A good staircase design is mandatory for multistorey buildings. In addition, you can use them as elegant decorative installations for buildings like libraries, hotels, homes and other commercial spaces like shopping centres. In this guide, we shall look at the features of a standard staircase and review the different types of staircases.
Standard Features of All Staircases in The UK
A staircase consists of a series of horizontal and vertical steps. However, they can vary in design and shape. There are key features that all good staircases must have to ensure they meet the staircase standard by the UK building regulations body. They include:
- A good staircase should not have less than three or more than 12 steps in a single flight for a comfortable ascent and descent of the stairway.
- The width should be at least 3.3ft for domestic buildings, while for public buildings, the width should be 5 to 6.5ft for easy use to avoid any inconvenience.
- The staircase should be located in an area with proper lighting, easily accessible from different parts of the room, and spacious to avoid any hassle while moving up and down the flight of stairs.
- The headroom for the staircase should be at least 7.2ft to allow room for a tall person.
- The railings and balustrade should be comfortable to grip and non-slippery.
- The material used in making the stairs should be stable, fire-resistant, strong to step on and has sound insulation.
- The stairs dimension should all be uniform to provide comfort to the user.
- Finally, the staircase must be aesthetic as it drastically improves the interior look of a building.
Types of Staircases
An L-shaped staircase is an attractive set of stairs as they add visual beauty to your property. It has 90 degrees deviation of a straight staircase where the bending point is also known as a quarterly landing stairway.
- Thanks to the landing, the stairs provide a brief break while climbing up or down the stairs. This reduces the chances of accidental tripping.
- The stairs are suitable for older adults and young children as it provides a resting point.
- A tradesperson can install it at the corner of your home.
- The visual representation of the L-shape stairs is interesting and beautiful. Therefore, it enhances the look of your home.
- They provide privacy between two floors.
- They are soundproof as they are built within the wall.
- The stairs are complicated to build.
- The stairs need support.
- They are limiting when carrying awkwardly shaped items like a cupboard or a sofa.
- The handrails construction and installation are time-consuming and sometimes can prove complex depending on your preference.
A luxury modern U-shaped stairs
U-shaped stairs are also known as half-turn stairs as they make two 90 degrees angles in a parallel position within the half-turn steps. They are common in commercial spaces like offices, malls and libraries and also in large residential homes.
Because of the double turns, they require more support as they require a landing in between.
- It provides a resting point between the steps.
- The staircase is suitable for corners.
- The architectural design is easy to construct.
- They improve the visual appearance of the building.
- They provide privacy between two floors.
- During installation, they require more architectural support and effort.
- It becomes tedious to move heavy loads from one floor to another especially if they have awkward shapes.
- The design of the railing system is a time-consuming task.
A flight of straight stairs
These are popular and are the oldest type of stairs. They can be found in commercial and residential buildings as they connect the building’s floor with single steps without turning points. However, the stairs can land depending on your design if the floor exceeds 12 steps but requires sufficient linear space.
- Because they are common, the installation and the building of a straight staircase is cheaper.
- They provide room for extra accessories because of their simplicity.
- The handrails are easy to install.
- They are flexible to modification in accordance with your preference.
- The stairs are safe to use as you can see ahead and below avoiding accidents like bumping into someone or something.
- They are not suitable for small spaces as they cover a large part of the building.
- They do not provide privacy between the two-floor as there are no visual barriers.
- They can cause accidents as they lack a resting point. For example, If someone tripped, they’d suffer major injuries as they would roll down to the bottom of the stairs compared to L-shaped or U-shaped stairs with landings.
They are the modern type of stairs and are found in contemporary houses, hotels and beach houses. Depending on the design, the spiral staircase revolves around a central pole through which all the footsteps are joining in an upward motion.
When viewed from an aerial point, it gives off a centric view.
- They are compact therefore suitable in buildings with limited space.
- They don’t require a lot of support as they only need the central pole and a
- The installation process of the staircase is straightforward.
- Because of its shape, there are multiple hand railings to choose from, making the stairs appear more attractive.
- It’s suitable for commercial and residential spaces.
- Navigation through the spiral staircases can be challenging.
- It isn’t easy to move items up and down the stairs because of the sharp corners.
- Any wrong footing when ascending or descending the flight of stairs can lead to a severe accident.
- For smaller designs, the stairs can’t accommodate two people simultaneously. One would need to wait for the other to go down for them to move up.
A grand entryway with a split staircase
The design is also known as a bifurcated staircase. It connects the ground floor to the upper floor on two different sides. They are common in palaces and mansions where they are commonly used as an entryway as they imply grace, luxury.
- They entirely enhance the look of your home as they are luxurious and grand.
- They provide privacy between the upper rooms and different floors.
- There is only one landing point between the left and right staircase.
- They are not limited in their design and shape.
- They are expensive to build and install compared to other types of stairs.
- There is a need for more architectural support while constructing the stairs.
- They are not suitable for houses with limited space.
A curved wooden staircase
They are similar to the spiral staircases; the only difference is that they do not form a complete circle but an arc. Curved staircases follow a helical path but with a much bigger radius.
This staircase design is commonly found at the entrance of either residential or commercial premises as they create a lasting impression with their elegance.
- They are suitable for any building.
- They improve your interior.
- The curve is moderate therefore making navigation easy.
- Moving up and down the steps is easy because of the large radius and helical arc shape.
- Among all the types of stairs, curved stairs are deemed the trickiest and difficult to construct and install.
- It can be challenging to move up and down the stairs with a large item.
- Because of the craftsmanship that they require, they become expensive.
Lastly, as staircases have a way of lifting the interior or exterior of your house, it’s essential to choose a design that adds value to your property. The best thing about staircases is that they are not limited in the building techniques, materials used, and accessories.