Staircases made of wood are most often used for the second floor in low-rise or wooden houses and cottages. As designers say, a staircase is not only the way of movement, but also the most important decoration in the house. After all, it is difficult to hide this bulky structure. More often it is in sight, catching an eye and setting the tone for the entire residential space.
The main advantages of wooden staircases include:
- ecological compatibility;
- affordable price;
- practicality, especially if the staircase is made of hardwood;
- no need for special care;
- an opportunity to embody almost any designer fantasy.
A fire escape staircase (ladder) is a necessary part of any building, because its main purpose is to help firefighters reach the places of fire to fight the body of fire and rescue people if necessary. The availability of a fire escape staircase (ladder) on the house is one of the fire safety requirements, so failure to meet it might not only cause administrative penalties, but also be a real danger to people's lives.
Fire escape staircases (ladders) are made of metal and can have different designs: prefabricated, retractable, permanent, stairway, vertical, balcony and others. But in most cases they are united by one requirement – availability of a fence to improve safety of movement. Standards also specify the dimensions and method of fastening fire escape staircases (ladders) to a building. The width of this staircase should be at least 80 cm for a vertical ladder and at least 60 cm for a stairway. For permanent fire escape staircases, a manufacturing method of arc welding is prescribed.
A drop forged staircase is a real work of monumental art – of course, if the work was done by a real master, a metal artist. It is because the forging of a staircase is an exclusive, "custom-made", laborious work of the master, such staircases have a disadvantage in the eyes of many people – their high cost. We have to do justice to them, though: this is their only disadvantage. In other respects, drop forged staircases are positively characterized in terms of strength, durability and reliability. Although the main thing in them, of course, is the style!
Staircases made by a master blacksmith bring elegance, nobility and classics to our homes in the true sense of these words. Therefore, the interest in drop forged stairs is so great. For those, who are embarrassed by the price of a drop forged staircase, we have great news! Now we will tell you about alternative options, about how to get a drop forged staircase at cheaper price.
Fully metal staircases are rarely used indoors.
Exceptions may include variants of extravagant design or, if the staircase (ladder) has a strictly economic purpose, for example, fire escape. In other cases, metal staircase means a metal frame staircase, i.e. having a metal bearing structure. Such staircases are made of aluminum, black or stainless steel, with steps made of any decorative material: concrete, granite or other natural stone, wood, tile, glass or a combined version of several materials.
The undeniable advantages of metal staircases include high strength, durability, relatively low weight and the option to produce both stairway and spiral models.
Winder staircases are a type of turn staircases, in which design not platforms, but winders of a trapezoid shape are used for turns. As can be seen in the provided model, two differently directed sections of the staircase are connected by steps of non-standard dimensions. Depending on the specific situation, winder staircases can have 90 or 180 degree winder turns.
This type of staircases has two undeniable advantages: first, they are ergonomic, i.e. they require less space compared to the more classical staircases, and second, they are more attractive from an aesthetic point of view. This type of staircases can be made of any material: metal, wood, concrete, natural granite, artificial marble or polymers. The most important thing in such a staircase that requires thorough study is the calculation of a winder's geometry. If you commit an error in this issue, then even the most beautiful, expensive and impeccably looking staircase will ruin your life. And that's why.
A staircase with a platform (landing) is a variant of a turn staircase, in which the turn is made not through winders, but through the connection of differently directed flights with a platform. This classic solution always fits perfectly into the interior and can be performed in any artistic style.
This version of a staircase has several advantages:
- it is more compact than its flight relatives;
- a platform helps people to comfortably pass by each other when walking in opposite directions;
- a platform serves as a place for a short rest, if the assent along the staircase is physically difficult for a person with poor health or if heavy objects are lifted manually;
- a platform's structural feature makes it possible to lift bulky and stiff objects to the upper floors.
An entrance space creates a first impression of everything that is happening inside the building. It works for your image, so that the image would work for you later. An entrance space is a set of structures that create the composition of an entrance to the building and includes design of the following: an external staircase, a doorway, an awning (arch, canopy over the door), a marquise (protection from rain and sun), facade elements structurally linked with the doorway, and free architectural forms (sculptures, etc.).
