I'm trying to figure out the minimum safe (and code compliant) height of an interior step between a kitchen and mudroom. I'm pretty sure 7 3/4" is roughly the max height but is there a minimum height specified? This is for a remodel. The height of the kitchen is fixed but I am replacing all floor framing in the mudroom so I can basically set it at whatever height I want. Headroom in the mudrooom requires a step of at least 2" but that is certainly a trip hazard.

I figure a step of 5" to 7" is OK but what about 3" or 4"? At what height does it go from step to trip hazard?

Thanks! I'd prefer to avoid asking the code official any unnecessary questions. He rarely gives me a helpful answer.

  • It depends on your codes. This is the one thing I would ask them. At the very least, common sense says no less than 4". IMO, this is 'ramp' territory. – Mazura Sep 2 '16 at 4:14

Maybe not official, but this (old) link from National Association of Certified Home Inspectors gives 4" as the minimum height for a riser.


The minimum height of a step is 4 inches. You cannot have a step within a passageway; otherwise you would have a trip zone.

  • Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. Would you provide a reference for your statement? – Daniel Griscom Sep 2 '16 at 0:05
  • By "cannot", do you mean, "should not"? Is this a problem with code? I will definitely be highlighting the step down by using a different color wood and/or adding lights to it. – Eric S Sep 2 '16 at 14:21

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