Staircases make me think of how grand a home can be. As a millennial growing up in the nineties it also makes me think of nostalgic moments in film where the beautiful heroine makes an unforgettable entrance down a staircase. Rose Dawson in Titanic, Cher Horowitz in Clueless and Laney Boggs in She’s All That. Staircases can visually enhance a home’s décor, while providing functionality. Let’s not forget it’s also a confidence booster for anyone who needs to make a grand entrance.
The sky is the limit when it comes to staircase style and design. Let’s look at the different types of staircases and their qualities.
Straight stairs are the most standard and common types of stairs in both residential and commercial properties. The stairs go from one floor to another effortlessly and are easy to assemble. General rule is 16 steps maximum for a full flight, or no higher than 12 feet. There are various sub-models- full straight stairs, half landing stairs and quarter landing stairs. Advantages: Easiest staircase to move furniture or heavy things up and down. Simplicity of design allows easy measurement and building of rails/handrails. Disadvantages: Because of the linear design, they take up more space than other staircase models. Falls down straight staircases can also be very dangerous.
A variation of the straight stair is the L-Shaped stair. This model has a transition point where there is a landing and a 90 degree bend. It adds visual interest and can be placed in a corner of a room. Advantages: The landing gives a rest-stop for those who may get tired walking up the steps. In case of falling, the landing reduces the number of treads one can fall in a straight flight down. Disadvantages: They are more difficult to construct. Moving large items are a bit trickier because of the turn.
Winder stairs are a variation of the L-Shaped stair. Pie-shaped steps takes place of the landing, having one narrow end and the wider end on the other. Advantages: They require little space and the compact is a popi;ar choice in modern and sustainable home design. Disadvatages: Winder stairs are generally more complicated to build and harder to navigate. In addition because there are no uniformed steps it is less safe than other stair designs.
ARCHED / CURVED
Arched or curved stairs add a touch of elegance. Often times this design is found in the entrance for making a grand impression. Advantages- The grandeur of the staircase design add luxury to any home, so it’s a great investment as it increases resale value of your home. The radius is larger compared to spiral stairs, so they are easier to walk up. Disadvantages- Curved stairs are the most difficult and most costly to build because of the intricacies in the steps and the railings.
Spiral stairs are the most complex of all stairs. The steps circulate around a central support pole. They are made very compact, extensively used in lofts and other small spaces. Advantages- Spiral stairs can be made to fit any space. They are visually interesting and there are many styles of railings available. Disadvantages- Since the design of the stair is a space-saver, the steps are steeper than regular stairs. They are more difficult to walk up and down especially for older individuals. Lastly only one person can use the spiral staircase at a time.
What type of staircase fits your personality?