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What’s The Right Staircase Design Option for you?

Winter- Ready Homes: 8 Tips for Canterbury Residents

On the most basic level, stairs connect one level of the house to another. However, the team at Stairworks know they are much more than that. A staircase can be a focal point and featured element of a home if it is designed and built properly. So then the question is, what is the best staircase design for your home? They’ve outlined a simple guide to different staircase options below, as this is a conversation they often have with clients beginning a project and get a quote.

What are Spiral Stairs?

Spiral stairs have a helical arc that often connect and go around a central pole.

● Spiral stairs are the ultimate space-saving stair design as they are compact. They work in both exterior and interior applications and can be found in tiny homes.
● A spiral staircase is a beautiful, architectural design that often becomes the focal point of the room. There’s a lot of design creativity with the Handrails and balustrade styles of a spiral staircase, which in turn can adapt the design to the style of your home.
● The support for spiral stairs comes from the center pole. Because of this, there isn’t need for additional support structures, allowing an easier installation.
● Because spiral stairs are not easy for everyone to access, your team will have to be more diligent in making sure the spiral staircase is up to building code.
● Moving large items is quite difficult on a spiral staircase.


Spiral StairsClick to see this Spiral Staircase project here 

What are Curved Stairs?

Curved stairs also have a helical arc like spiral stairs, but they don’t make a full circle.

● They add elegance and are often used in the entry in order to create a first impression.
● There is a lot of flexibility in the design of curved stairs. Although they are often built in a more traditional design, they can also be a contemporary design or a modern design.
● They are easy to walk up and often have large enough treads for more than one person to walk at a time.

● Curved stairs are the most difficult to build.
● They are oftentimes the most costly type of staircase to build.


Curved Stairs

What are Cantilevered Stairs? / What are Floating Stairs?

Cantilevered stairs, also known as floating stairs, appear to have their treads floating without any support. This illusion is created by one or multiple stair stringers, which can be designed to be hidden or exposed.

● Because of how floating stairs are designed, they can allow for headroom underneath the stairs and be used as a space saving design.
● The floating staircase design is open and airy, allowing a room to feel more spacious and helps light travel through the home.
● Cantilevered stairs are architectural designs that are visually appealing, unique, and become the focal point of the room.

● Treads are extremely important in the floating staircase design as they need to take a lot of support.
● Cantilevered stairs can be more costly because often they require large steel beams in the wall as a structural requirement to allow for the floating illusion.

Floating Stairs

Click to see this Floating Staircase project here

What are Straight Stairs?

A straight staircase is the most common residential staircase design that travels in one direction. The staircase design can vary, from having a central landing in the middle to break up the flight, to a floating style. There are also endless options with balustrade, handrail, and treads that can make straight stairs a feature design in your home.

● Straight stairs and their handrail and balustrades are easier to design and build which helps with fast building deadlines.
● Flexibility in design which spans from a minimalist design to a maximalist design. They can also have chunkier features to make them the main focal point in the room, or they can have smaller treads in order to allow more light to come through and allow more transparency.
● Straight stairs usually don’t require support in the middle and therefore only need to be connected at the top and bottom.

● Straight stairs take up quite a bit of space, so if you are limited and are looking for a space-saving design, these might not be the right choice for you.
● You can see straight into the next floor with a straight staircase, which may not be what you want if you are looking for privacy.

Click to see this Straight Staircase project here


What are L Shaped Stairs?

L shaped stairs start as straight stairs but change direction at a landing. Although this turn is commonly 90 degrees, the L shape staircase can vary from a slight bend to an even bigger turn.

● Considered to be safer as the landing can stop one from falling down the whole flight of stairs.
● Are a slightly more complex design from straight stairs and can allow for more staircase design creativity.
● Add privacy between floors as the L shape can be designed as a barrier. It can also help make each floor slightly more soundproof depending on how it is built.

● As they are a slightly more complex design from straight stairs, this can make design and building L shaped stairs more difficult, which includes the handrail and balustrades as well.
● The landing section where the stairs change direction requires support. This can take up space and be trickier to design in order to visually minimise its impact on the room.

Click to see this L Shaped Staircase project here

What are U Shaped Stairs?

U shaped stairs start in one direction and make a 180 degree change in direction and end in the opposite direction.

● U shaped stairs are great if you are limited on space as they are easier to fit into a room and can be a great space-saving design option. They can be placed in any spot of the room, whether it’s in the corner to save space or in the middle as a main design feature.
● Are visually appealing and allow for a lot of design flexibility and creativity.
● U shaped stairs break up the two floors and allow for not only privacy, but can also build a sound barrier between floors.

● U shaped stairs are not known for being open and airy, as they can be more closed off and take away from a more open floor plan.

Click to see this U Shaped Staircase project here

What are Ladders?

Ladders can be designed and built as a secondary form of access.

● Ladders are the most compact and space efficient way to get from one floor to another.
● They are cost effective due to their simplicity and are often used in tiny homes or as an access to a loft.
● Wheels can be added to a ladder to allow it to move or if you want to prevent access to a floor.

● Ladders can be dangerous and difficult to navigate when descending and are not allowed as a primary staircase in a home.
● Ladders don’t add as much architectural design to a space as a staircase does and don’t allow for as much design creativity.

Click to see this Ladder Staircase project here



If you have any questions about staircase options or design considerations, Stairworks can help, as they design, manufacture and install bespoke metal stairs that showcase craftsmanship and quality through elegant and functional designs. Their in-house design team creates staircases that inspire emotion and have the capability of being the focal point of the room. Their proven shop drawings and quality assurance process allows them to build every individual project accurately and highlight any potential issue prior to fabrication, and allows them to incorporate other materials such as glass and timber elements to help blend seamlessly with the desired aesthetic of your overall project design.