25 Aug 2016

i-build explores the practical considerations for your staircase


Your staircase can be a statement feature of your home, so it’s worth taking time over the design and materials to ensure that it makes the desired impact. Often the first thing that visitors see on arrival, it’s important that your staircase fits the look and feel of your home, be it contemporary or traditional.

If space permits, straight staircases are a popular choice, often with built-in storage underneath to help tackle the challenge that faces many new build properties. Transparent glass panels, rather than wooden spindles, are an increasingly frequent choice, as they help to create the illusion of space and avoid sectioning off a room. When it comes to enhancing space, any variation of a folded plate staircase is ideal, and it adds a striking and contemporary look.

WeberHaus is seeing an increased demand for new materials, such as high pressure laminate and angular steel handrails, to be incorporated into staircases.

Regardless of trends, certain styles never date and if you prefer a classical design then a curved appearance in a quarter or half circle can add a dramatic touch to your home. This can be executed with traditional wooden spindles and a rounded handrail or, to add a hint of modernity, a glass banister provides a sleek finish.

When it comes to choosing shades, it’s imporant to consider the rest of your home and how your staircase will complement it. For example, if opting for wooden floors then bear in mind your preferred finish, so that you can match, or deliberately contrast, with your staircase.

Using a stain or oil will allow the grain of the wood to remain clearly visible for a more natural, rustic finish. If you prefer a cleaner look then go for varnish, which works better in dark or white tones. WeberHaus offers 11 different stains in a single range.



Impact on arrival

Steve Bray, Senior Creative Advisor at EeStairs UK, advises on the placement of a staircase for an enhanced experience when entering your home.

A bespoke feature staircase will enhance a space and create a sense of occasion. To maximise the impact of a feature staircase, seek to place the staircase where it will deliver impact on arrival into the home. It's also very effective when a beautiful staircase is visible through a large feature window.

Making a staircase a focal point
Make the staircase a central element within the layout of your self-build, with a focus on visual prominence and intersection with the key walkways that are central to the home. Carefully conceived staircase geometry and specification are also key to the staircase, delivering maximum added value.


Common placements that EeStairs has witnessed for staircases
Feature staircases will typically be installed in an entrance space adjacent to the main entrance; prominent, eye-catching and drawing users to the upper levels.

The best placement for helical staircases
Helical staircases will typically require a larger space when compared to straight alternatives. Staircase geometry, proportion, specification, Building Regulations and installation methodology will all influence the perfect placement.

1m2 space-saving staircases
The 1m2 by EeStairs® is perfect for limited space situations where a conventional spiral staircase cannot be accommodated due to space restrictions and fits on one square meter. The 1m2 is a stylish and interesting alternative to a loft ladder, or alternating tread staircases, with the added benefit of a generous carriageway and comfortable descent whilst facing forwards.



Step by step

From tread, balustrade and handrail styles, stair contractor Bisca offers its top tips on must-have styles for your self-build’s staircase design to create an exceptional statement.

Tread design styles

The choice of open or closed treads comes down to personal preference. Open rise staircases are rather more contemporary in style than closed rise stairs. If you need more light in your hallway, then open rise treads will make the most of available light from above and adjacent windows. Materials to consider for treads are timber, glass, steel, leather-clad, bronze, marble, stone or even Corian.



Balustrade styles

The elegant look of handcrafted, forged uprights never goes out of fashion. Balustrades using forged uprights can range from ornate to simple in design, rustic to contemporary in look and feel, and you can choose from steel, bronze or brass and a huge variety of finishes. Glass balustrades give a contemporary look, but watch out for clips and clamps holding panels in place; with good design they are simply unnecessary and ruin the overall look.

Handrail styles

Classic, hand-carved and polished timber handrails are hard to beat. Go for a continuous run along the top of the balustrade and around any landing galleries for the best look and feel. Angular joints and imposing newel posts visually and physically break the flow of a handrail and thus detract from the balustrade. Steel handrails, once popular, have seriously fallen out of favour in the last two or three years, but are making a bit of a comeback. Choose a leather-clad handrail for the ultimate luxury.




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