11 minute read

How to Guide for Installing a Staircase

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A staircase is vital for movement from one floor to the other. Therefore, installing a beautifully designed staircase can improve the overall look of your home. Sometimes, deciding on the exact design of the stairs can be a daunting task, especially if you have a variety of designs to choose from.

This guide shall assist you in making an informed decision; we’ll discuss the factors to consider when choosing a staircase, staircase regulations, the different types of stairs and how to maintain them effectively.

Factors to consider when choosing a staircase design

There are many designs in the world but you can’t just pick out any well-curved set and install it in your home. There are many factors to be considered.

  1. Space

Look around your home; it would be best to find a staircase design that doesn’t eat up a lot of space, especially if you have limited space. If your house has enough room, choose a design that will modify the overall look of your home. Also, the staircase chosen should be a decorative piece.

  1. Budget

The average cost of installing a new standard staircase is £1,500 to £4,000. A modern custom staircase ranges from £5,000 up to £50,000. The price of a bespoke staircase will differ depending on your personal preference, style, accessories added and design.

  1. Comfort

When choosing the design of your stairs, consider the comfort of the people accessing them. For example, it will be inconsiderate to set up a beautiful spiral staircase in a house with children. This is because its design doesn’t favour the movement up and down for a young kid. Additionally, some staircase designs are not favourable in family homes because they have a steep climb making it hard to move comfortably. 

  1. Materials

The various types of staircase materials include marble, wood, stone, glass and metal. Each material has different holding capacities; therefore, you should consider your home setting before choosing a design.

For instance, do you have a future need to transport heavy loads to the room upstairs? Do you have young kids around your home? If your response is yes, then the choice of a glass staircase should be at the bottom of your list.

  1. Homeowners

When installing a new staircase, the first people to consider are the users. For instance, a house with older adults and kids should have stairs with handrails and a landing.

  1. Safety

It is crucial to consider the safety of the staircase design you’ll choose. Half of the injuries in the UK are attributed to accidental falls from the stairs. According to the health and safety laboratory, the falls end up being fatal.

To reduce the chances of accidents on the stairs, ensure:

  • They are marked clearly at the edges.
  • They are well lit.
  • They are free from obstacles or tripping hazards.
  • They have good slip resistance properties.
  • The handrails are at an appropriate height in comparison to the surroundings and users.
  • The railings should be heat-resistant and rigid. Additionally, they should provide a comfortable grip.
  • They are well maintained.
  • In the presence of young children, install safety gates.

  1. The design

There are a variety of options for every home depending on the space you have available. Some of the designs include:

  • Spiral staircase
  • L-shaped
  • U-shaped
  • Split staircases
  • Cantilever
  • Curved staircase
  • Winder staircase
  • Circular staircase
  1. Building codes

After deciding on the design of your staircase, it’s essential to know the building regulations for the stairs. The rules ensure that they are safe to use, are compatible with your house, and have the proper measurements: the height, headspace, pitch, and depth.

Some of the staircase building regulations include;

  • The nosing overlap should be level in both domestic and private property. The overlaps must be at least 16mm.
  • All steps must have the same rise. For example, your staircase cannot be 250mm for the first steps, then 200mm for the remaining stairs. However, if there is a flat landing in between, the stairs can have different rising and going.
  • The maximum pitch of a domestic staircase should be 42° maximum.
  • The handrail spindle spacing should be 100mm. This ensures that no 10mm sphere can pass through the space.
  • There should be a headroom of at least 2mm at all points.

Staircase terminology

Knowing the staircase jargon will help you quickly understand what it is. Below is a quick overview of the technical terms broken down for you.

  1. Step – A stair is composed of a set of stairs. They assist in ascending and descending from one floor to the other.
  2. Tread – This is the upper horizontal portion of a step on which the foot is placed when ascending or descending.
  3. Riser – This is the vertical portion of a step that provides support to the tread.
  4. Flight – This is a series of stairs without any landing or platform.
  5. Landing – A landing provides an opportunity for taking a rest when using the stair. In addition, it provides directional change between two flights of stairs.
  6. Nosing – This is the outer projecting edge of a tread.
  7. Baluster – This is a vertical member of metal or wood that provides support to the handrails.
  8. Headroom – This is the distance between the tread and the overhead structure, for example, the ceiling.
  9. Pitch – This is an angle where the line of the nosing of the stair makes with the horizontal step.
  10. Soffit – This is the underside of a stair.

