Open vs Closed Risers: Which Staircase Design Is Best for You?

All staircases either come in open or closed risers. In older and more traditional homes, you will notice that they mostly have closed risers, meaning the space between one step and the next has a board that prevents you from seeing what’s beneath the stairs. 

By contrast, each step in open riser staircases is left “open,” allowing the light and breeze to pass through. Occasionally, they are also called floating stairs because of their appearance. 

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Open Riser Staircases: Their Benefits
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Open Riser Staircases: Their Benefits 

They let in light and breeze. 

Because no board covers the gap between each step, open riser stairs let in light and breeze. Hence, they are a great choice if you want to take advantage of natural light and cross-ventilation. 

Open riser stairs complement an open-floor plan. 

Since they do not obstruct the lines of sight, open risers are great for open floor plans. Additionally, they can make an area look bigger because they don’t cast shadows or lead to a “dead space” beneath the staircase. 

They look minimalist and modern. 

If you’re into a minimalist home design, you can never go wrong with open riser stairs, thanks to their clean and simple lines and structures that allow the light to pass through. They also work well with modern or industrial decor. 

Open risers are versatile. 

Open risers are more versatile than closed risers because they can adapt to any configuration, be it curved, spiral, and straight. Additionally, they can be made out of just any material such as wood, glass, iron, concrete, stone, etc. 

They are easy to clean. 

Some people have decided to open their closed riser stairs to make cleaning much easier. Meanwhile, this design is particularly ideal in large households or if you have furry companions. 

They are ideal for people with longer feet. 

In general, the stair tread should be at least 11 inches to make them safe and convenient to use. However, some people with remarkably big feet may still find it insufficient, especially if there are closed risers where they can hit the back of their ankle as they climb down. 

Closed Riser Stairs: Their Benefits
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Closed Riser Stairs: Their Benefits 

They look more traditional. 

To reiterate, closed riser stairs are more commonly found in older and traditional homes. But if you really want to achieve a classic look, you may want to consider adding a runner rug. 

They provide additional storage space. 

You can turn the dead space beneath your closed plan staircase into a cabinet, a shoe rack, or open shelves. With this additional storage space, you can avoid or at least reduce visual clutter even if you have a smaller house. 

They “look” more stable. 

Some people prefer a closed riser staircase because of its more “stable” look. By contrast, some open riser stairs may appear “flimsy” to some individuals. 

Some pet owners prefer closed riser stairs. 

With closed riser stairs, small dogs and cats can’t fall between the gaps. 

Did you enjoy this blog post? Then, call iStairs at 916 853 1499 if you want to know more about different staircase designs. We are a Sacramento stair company specializing in production homes, remodeling, installation, and design. Additionally, we sell staircase parts for DIYers and homeowners.

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