The Ultimate Guide To Stairs: Stair Design
Advancements in technology have given rise to a new genre of staircase design, providing a modern and creative alternative to the traditional staircase.
Below is a list of stair styles to assist you in your decision-making and to provide some stair inspiration:
1. Straight Stairs
Straight stairs are understandably the most common stair of style. The design is straight up and down, though it may include a landing between two flights of stairs and may change direction after the landing.
Straight stairs are often available in kits and thus can be a relatively simple and economical option.
2. Alternate Stairs
Stairs made with alternating stair treads are a great option for tight spaces, such as loft conversions.
Alternative stairs have one tread for each foot. They are a little tricky to negotiate and may be hard to use when moving furniture or carrying laundry, so consider the needs of you and your family before installing alternate stairs.
You will also need to check with your local regulatory authority as alternate stairs are not permissible in every situation.
3. Floating (cantilevered) Stairs
Floating stairs minimize the visual presence of the structural members of a staircase and only retain the staircase treads. They thus appear to be ‘floating’ in the air.
In most cases, the structural support to the stair is concealed in the adjacent wall from which the stair treads are cantilevered.
However, a single stringer in the middle can also provide the support for the treads. They are often used in minimalist architectural projects and can create a very weightless, contemporary look.
The structural design of a floating staircase requires expert engineering so always consult a professional for design and construction.
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4. Spiral Stairs
Spiral stairs are a fantastic option for small spaces and are economical in terms of cost and space usage. Spiral stairs wind around a central pole and have a handrail on the outer side.
They are often made from steel, aluminum or hardwood, or a combination of the three and may be available for purchase in a kit.
5. Italian stairs
Italian stairs have a very classic and antique look. They can be shaped to fit any space.
However, because of the unique nature of the landings and curves, they need to be designed specifically for the site and may be a more expensive option.
6. Helical Stairs
Helical stairs differ from spiral stairs as they do not have a central pole and they have balustrades on both sides.
They may be built in a circular or oval shape. They do require a little more space, however the dramatic designs are well worth the space if you can spare it!
7. Hanging / Suspended Stairs
Hanging or suspended stairs are eye-catching!
They are characterized by stairs with minimal connection to the ground and possess a very weightless feeling.
They are great for keeping a space open and transparent.
8. Book Shelf Stairs
If space is tight and storage is in short supply, incorporating cupboards or shelving within your staircase can be a great space-saving alternative.
Keep the stairs themselves to a neutral colour scheme and allow your books and decorative homewares to really highlight the staircase.