Staircases 101: What Are the Different Types of Staircases?

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What are the different types of staircases?

A staircase is comprised of a flight of steps between two (or more) floors, including any landings, handrails, and balustrades. But more than a means of getting from one floor to another, a staircase can be a key interior design feature of a space.

There are a range of staircase types, each with their own aesthetic features and practical elements. Structural features and materials are often used to enhance different types of staircases to produce a more unique, visually dynamic result.

There can also be crossover between types of staircases when different architectural elements are used in tandem – this means that staircases can be a simple straight structure or something ornate and complex, like a split, helical or central spine staircase.

 

Straight Staircases

One of the most commonly used types of staircases – straight stairs are fairly self-explanatory, describing any set of stairs that run in a straight line without curved bends or winder steps. This can include multiple floors with landings in between, as long as all of the stairs run in a straight line before stopping at a landing or floor.

Straight Staircases

Winder Staircases

Similar to straight stairs, winder stairs run in straight lines but instead of changing direction at a landing, the steps continue around a 90-degree bend. The steps at the bend are not regular rectangles, but customised triangular shapes designed to perfectly facilitate the bend without needing a landing. They make a great space-saving solution that’s popular in homes and domestic properties because they allow someone to continuously ascend or descend the stairs even around a bend, unlike staircases with landings.

winder-staircase-berkhamsted

Spiral & Helical Staircases

Spiral and helical staircases date back to classical antiquity and were a notable architectural feature of Ancient Greek and Roman temples. The oldest evidence of a spiral staircases is found in an Ancient Greek temple located in what is now modern-day Sicily, dating back to 480 BC!

Whilst sharing a visually similar curved shape – helical and spiral staircases are architecturally distinct types of staircases. While helical staircases are any curved stairs, spiral staircases form a complete circle around a central column.

St-Johns-Wood-indoor-spiral-staircase

Cantilevered Staircases

This iconic step design is one of the most striking types of staircases. Each step is directly fixed to the adjacent wall, and this forms the only point of contact. The overall effect is something that looks like it’s floating – allowing lots of light to pass through in between each step. This can be paired with a glass balustrade to maintain the illusion of floating stairs, with added safety.

cantiver-floating-staircase-sepera

Split Staircases

Split staircases make some of the most visually impressive types of staircases. Incorporating almost any primary staircase design, split stairs separate from one flight of stairs into two parallel staircases, or from one landing forming a mirror image staircase. They’re a recognisable design element often incorporated into grand staircases.

Pipins cantilever timber split staircase

Zigzag Staircases

This is a minimalist step design, where the shape of each step and riser form an ascending zigzag. Its angular shape is visually striking, often paired with multi-level straight stairs, though it can be incorporated into helical and winder stairs and other types of staircases.

Side of Zig Zag staircase

Central Spine Staircases

Like the above, central spine staircases offer a dynamic structural element to a staircase – linking steps together with one central column that acts like a supporting spine, hence the name. Like open riser stairs, central spine staircases allow light to pass between steps and are a design element that can be used with several types of staircases including straight, helical, winder, and split.

Central Spine Staircases

Open Riser Stairs

This is a feature where the riser part of the step is absent, meaning light can pass through the space between each step, creating an open and airy feel. It’s a feature that can be incorporated into a range of staircase types – from straight stairs to spiral stairs.

Open Riser Staircases

 

Interested in a new staircase?

At Canal Architectural, we’ve been designing, fabricating, and installing bespoke staircases for over 25 years. If you’re unsure about the type of staircase you want or are looking to find out more about the suitability of your space – you can learn more about our range of staircases or contact our friendly team who are more than happy to advise. We design, create, and install entirely bespoke staircases to ensure that what we deliver perfectly suits your space and taste.

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To discuss your next architectural project and to receive expert advice, please contact the Canal Architectural Team; you’ll be glad you did!

Call: +44 (0) 115 986 6321 or Email Us

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Staircases 101: What Are the Different Types of Staircases?

What are the different types of staircases? A staircase is comprised of a flight of steps between two (or more) floors, including any landings, handrails, and balustrades. But more than a means of getting from one floor to another, a staircase can be a key interior design feature of a space. There are a range…


Staircase Trends and Ideas for 2023 – What is Trending in Staircases?

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With a focus on deep and rich colours, bold patterns, and ornate furnishings – maximalist interior design has returned to popularity over the past few years. 2023 stairway trends will follow suit with a focus on statement stairways that add texture, style, and personality to your spaces. The popularity of quality materials – glass, metal, and wood – will also be a key feature of 2023 stair railing trends.