 

 

 

 

Staircase lights

Stairs should always be well-lit to avoid accidents. However, the stairs can sometimes be located in areas that lack easy access to natural light. Therefore, consider adding some artificial lights to illuminate the path for you. Below are some options you can incorporate in the overall design of the staircase:

  • Roof light or lanterns located directly above the staircases.
  • Fanlights on both the external and internal doors. It ensures that the base of your staircase is well lit.
  • A light pipe. Appropriate for homes with limited space.
  • A full-height window to allow natural light. It can be located either on the half landing of the stairs or at the top.

You can also choose to incorporate artificial light. They are practical and show off the fine details of your stairs and bring their form to life. You can consider:

  • LED lights into the handrails or on the stair edges.
  • Lights at the bottom and top with a two-way switch.
  • Hanging lights on the wall where your stairs are can dramatically lift the look on your stairs.

How to maintain your stairs

Frequently used stairs need regular cleaning to avoid the transfer of germs. Additionally, the more they are in use, the higher their chances of experiencing damage through wear and tear. Without regular maintenance, they can become permanently damaged. Damaged stairs can put you at risk of accidents like tripping.

Below are some ways to maintain your stairs for them to last you a lifetime:

  1. Regular cleaning

Cleaning your staircase is a simple and effective way of ensuring that they last you for long. Ensure to dust your staircase to protect the wood finish and tidy up the landing spaces by removing any debris or items that can cause accidental falls.

  1. Use gentle cleaning materials

One of the biggest mistakes most homeowners make is cleaning their staircase with harsh cleaning chemicals. The materials end up damaging the surfaces. Soap and water mostly do the trick when cleaning.

  1. Clean immediately

The finish on your stairs provides a protective coating to ensure a stain-free staircase. Liquids that aren’t cleaned up immediately after spilling end up soaking into the wood, increasing the chances of permanent damages.

Cleaning staircase

  1. Apply protection

To help minimise the risk of damaging the stairs, include a simple staircase runner, rugs at the top and bottom, and landing.

  1. Repair surface damages immediately

When you notice that your surface is running, do not ignore or cover it up because it can end up causing permanent damage to the area. Fortunately, most of the issues can be easily repaired. For example, on a dented surface, apply wax to restore the surface.

In conclusion, there is more to choosing a staircase design. Whether it’s a traditional or modern design, you have to consider the factors mentioned above to find the perfect fit for your home. In addition, a home that has a good staircase has an increased market value.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Unsplash.com

 

A simple set of stairs in a white setting

 

A staircase is vital for movement from one floor to the other. Therefore, installing a beautifully designed staircase can improve the overall look of your home. Sometimes, deciding on the exact design of the stairs can be a daunting task, especially if you have a variety of designs to choose from.

 

This guide shall assist you in making an informed decision; we’ll discuss the factors to consider when choosing a staircase, staircase regulations, the different types of stairs and how to maintain them effectively.

Factors to consider when choosing a staircase design

There are many designs in the world but you can’t just pick out any well-curved set and install it in your home. There are many factors to be considered.

 

  1. Space

Look around your home; it would be best to find a staircase design that doesn’t eat up a lot of space, especially if you have limited space. If your house has enough room, choose a design that will modify the overall look of your home. Also, the staircase chosen should be a decorative piece.

 

  1. Budget

The average cost of installing a new standard staircase is £1,500 to £4,000. A modern custom staircase ranges from £5,000 up to £50,000. The price of a bespoke staircase will differ depending on your personal preference, style, accessories added and design.

 

  1. Comfort

When choosing the design of your stairs, consider the comfort of the people accessing them. For example, it will be inconsiderate to set up a beautiful spiral staircase in a house with children. This is because its design doesn’t favour the movement up and down for a young kid. Additionally, some staircase designs are not favourable in family homes because they have a steep climb making it hard to move comfortably. 

 

  1. Materials

The various types of staircase materials include marble, wood, stone, glass and metal. Each material has different holding capacities; therefore, you should consider your home setting before choosing a design.

 

For instance, do you have a future need to transport heavy loads to the room upstairs? Do you have young kids around your home? If your response is yes, then the choice of a glass staircase should be at the bottom of your list.

 

  1. Homeowners

When installing a new staircase, the first people to consider are the users. For instance, a house with older adults and kids should have stairs with handrails and a landing.

 

  1. Safety

It is crucial to consider the safety of the staircase design you’ll choose. Half of the injuries in the UK are attributed to accidental falls from the stairs. According to the health and safety laboratory, the falls end up being fatal.

 

To reduce the chances of accidents on the stairs, ensure:

  • They are marked clearly at the edges.
  • They are well lit.
  • They are free from obstacles or tripping hazards.
  • They have good slip resistance properties.
  • The handrails are at an appropriate height in comparison to the surroundings and users.
  • The railings should be heat-resistant and rigid. Additionally, they should provide a comfortable grip.
  • They are well maintained.
  • In the presence of young children, install safety gates.

