The world is like a grand staircase, some are going up and some are going down said Samuel Johnson. And while the stairway of our life may be uneven and unpredictable, one can make a perfect stairway in one's home. A good staircase is a link between two aspects of a home. It is often the connect between one's social rooms and one's personal space. So if you are looking for new stairs for your home, here are 6 secrets that will definitely help you choose the right one.
The first thing to consider before investing in a new stairway is what will be it's function in your home? Are you going to go up and down the stairs ten times a day because your office or study is above? In which case you would want the ladder to be comfortable and sturdy, made of cement or wood with railings like the one here. Or are only your bedrooms above and you don't have small kids? In which case you can opt for fancy floating glass stairs. If your stairway is part of your living room you may want a minimal sleek design. While if it is a separate space you can go for traditional stairs with a cupboard under it.
The next thing to keep in mind are the components of stairway. These will depend on whether it is a closed stairway like the one here, or an open stairway. The Step is part of every ladder, it is composed of the Tread and Riser. The Tread is the part of a ladder that is stepped on. Riser is the vertical section between each Tread on the stair, it may be missing for an open stairway. Then there is the Stringer which supports the Treads and Risers, and Winders which are steps that are narrower on one side than the other and are used to change the direction of the stairs without landings. A fence made of metal rails, wood or even glass is often there in stairways. They can be on both sides, sometimes only on one side or not at all. On wide staircases there is sometimes also one in the middle called a Banister.
While choosing a new ladder, always take it's weight into account. A heavy stairway like the one here is conventional, made of cement and wood and is suited for homes where there is a separate stairway area. However, if your ladder is going to be part of a very small space in your home, opt for a light one made of wood or glass like this one.
Before setting up the stairs in your home you need to make some essential stair design calculations, like number of steps, step riser height, total stair height or rise and total stair length or run. Also while setting them up consider what is the look and feel you are going for. Do you want a quirky ladder in your living or dining area, like this guitar shaped ladder designed by PREETHAM INTERIOR DESIGNER from Mangaluru. Or do you want a more conventional stairway in a corridor.
Next weigh the pro's and con's of the primary material of your ladder. Go with a sturdy material like wood or metal, as glass is too fragile and cement looks too boring. If you intend to go with wooden stairs remember they look great, take less time to construct, are lightweight and safe for a household of kids. But they are also costlier than cement, have a shelf life of 70 or 80 years and gradually keep becoming weaker, and are fire hazardous.
If you opt for metal stairs made of steel or wrought iron, you get the benefit that they are extremely sturdy, are easily malleable and thus can be shaped interestingly. Steel in particular is very resistant to corrosion, but even wrought iron has a longer life than wood. However, they are costlier than wooden stairs, if made from iron or bronze metal staircases may change color in time and they may be a little delicate and thus unsafe for little kids. If you have a small home and are looking for interesting staircase designs, here are 6 ideas.