Revit - Bespoke Stair Treads


By Dennis Collin

A fairly common question in Revit is about how do users go about customizing stairs in Revit, in terms of separate riser and tread materials, nosing profiles and sloping treads. The quick answer is, ‘It’s all about defining profiles and determining the setting out origin!’ The longer answer is as follows;

External Step Family complying to Part M (located in standard metric library)


Like many of the more intricate system families that we have in Revit, much of the fine detail is created and defined by the use of profile objects. Which are in turn a standard family element in its own right! IE. an 'RFA' file.

Typical use of profiles include such objects as railings, wall sweeps and reveals and floor and roof slab edges.


The diagram above shows what Revit expects when specifying profiles within the tread section of a Revit Stair System Family. By adjusting the offsets indicated and placing profiles of the correct size, and drawing in the right quadrant gets the bespoke tread to work as desired.

I have used External Steps to Part M stair family from the System Family folder of the standard Revit Library as an example in this document. To customize the stair family select and edit the type properties and duplicate.

To set a slanting tread and to add a nose I click on the 'Run Type' section highlighted which takes me to a section where I can specify profiles and offset values.

To define new profiles, will involve creating new families. For nosing profiles we have a dedicated template that provides helper text to illustrate the origin and which quadrant to draw our nosing shape in.

For the tread profile we have to think in similar terms and draw our shape accordingly in the bottom right quadrant. With the origin of the tread sharing the same reference as the origin of the nose.

Once are profiles are defined save the families out and then load the families into your project or project template.

The Modified stair should look something like the following;

Obviously we could add another profile for the riser, set offsets and materials to that component to enhance the look of our stair even further. In a future blog we will look at how we can customize other Revit system families with profiles and its application with Railing Systems.

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1 comment

  • Comment author
    Claudinha Kopietz

    Hi Dennis,


    Is there a way in revit for assigning different materials for the nosing and another for the tread?

    I have a stairs that the tread is a metal support with wood infill and I would like to be able to show the different materials but apparently the nosing will blend with the tread material. Would be really nice if i could create a parameter for that but I can't ind a way.


    Any idea?

    many thanks



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