horizontal surface, the tread. In most situations, the tread for any legal stair must be a minimum of 10 inches deep. This dimension has been the minimum established depth of a tread that is both safe, and the most efficient use of space, for the design of a staircase. Tread is used in many different scenarios in the construction industry. The term tread is used on both residential and commercial projects, and the number of treads necessary to reach a specific elevation, will establish the size requirements of the staircase, as well as the number of risers required. Treads can be constructed of wood, metal, aluminum, as well as synthetic products. Treads can be covered with carpet, plastic, vinyl or other type finishes that will enhance the look of the tread. In many residential applications, oak is used as a tread due to the ability of the oak to sustain constant use, and remain durable, without cupping or becoming damaged due to the constant pounding incurred by the use of the staircase.