Spiral Staircase

by Scott Edwards

The primary reason for householders installing a spiral staircase in their home is the aesthetic appeal. From a design perspective, a spiral staircase will certainly stand out and may well be the focal point in an overall design concept. Their popularity has been steady for decades. In fact the last decade has seen a noted growth in demand for this style of staircase.

Despite this, there are certain things to consider before installing a spiral staircase. The steps on spirals are angled, with the smallest part being at the centre. We all take the shortest route up and down any flight of stairs, and on a spiral, or even a normal staircase with angled (kited) landing steps this is the area with the least foot space. Whether climbing up or coming down, this limited foot space dramatically increases the likelihood of slipping and falling. So when you have a spiral staircase, and especially one that has a narrow width, it’s very important to consciously take the widest route going up or down and make full use of the handrail. The wider spiral staircase is always the safer one, especially those that have handrails on both sides and don’t pivot around a single central post.

There is also a common misconception that a spiral staircase is a space-saving item. In truth, the area that is occupied by a spiral staircase can, in most cases, easily accommodate a conventional staircase. Often a conventional staircase is actually a better option and will afford a far greater feeling of space in the stairwell. Space saving stairs are steep with paddle steps and are used in extremely tight areas that cannot take either a conventional or spiral staircase.

Anyone who has a narrow spiral staircase or one that takes up the whole area of their stairwell will understand the difficulty in moving furniture between floors. The design may well be appealing to the eye, but as with any product, this does not necessarily mean that functionality will be sufficient for the immediate purpose.

Before purchasing a spiral staircase, ensure you experience walking up and down one that is of same or similar design and size to the one you intend to install.

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