Types of Staircases

There are various types of staircases available for both residential and commercial purposes. Each type of staircase has both advantages and disadvantages. If you are thinking about installing a new staircase into your home or business, it is important it understand what type of staircase pairs best with your space and preferences.

Straight Staircases

Advantages: Straight staircases consider the most “typical” staircase. Many homes and business have these within them. Straight staircases are extremely easy to go up and down and can also be easily constructed. These staircases only need to be connected at the top and the bottom so they don’t require an intermediate supporting structure which also makes building easier. They are simple and work will within minimalist homes. These staircases can also be made more transparent using thinner treads, open risers, or metal stringers. Railings can also be easily built onto straight staircases.

Disadvantages: Straight staircases do take up a lot of space, especially within a home, and you need to account for that space if you are thinking about installing. You also need to have pretty high ceilings and a long, open space in order to fit them into your home with no issues. If a straight staircase is 12 feet high, you are required to install a landing within it in order to break it up.  These staircases are rarely found within residential homes because of the room they require.

L Shaped Staircase (Quarter Turn Stairs)

Advantages: These staircases turn around corners which makes them visually interesting. They can also provide a distinct barrier between floors which can add in some privacy. L shaped staircases can easily be tucked into wall, eliminating the space that they take up. In some cases, they can also help limit sound from one floor to the other if they are built within walls. These staircases are typically thought of as a “safe staircase” because the landing in the middle prevents you from falling down the entire staircase.  It can also serve as a place to rest if you have someone in your home that struggles with stairs.

Disadvantages: These staircases can relatively difficult to build and they require a decent amount of support due to the landing. The handrails for these staircases also require a bit of planning.

U Shaped Staircases (Half Turning or Half Landing Stairs

Advantages: These staircases are often easier to fit into architectural plans and are commonly found within residential homes. They offer architectural interest and they also have a landing space which can be used as a resting point.

Disadvantages: U shaped staircases are difficult to build and require a lot of extra support.

Winder Stairs (Single and Double)

Advantages: These stairs require a lot less space compared to many other types of staircases, which is advantage in a home. They also provide a lot of visual interest. They meander around corners, providing a seamless transition that is smooth to the eye. These staircases are especially popular in modern homes. They are both compact and attractive, making them appropriate for home design.

Disadvantages: These stairs can be difficult to navigate and it can be difficult to add a handrail to them. They also require significant center support.

Spiral Stairs

Advantages: Spiral staircases are ideal when you have a minimal amount of space available. They are typically “attractive” and get a lot of compliments in homes, residential buildings, and so forth. You can also select a variety of railing options for these staircases which can change the appearance for the better as well. The center pole and the landing portion of this staircase also provides built-in structural support which can make this staircase easier to install.

Disadvantages: These staircases can be hard to climb, especially for little ones or older adults. They are also not allowed to be used as the primary staircase to the second floor of a home. Only one person will fit on these stairs at a time and they can make it difficult to carry items up and down because they are not typically wide.

Curved Stairs

Advantages: Curved staircases are both elegant and traditional. They are also relative easily to walk up and are well-suited contemporary designs. They often serve as a statement piece wherever they are located.

Disadvantages: These staircases are extremely hard to build and they are pretty expensive.

Advantages: Ladders can be a compact “staircase” option. They are typically affordable because of their simplicity. They can either fold up into the ceiling or they can roll out of the way, which can prevent them from taking up space. Ladders are made to help you access hard to reach things.

Disadvantages: Many people do have trouble climbing ladders, especially when going down, and they cannot serve as a primary staircase.

If you’re looking to install a staircase into your home, visit Acadia Stairs to get started.