So you’d like to choose a good staircase but need a bit of help figuring out the best option? This guide will help:
Your home’s staircase is one of the most important aspects of its design and overall look and most design experts agree that a new staircase can really transform it.
Not only does a staircase provide a utilitarian purpose by providing access to your home’s upper floors, but it also serves as a decorative feature as you enter the home.
It is not often that one has the opportunity to select a new staircase. Reasons for installing a new staircase could include lack of safety of the current staircase or a desire to completely replace it. Whatever the case, when choosing a new staircase, it is extremely important to consider various factors and to choose wisely because your staircase will be with you for many years to come.
This article discusses what you need to consider when choosing a new staircase for your property.
The funds you have available for your renovation project will ultimately determine the extent to which you are able to renovate your staircase. It will influence the style, materials and labor you can afford for your new staircase.
The space you have available.
The type and style of your new staircase will be largely influenced by the space you have in your home. In most homes, the staircase is centrally situated, either in the entry space or main living area. A lot of thought should also be given to the space available at the top of the stairs- this is known as head space.
If you have restricted space, you would probably want to consider a straight flight of stairs. A major advantage of straight stairs is that they are quite easy to install and do not require as much labor as other styles. Although they take up a lot of linear space, straight staircases will give you more circulating space.
Spiral staircases or one that turns is also a great idea for small spaces. This kind of staircase takes up very little room, especially in the lower floor. A spiral staircase does, however, require either a circular or square-shaped opening in the overhead ceiling which, in this area, can consume a lot of space. This kind of staircase is ideal if you are able to accommodate it in the corner of the room or in the center of a large living space where it can act as an aesthetically-pleasing feature for your home.
When installing a new staircase, why not maximize its function? Consider using the space below the stairs for a storage closet, install some shelves or even put in a toilet room underneath.
Safety is of utmost concern with any staircase. For extra-safe staircases, many folks ensure that there is a landing and a return area. The design and shape of your balustrade, banisters, newel posts and handrails is also a vital factor as these accessories determine how much support is available when climbing the stairs. These items should also be clearly visible for ease of grip.
What many folks do not realize is that there are literally hundreds of designs when it comes to a new staircase. This can seem overwhelming but if you determine how you want to improve the visual effect of the staircase on your home, it can make the decision much easier.
An l-shaped (or quarter turn) staircase, for example, can provide you with an excellent solution for storage and for maximizing the space around the stairs. These staircases have a 90 degree split and turn in the middle of the stairs, resulting in a half landing. These staircases are perfect for corner staircases.
Materials for your staircase.
Another important consideration to bear in mind when installing a new staircase is the materials that will ultimately be used. Obviously, before you can decide on any kind of material, you will need to have made a final decision on the design of your staircase.
Before deciding on the materials to be used, think about the overall look that you are trying to achieve in your home. A wooden staircase generally complements most homes and, depending on how it is finished, will suit both a traditional and a contemporary home. A huge advance with a wooden construction for your staircase is that it is relatively low in maintenance. Any spills, messes or dirt can always be easily cleaned up and the stairs will look great after a rudimentary cleaning. Wood can unfortunately be rather noisy and creaky.
Steel always looks very sleek and elegant. When used together with concrete, ceramic tiles and stone, it can create a wonderfully contemporary look with little to no maintenance.
Using carpet for your staircase will usually create a soft, warm, comforting and safe look. However, if your home experiences a lot of foot traffic, this may not be the best option as the carpet will soon show signs of wear and tear. In addition, any spills or messes onto the carpet can trap smells and create stains. If you opt for carpet, it is recommended that you choose a fiber guard to prevent staining and select a low-profile and densely woven carpet type.
Before embarking on any new project for your staircase replacement, always consider the building regulations in your area. Regulations can vary from state to state so be sure to check with your renovation professional first.
The building regulations in your state or area will ultimately determine the size, height, pitch and depth of your new staircase. Most states require that a handrail must be available for the entire length of the staircase and there are often also regulations regarding the balustrade, newel posts and banisters.
Installing a new staircase can be an exciting, challenging, time-consuming and expensive exercise. However, if you take the above tips into consideration before making a final decision on the type of staircase most suitable to your home, you will be well on your way to enjoying a beautiful and functional staircase for many years to come.