Though stairs exist for the simple reason of helping people move from one floor to another, there are multiple designs that can be used depending on space available in the house. Stylish and aesthetically pleasing staircases can become a showcase of the homeowner’s personal style. This architectural feature can be made from a diverse variety of materials ranging from ordinary brick, iron and cement to wood, aluminum, glass and even artificial fibers with railings for safety. House-owners may want to have uniquely designed staircase for the house but it is the duty of builder to design the right kind of staircase depending on intensity and convenience of usage. Here are ten commonly used staircase designs that are safe and compatible to most structures.
Also referred to as staircase with a straight flight of stairs, this is the oldest and most resilient design that is used in both residential and commercial buildings. These stairs are ideally suited for short distances wherein treads are located in a straight line along the incline between two levels making it easier to carry things across. These stairs are best suited for minimalist homes with thin or broad treads as they have to be connected just at the top and bottom.
If the distance is not coverable within 16 stairs or beyond 12 feet then landing is created to help climbers take a breather before attempting the next flight of stairs. Landing requires more space so are not used in small houses with restricted space. Wide staircases with central landing are commonly used in schools and hospitals as they have several floors and these landings help as connectors to corridors in each floor.
This variation of the regular straight stair has a 90 degree bend that is achieved by making a landing at the location where the staircase bends. The landing can be close to the bottom or top depending on the space available in the house. While these are usually made to make the staircase visually appealing, home owners usually prefer these stairs as it reduces the number of steps one could fall if balance is lost though handrails are provided. The depth or width of L shaped stairs can change as on top or bottom side depending on the space available.
The design of U shaped staircase requires a fair amount of planning as the landing requires space to create a 180 degree angle and space for accommodating the wide turn. Shaped like a horseshoe with parallel flight of stair joined together in the center, these are usually preferred in luxury homes built on two or three levels with from basement to attic. These stairs can be made in an artistic manner with wooden bannisters and steel railings to enhance the aesthetic beauty of the house.
This pretty staircase can be made with both 90 degree and 180 degree turns and are unique in design as the treads are wedge shaped and have non-traditional landing which is also wedge shaped. Winder staircases are usually designed using flowing lines and ornate railings to make the structure easy while climbing up and down. In winder staircase with 90 degree angle there is a single wedge while in 180 degree style, two wedges are used instead of the traditional landing area. Even though this staircase is relatively safe it is not recommended in homes which has elderly or small children as members as the taper off to one side making them inconvenient for quick walking.
Staircase of spiral type resembles a full or half circle with its curvaceous shape with wedge shaped treads. The treads of a spiral staircase are compact and they radiate like a helical arc around a central pole or pillar. Though all the treads of spiral staircase are wedge shaped, its top and bottom stairs are in regular rectangular shape. Though spiral staircases are a little tricky to navigate their compact design make them popular in locations where space is always at a premium. Carrying heavy items up spiral stairs is difficult and only one person can go up or come down the stairs.
True to their name, curved staircases are arched significantly either right or left giving the home a creative twist that would not have been possible with plain rectangular staircase. These stairs are generally created to make an impression and though they are helical in shape they have a large radius than a regular spiral staircase. Though curved staircase is expensive and difficult to build, its aesthetic beauty makes up for the expense and they are relatively easy to use as the radius is large. Elegant and graceful in shape, arched staircase has wide treads and the handrails are also curved.
Referred to in native parlance as “goose-step” due to their distinctive tread this staircase design is usually applied in narrow areas like attic and basement. While using compact stairs one should be careful about using the right foot else they may lose balance and slip down the narrow flight of stairs.
These are for people that prefer traditional staircase with the comfort of landings. Quarter landing staircase is built with 90 degrees angled turns and has a flat landing that reduces the total number of treads. Half landing stairs is very similar to the double winder staircase and its landing is built around a complete 180 degree angle. This type of staircase is safest for homes as these have a single wide landing that can be used for setting up a window seat if there is one between the floors.
The importance of staircase design cannot be overlooked in a home built on multiple levels as it makes navigation easy and convenient. Design and structure of staircases have improved through the years and though their importance has reduced over the years with elevators, they can never be replaced and during emergencies, stairs are the only source of escape. With the advancement made in architectural software it has now become easier to develop staircases with unusual designs and materials that are built more for their appearance than for functionality. Staircase design of a house should be planned and built in such a manner that it is easy to navigate for all members of the family and is durable enough to last the entire lifetime of the house. If you want to see some ideas or contact a professional for a distinguished point of view, have a look here!
Did you just buy a new staircase? Would you do buy it again? Let us know any of your tips and tricks on how to choose your own staircase design.