Technically and in terms of design, all these elements should be developed together, in an integrated manner, to form a truly unified composition. Any materials can be used for their manufacture, but, first of all, it is granite and concrete, as they are least susceptible to climate changes, resistant to abrasion, have a monumental and noble appearance and are durable during active operation.
Speaking of precast staircases, we need to remember all the advantages of concrete, because precast staircases are concrete structures, most often, reinforced ones. Therefore, all characteristics of concrete are automatically transferred to them: practicality, fire safety, resistance to cold, heat, sunlight, precipitation and loads, acceptability for any designer style and durability. In addition, concrete mixes can include various decorative additions that can make a simple concrete staircase truly beautiful and even exquisite!
Precast staircases are inserted structures, so they have a number of features that should be taken into account at the ordering stage. First, this type of staircases has a significant weight, so it needs a foundation and strong walls of the room. As a rule, precast structures are used in buildings with openings, constructed of concrete, bricks or other materials with high strength characteristics.
We know that staircases for entrances to high-rise buildings are often made of concrete. This is due to several factors: concrete is practical, reliable, resistant to ignition during a fire and much safer than other materials. It also perfectly solves the problem of arranging stair flights and spaces with a split-level layout of apartments in the building.
When designing a staircase, it is necessary to take into account all the features of a building, to use the space of an entrance as rationally as possible, to ensure safety and convenience of access to the staircase from each apartment, as well as to provide special descents for children and wheelchairs. Therefore sometimes a staircase consists not only of flights and platforms, but also of additional corridors leading to apartments. The simplest solution, when one staircase connects all apartments, is more cost-effective, though.
Granite is beautiful by nature. But this is not the only reason why people like granite staircases or staircases with granite steps. This stone is durable and strong, resistant to cold and moisture, as well as to abrasion. Here are the main advantages of granite, because of which it is actively used for finishing facades and staircases.
Granite can have a different surface: polished or rough; it all depends on the selected treatment. For outdoor use, in the middle and northern latitudes, an uneven surface is often chosen, because it perfectly resists slipping. There is also an option of the polished surface with narrow chamfers along the step to increase grip between the sole and the step. The main thing when choosing a stone staircase is to understand the goals that the future staircase should serve, as well as the passability in order to choose the right material thickness.
Concrete staircases are the most common solution. We see them everywhere: in the entrances to apartment buildings, in shopping centers, in private houses, on the streets as part of an entrance space to buildings and inside a variety of rooms, etc. Such popularity is accounted for by many factors, the main of which are high strength properties and the possibility of implementing any design idea. For staircases, concrete's rivals are wood, metal and composites, but none of them can withstand this competition, conceding in one way or another to concrete.
Only a staircase made of concrete allows imitating various coatings: faux marble or faux wood. Only it provides the necessary degree of slip resistance. Only concrete withstands cold and humidity. No material can compete with concrete's resistance to high loads and carrying capacity. Concrete has many decorative types, allowing a staircase to be not only strong, but also beautiful. Products made of concrete can be both modular and precast, so that they are convenient during transportation and installation.
The main feature of turn staircases is clear from their name – their design has a turn. This type of staircases is very common due to its high functionality, ergonomics and the possibility to specify any style of a staircase leading, for example, to the second floor of a private house, a dacha or a country cottage.
Designing such staircases requires certain skills and knowledge of material properties. It's great, if you know what the riser height, the total height, the stair flight and tread width and the total length of a structure are, as well as you are well-versed in modern materials and fixing methods. But it's easier to order a design of the turn staircase rather than to study the issue at length. Then what you need to do is just to decide on the tasks to be assigned to the future staircase, while designers will offer you the best options.
Spiral staircases are less safe, but they are much more compact than other types and democratic in relation to any interior style, so people often choose them.
This type of staircases is characterized by a variety of shapes and designs. They can be round or polygonal, supported by a post, wall or by a fence and a notchboard. There are many recommendations regarding the choice of vertical spiral staircases. For example, round ones look great in the center of the room, while polygonal ones are usually placed near the wall. But the most important thing to remember is that it is vital to correctly calculate the size of the steps and not to use risers. This recommendation is due to the fact that closer to the support steps are narrower than on the opposite side, so, when ascending, the foot hangs. If the central part is too narrow, when the staircase is equipped with risers, the staircase will be extremely dangerous for ascending and descending. In order to increase safety of its operation, it is recommended to install handrails, which in this case are simply a necessity.