Types of stairs
Before we start discussing the different types of stairs let’s find out what a staircase is.
Stairs are building elements that facilitate the communication between two areas located on different levels.
Staircases can be divided into 4 different types depending on:
Types of stairs by building material
In this day and age, there are endless options to design and build a staircase thanks to the wide variety of materials available on the market. These may be used as part of the structure itself or as an overlay, as shown in the following cases:
Wood adds warmth to any environment. That is why it is such a classic choice for staircases, where the wooden steps are placed on top of metallic stringers.
Marble is highly appreciated by architects and interior designers due to its versatility, durability and wide range of colours. It is an ideal overlay for reinforced concrete staircases that adds a touch of distinction and elegance.
Thanks to its own features, concrete is usually present in either the staircase structure or used for the overlay itself, in the form of exposed concrete.
Like concrete, iron is a structural material that is sometimes left exposed in staircases, with the purpose of providing a light, industrial look.
Types of stairs according to location within the building
Access steps are outdoor stairs that provide access to buildings located on elevated ground. These can be split into front and side staircases..
In this case, the staircase will be located opposite the façade.
These staircases are attached to the building, allowing access via either one or both sides.
Types of stairs according to building shape
In contrast with the above section, these staircases are located inside the building.
There are three types of staircases depending on their shape: straight, curved and mixed stairs.
In these staircases, all steps are resting on a straight surface. Within this group, staircases may be split into the following types.
Straight flight stairs
These directly connect two levels without any half landings.
Double straight flight staircases
These connect two levels with straight flights joined by a half landing.
U shaped double flight enclosed staircase
Its main feature being that both flights are joined, leaving no gap between the steps on either side. Therefore, both handrails will be on the same side.
U shaped staircase with shaft
En esta ocasión existe separación entre los peldaños que componen los tramos de escalera, es decir, el hueco central queda delimitado por los tramos de la escalera.
Staircases with three or four flights of steps
Due to the space available, sometimes there is no choice but to design a staircase with more than two flights.
This type of staircase is typically seen in stately homes or mansions. It features a peculiar shape with a wider main flight that divides into two narrower flights running parallel to the first.
In curved staircases, the steps rest upon an upward rotating surface in the shape of a curve, as seen from the upper level.
These can be classified into the following types based upon their shape.
This is a type of staircase where the step ends are arranged forming an elliptical shape. In these cases, both the larger as well as the smaller hubs are both clearly visible.
In these cases, there is a central hub that all the steps are attached to, with the outer edges forming a perfect circle.
In the same manner as the spiral staircase, the steps are also attached to a central hub although these are much wider. Therefore, they are also more comfortable to use than a spiral staircase. This type of staircases requires larger areas for their installation.
These comprise both straight and curved flights. I.e., they can feature both straight steps in the straight flights, as well as winders for the curved sections.
Kite winders allow us to move between a straight and curved section without requiring a half landing. They also feature a characteristic shape whereby the going reduces from the outer side to the side that is nearer the central hub.
Types of stairs according to the structural elements
Every staircase has supporting elements that are built into the building’s structure by means of either a ramp or a stringer beam.
In projects where the structure is made from reinforced concrete, staircase ramps are part of the structure. There are two different types:
- Staircase ramps may be an inclined surface on which to support the brick steps.
- Precast staircases where the steps are already built into the surface.
A further method to attach the staircase steps is the stringer system, where the steps rest on top of sloped beams. This could feature one or more beams per section.
If you need specialists in marble or natural stone stairs, contact us, we can help you.