Staircases: 9 Main Types for Different Uses
Stairs are an integral part of any house with two or more levels. Choosing the right type of staircase for your home is very important, as each decision you make can have a big impact on the space inside your house. However, before choosing, think of the space and the layout of your house and plan the staircase’s shape as each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. They can be designed in different combinations with different forms and can create different kinds of visual appeal. Some stairs are more common in commercial or industrial places, while others are more common in residential places.
Here are 9 common types of stairs for your space:
1- Straight staircases:
As their name indicates, straight staircases are stairs that do not require any change in direction. They are the most popular type of staircases because they are functional. In fact, straight staircases do not require a lot of support structures, and are very simple, which makes them perfect for homes that have a minimalistic design. Some straight staircases have a landing if they are too tall, which makes them easier to ascend and descend.
2- L-shaped or 90° staircases:
L-shaped staircases are another common type of stairs used in design. They are similar to straight staircases; except they have a turn that resembles an L. This turn is often 90 degrees. To achieve the L-shaped design, a landing is used in some part of the stairs. This type of staircases can be a little bit more visually appealing and tend to take up less space. Some designers consider that these types of stairs are a lot safer than straight staircases, as the landing could reduce the risk of falling.
3- U-shaped or switchback staircases:
U-shaped staircases, also known as switchback staircases, are basically two staircases that are parallel to each other. Just like L-shaped stairs, there is a landing that joins both staircases. However, instead of a 90-degree turn, the landing creates a 180-degree turn. U-shaped staircases create a visual interest and can be used in corners. However, it should be noted that this type of stairs is a bit harder to build than others.
4- Spiral staircases:
Spiral staircases are designed around one central post to which the steps of the staircase are attached. The post is considered the main and only necessary structure that provides support for this type of staircases. Spiral staircases make complete upward turns in a full circle without the need for a landing. This type of staircases is perfect for small or limited-space houses and is very affordable and easy to install. They are often found in beach houses and city dwellings. However, these staircases can be quite difficult to navigate, as they require caution and are quite steep.
5- Curved staircases:
Unlike spiral staircases, curved stairs are not meant to form a circle. Instead, as their name indicates, they form a gentle curve towards a new direction. Curved staircases can be used near an entryway or in foyers and are an elegant feature inside any building because they have a traditional and visually appealing appearance that can work in contemporary architecture as well. However, although they are easy to navigate, they are difficult and expensive to build due to their large size.
6- Bifurcated staircases:
Bifurcated staircases are the main staircases associated with luxury and royalty because they are the largest of them all and make for a grand entrance. A bifurcated staircase is split into two small sets of stairs, connected by a wider flight and a large landing that leads to either set of the smaller steps. These staircases are not meant for small spaces, as they take too much space. They are often used in very upscale and large homes.
7- Cantilever staircases:
Cantilever staircases are built in a way that makes the steps look like they are floating in the air with no support, which is why they are also called floating stairs. These types of stairs are similar to straight staircases. However, they are more modern and add interest to your residential or commercial building. Even though they look like they do not have any support, their treads are attached to the wall to make them unnoticeable and make it look like they are floating.
8- Ladder staircases:
Ladder staircases, just like ladders, have very steep stairs. They are often used in very small spaces, such as small homes, lofts, and libraries, because they do not take too much space. This type of stairs is cost efficient because it has a simple design. The stairs also can have different features such as wheels, to allow the users to move them out of the way if they are not using them. However, ladder staircases are not as safe to navigate because of their steepness and short treads.
9- Storage staircases:
Whether small or large, extra storage is a great addition in any house. This is why storage staircases are gaining popularity in recent years. In this type of staircases, designers build cabinets underneath the stairs instead of wasting the space. The storage can be used to stash necessities or as small walk-in closets to hang jackets and store shoes and bags. On the other hand, if the kitchen is near a storage staircase, the area under this staircase can also be turned into cabinets with many drawers to store food and first aid kits.
Possibilities Are Endless
Before designing any staircase, it is important to consider all factors in the building you are working on. Safety should also be taken into consideration, as some types are not safe for children and older people. This is why it is very important to think of who will be using the space and how they will be using it. The design of staircases differs between commercial, industrial, and residential, and between small spaces and large spaces. From elegant to convenient and space efficient designs, the possibilities are quite endless, and the materials you use are as impactful as the design.