While a staircase is an “architectural” necessity–connecting one floor to another– it doesn’t have to be boring. With different types of staircases to choose from, you can always find something that suits your taste, your budget, and your home’s design.
The cost of a staircase primarily depends on the material and its design. In general, straight stairs style (stairs without any change in direction) and stairs made of aluminum metal are more affordable than solid timber staircases and split or bifurcated staircases which are commonly found in grand homes.
If there are seniors and children in the family, a good rule of thumb is to choose a staircase design with landing plates and handrails. While the avant-garde and minimalist look of a floating staircase might appeal to you, it is not practical or even dangerous if you have small kids at home.
A safe design doesn’t necessarily mean a boring-looking staircase. These are tried-and-tested ways to ensure that your stairs are safe for everyone, including children and people with mobility issues.
- Install rail grips and add a second railing.
- Make sure the steps have a “gentler” rise.
- Choose stairs with longer runs.
- Avoid types of staircase with solitary steps, which are “unpredictable.”
- Increase lighting.
- Prevent slip and fall accidents by adding a carpet runner. Some wood and stone staircases are easy to clean, but their surface can be slippery, especially when damp or wet.
There are different kinds of materials used to make staircases; they include timber, aluminum, steel, stone, marble, concrete, glass, wrought iron, glass, wire rope, brick, to name a few. Oftentimes, two or more materials are combined to create a functional and stylish staircase.
From the interior design’s perspective, the “ideal” material depends on your home style and the “texture” you want to create. For instance, wood and carpet runners (fabric) are “warm” to the eyes, while stone and glass are considered as “cold” materials.
The amount of space and location will also determine the right types of staircase. For instance, a straight staircase is ideal if you want more room on the upper floor and don’t mind if it eats up more space in the area below.
In contrast, a spiral staircase eats up less space in the downstairs area but requires a larger opening in the ceiling above.
If you want the spiral staircase look but don’t like to sacrifice space on the upper floor, you may opt for a combination staircase design that combines straight and spiral treads.
The right staircase design depends on your space and style. For instance, spiral staircases are ideal for tight spaces and can also serve as a focal point in your home with the right material and structural design.
Glass stairwells, meanwhile, are ideal if you like the minimalist look or want to utilize the natural light, which makes any space appear bigger than it is.
But if you’re into a grand look, you may want to consider a double or split staircase, which consists of two staircases leading to a broad flight at the bottom that is often situated facing the home’s front door to create a more dramatic entrance.
Contrary to popular belief, you can turn your staircase into a focal point of your home or at least use it to set the tone for a room. For instance, dark wood banisters combined with matte black metal inserts can create a unique rustic staircase.