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Types of Stairs

February 9, 2024

Stairs are an integral feature of homes, connecting the various levels in a building. Not only do they serve an important practical function but they're also visually striking architectural features, acting both functionally and aesthetically. From straight, curved or bifurcated stairs in any design imaginable - depending on design style, space constraints and budget - selecting the optimal type can be tricky; choosing whether wooden, steel or hybrid materials might best meet these criteria can take on various forms including landings, turning points or railings as well.

Straight stairs are linear flights of steps that do not change direction and are the most commonly-chosen stair option. They may be customized with intermediate landings (usually required by building codes if your staircase exceeds 12 feet in height) for added modification, and their construction usually does not require special support or additional materials. Though they take up more floor space than other forms, straight stairways provide less privacy between floors than others do.

Curved staircases are continuous sets of steps which form a moderate curve when seen from above, usually with a large radius. When seen from this perspective, these stairs resemble regular stairs more than spiral or winder ones and can make an elegant architectural statement. Unfortunately, curved stairs can be expensive to build but are easier to use than other forms of curved or spiral stairs.

Spiral stairs are compact designs that resemble spirals, following an arc and supported by one central column. While aesthetically appealing and fitting well into spaces with limited floor area, spiral stairways may prove difficult to use and may result in injuries should someone trip and fall.

Turning stairs are an elegant form of curved staircase which make a 90-degree turn either left or right, providing more visual interest and making navigation simpler than with straight or curved steps. But they may prove challenging to construct as each individual stair must meet certain height and width standards in order to function correctly.

L-shaped stairs are a type of straight staircase which features a 90-degree turn in one or both directions after landing, creating an eye-catching visual aesthetic and can save space when placed near corners of a building. Furthermore, these steps are easier to use but may take more time due to having wall support on both sides that requires them.

L-shaped stairs, commonly known as switchback stairs, are an alternate type of curved staircases which make a 180-degree turn and can be found in corners of buildings. Their aesthetic is more pleasing than straight staircases while providing more privacy between barriers than they otherwise might. Unfortunately they require a more extensive support structure which makes transporting heavy items challenging and may result in serious injury.


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