Staircase Standards Australia: Everything You Need to Know

staircase standards australia

Are you planning to build a staircase in your home or business in Australia? Well, you’re in luck because in this blog post, we’re going to talk all about staircase standards in Australia! It may sound like a dry topic, but we promise to make it as fun and easy to read as possible. So, let’s dive right in!

What are Staircase Standards?

Staircase standards are a set of guidelines and regulations that ensure the safety of those who use the stairs. These standards cover various aspects of stair design, including the height and depth of steps, the width of the staircase, the placement of handrails, and much more.

These standards vary from country to country, and even within countries, there may be different standards for different types of buildings.

Staircase Standards in Australia

In Australia, the staircase standards are set by the Building Codes Board, which is a national code that sets out the minimum requirements for building construction. The BCB covers everything from fire safety to structural integrity, and of course, staircase design.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key staircase standards in Australia:

  • Staircase Width: The minimum width of a staircase in Australia is 900mm for residential buildings and 1200mm for commercial buildings. This width is measured between the handrails and includes any landings.
  • Tread and Riser Dimensions: The tread (the flat part of the step) must be at least 240mm wide, and the riser (the vertical part of the step) must be no more than 190mm high. The maximum difference in riser height between consecutive steps must be 12mm.
  • Handrails: Handrails are required on both sides of a staircase and must be between 865mm and 1000mm above the nosing (the front edge of the tread). The handrail must also be continuous and extend beyond the top and bottom steps.
  • Lighting: Staircases must be well-lit to ensure visibility and safety. The BCB requires a minimum of 5 lux (a measure of illumination) on stairs and landings.

These are just a few examples of the staircase standards in Australia. If you’re planning to build a staircase, we highly recommend consulting the BCB for a complete list of requirements.

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Why Are Staircase Standards Important?

Staircase standards are essential for ensuring the safety of those who use the stairs. Falls on stairs can result in serious injuries, and even fatalities, so it’s crucial that stairs are designed and built to a high standard.

In addition to safety concerns, building codes and standards are also important for legal and insurance purposes. If a staircase is not up to code, and someone is injured as a result, the building owner could be held liable. Insurance companies may also refuse to cover claims related to accidents on non-compliant staircases.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I build a staircase without a handrail?

A: No, handrails are required on both sides of a staircase in Australia.

Q: Can I make my stairs narrower than 900mm?

A: No, the minimum width for a residential staircase in Australia is 900mm.

Q: Do I need to provide lighting on my stairs?

A: Yes, stairs must be well-lit to ensure visibility and safety.

Q: Can I install a spiral staircase in my home?

A: Yes, spiral staircases are allowed in residential buildings, but they must comply with the BCB’s requirements for tread and riser dimensions.


Staircase standards may not be the most exciting topic, but they’re incredibly important for ensuring the safety of those who use the stairs. In Australia, the Building Code of Australia sets out the minimum requirements for staircase design, including the width of the staircase, the height and depth of steps, the placement of handrails, and lighting requirements.

When planning a new staircase, it’s essential to consult the BCB to ensure that your design meets all the necessary standards. Failure to comply with these standards could result in legal and insurance problems, not to mention the risk of injury or even death.

We hope this blog post has helped you understand the importance of staircase standards in Australia. Remember, building a safe and compliant staircase is always the best course of action, no matter how much you might want to cut corners or save costs. After all, the safety of yourself, your family, and anyone who uses the stairs is priceless.

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