 

  1. The design

There are a variety of options for every home depending on the space you have available. Some of the designs include:

  • Spiral staircase
  • L-shaped
  • U-shaped
  • Split staircases
  • Cantilever
  • Curved staircase
  • Winder staircase
  • Circular staircase

 

  1. Building codes

After deciding on the design of your staircase, it’s essential to know the building regulations for the stairs. The rules ensure that they are safe to use, are compatible with your house, and have the proper measurements: the height, headspace, pitch, and depth.

 

Some of the staircase building regulations include;

  • The nosing overlap should be level in both domestic and private property. The overlaps must be at least 16mm.
  • All steps must have the same rise. For example, your staircase cannot be 250mm for the first steps, then 200mm for the remaining stairs. However, if there is a flat landing in between, the stairs can have different rising and going.

 

An illustration of a staircase rise and staircase going

 

  • The maximum pitch of a domestic staircase should be 42° maximum.
  • The handrail spindle spacing should be 100mm. This ensures that no 10mm sphere can pass through the space.
  • There should be a headroom of at least 2mm at all points.

Staircase terminology

Knowing the staircase jargon will help you quickly understand what it is. Below is a quick overview of the technical terms broken down for you.

  1. Step – A stair is composed of a set of stairs. They assist in ascending and descending from one floor to the other.
  2. Tread – This is the upper horizontal portion of a step on which the foot is placed when ascending or descending.
  3. Riser – This is the vertical portion of a step that provides support to the tread.
  4. Flight – This is a series of stairs without any landing or platform.
  5. Landing – A landing provides an opportunity for taking a rest when using the stair. In addition, it provides directional change between two flights of stairs.
  6. Nosing – This is the outer projecting edge of a tread.
  7. Baluster – This is a vertical member of metal or wood that provides support to the handrails.
  8. Headroom – This is the distance between the tread and the overhead structure, for example, the ceiling.
  9. Pitch – This is an angle where the line of the nosing of the stair makes with the horizontal step.
  10. Soffit – This is the underside of a stair.

Staircase lights

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stairs should always be well-lit to avoid accidents. However, the stairs can sometimes be located in areas that lack easy access to natural light. Therefore, consider adding some artificial lights to illuminate the path for you. Below are some options you can incorporate in the overall design of the staircase:

  • Roof lights or lanterns located directly above the staircases.
  • Fanlights on both the external and internal doors. It ensures that the base of your staircase is well lit.
  • A light pipe. Appropriate for homes with limited space.
  • A full-height window to allow natural light. It can be located either on the half landing of the stairs or at the top.

You can also choose to incorporate artificial light. They are practical and show off the fine details of your stairs and bring their form to life. You can consider:

  • LED lights into the handrails or on the stair edges.
  • Lights at the bottom and top with a two-way switch.
  • Hanging lights on the wall where your stairs are can dramatically lift the look on your stairs.

How to maintain your stairs

Frequently used stairs need regular cleaning to avoid the transfer of germs. Additionally, the more they are in use, the higher their chances of experiencing damage through wear and tear. Without regular maintenance, they can become permanently damaged. Damaged stairs can put you at risk of accidents like tripping.

Below are some ways to maintain your stairs for them to last you a lifetime:

  1. Regular cleaning

Cleaning your staircase is a simple and effective way of ensuring that they last you for long. Ensure to dust your staircase to protect the wood finish and tidy up the landing spaces by removing any debris or items that can cause accidental falls.

  1. Use gentle cleaning materials

One of the biggest mistakes most homeowners make is cleaning their staircase with harsh cleaning chemicals. The materials end up damaging the surfaces. Soap and water mostly do the trick when cleaning.

  1. Clean immediately

The finish on your stairs provides a protective coating to ensure a stain-free staircase. Liquids that aren’t cleaned up immediately after spilling end up soaking into the wood, increasing the chances of permanent damages.

  1. Apply protection

To help minimise the risk of damaging the stairs, include a simple staircase runner, rugs at the top and bottom, and landing.

  1. Repair surface damages immediately

When you notice that your surface is running, do not ignore or cover it up because it can end up causing permanent damage to the area. Fortunately, most of the issues can be easily repaired. For example, on a dented surface, apply wax to restore the surface.

In conclusion, there is more to choosing a staircase design. Whether it’s a traditional or modern design, you have to consider the factors mentioned above to find the perfect fit for your home. In addition, a home that has a good staircase has an increased market value.

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