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Monkey’s Tail

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By Mark Reed
Estimated 2 minute read

The Monkey’s Tail, also known as a wreathing volute, is an ornate, spiral-shaped feature used over a feature tread on staircases. Place this ornament on a Bird’s cage of spindles or a newel post to make the outlook of the staircase more impressive. Sometimes, these tails enhance the design with carvings to contribute to the classy workmanship.

The Monkey’s Tail is functional and decorative. Its shape is ideal for offering a continuous handrail, and at the same time, it becomes an essential part of the staircase’s aesthetic. This is mainly true of traditional or historical stained staircases, where the detailing and craftsmanship are foundational.


Key Benefits:

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Enhances the visual appeal of staircases with its ornate design.
  • Customization: Offers opportunities for customization with various carved details.
  • Versatility: Compatible with different staircase styles, including traditional and modern designs.


  • Ornamental staircases in luxury homes
  • Historical home restorations
  • Custom staircase projects in modern residences
Q: What is a Monkey’s tail in staircase design?

A: A Monkey’s tail is a decorative spiral feature used over a feature tread, often embellished with carved details to enhance the aesthetic appeal of a staircase.


OSHA Compliance for Staircase Features

While decorative elements like the Monkey’s Tail add significant aesthetic value, it is crucial to ensure they do not compromise the safety and compliance of the staircase. Key OSHA guidelines for staircases include:

  • Design: Staircase features must not obstruct the functional design of the staircase or impede safe use.
  • Stability: Anything that is part of the decoration, such as the Monkey’s tail, must be well secured to avoid causalities.
  • Inspection: This means constant checks to ensure the various decorations are still safe for use, in good condition and well maintained.

Implementation of these guidelines is useful in guaranteeing safe and compliant architectural designs involving staircases.

Our friendly stair experts can help with questions, quotes or project consultations.

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