A fashionable new staircase can add value to your property. Read on to see what the top staircase ideas and trends of 2023 are going to be so you can stay ahead of the curve.

Cantilever Stairs

Cantilever stairs will no doubt be one of the top modern staircase trends of 2023. Despite their minimalist design, cantilever steps are a bold style choice that helps create visual space. With a highly coveted design that creates the illusion of floating steps, these magical staircases have been topping stair trends for the past few years – and they’re not going anywhere!

Elegant and sophisticated, these stairs complement both maximalist styles – pairing well with bold coloured walls and decorations – and more reserved designs. Cantilever stairs are incredibly versatile, suitable for a variety of locations in a broad range of metals and natural materials. And if you were wondering what type of staircase takes up the least room, cantilever stairs are fantastic space savers!

 

Timber cantilever staircase cantilever staircase with under lighting

Metal & Glass Staircases

One of the top staircase ideas and trends of 2023 will be metal and glass staircases. Popular in both domestic and commercial spaces, these staircases are truly impressive. Well-designed metal and glass staircases offer a spectacular, sophisticated visual experience – one that can be seen across a range of staircase shapes, from traditional straight staircases to impressive central spine staircase designs.

As well as staircases, glass and metal finishings – such as balustrades and handrails – have also seen a rise in popularity. Glass panels offer the best of both worlds, helping you feel safe and supported on the stairs, while also creating beautiful light visual space. When paired together, glass and metal staircases create simple, clean structures that add to the illusion of space, opening everything up – and allowing the rest of your interior designs to shine.

glass staircase next to plant Indoor glass staircase

 

Helical Staircases

Helical staircases, and their stylish relative – the spiral staircase – will certainly see a spike in popularity as a key 2023 staircase idea and trend. Are curved staircases out of style? On the contrary – their grand design has seen a huge resurgence in the past few years. Another bold design choice, curved stairs truly draw attention to the creativity of their own architecture – making your stairway more than merely functional, but a key design feature of the space.

Their smooth lines bring a cascading flow into the room. They create a sweeping shape and, despite what you may think, take up far less space than many other staircases. You can also modify your helical staircase to ensure it perfectly fits into the space, with beautiful materials that enhance the room.

Helical Staircase Helical Staircases

When should I replace my staircase?

If you’re looking to upgrade your stairway to suit the latest staircase trends, browse our beautiful range of staircase options. We design, create, and install entirely bespoke staircases to ensure that what we deliver perfectly suits your space and taste. Wondering what to consider when buying stairs? Read more from our blog and don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team with any enquiries.

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Call us Today

To discuss your next architectural project and to receive expert advice, please contact the Canal Architectural Team; you’ll be glad you did!

Call: +44 (0) 115 986 6321 or Email Us

Latest from the Blog

Staircases 101: What Are the Different Types of Staircases?

What are the different types of staircases? A staircase is comprised of a flight of steps between two (or more) floors, including any landings, handrails, and balustrades. But more than a means of getting from one floor to another, a staircase can be a key interior design feature of a space. There are a range…


Advantages Of A Metal Staircase

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When designing a staircase for your commercial space or property, there are a number of key decisions you will have to make – most importantly what material the staircase will be constructed from. The traditional material option used was timber, however more architects, homeowners and developers are opting for steel structures as this enables more complex, slender and durable designs to be considered.

Opting for a staircase with metal as its core structure can be a building block for other materials such as stone, glass, timber etc. However, we are seeing an upward trend towards all metal staircase specifications in residential and commercial properties; metal structures are strong, durable and built to last.

Resilience

Timber structures will expand and contract when exposed to heat, humidity and other elements, over time this will distort and loosen the timber and joints. Therefore, timber structures will become noisier and begin to creak. Also, the natural variants in timber result in designs having to be over engineered in terms of section sizes to compensate, this means there can be huge limitations with the design itself when opting for timber.

A steel structure is extremely stable and there’s no need to worry about expansion, contraction or warping. A metal staircase is inherently resistant to all environmental elements including fire and flood which is a key advantage for Architects and Structural Engineers from a safety point of view.

Economical

The evolving pandemic and advances in sustainability has shifted the way architectural design is perceived in 2022. All metal staircase structures are strong, durable and built to last meaning less less need to paint or replace a structural component within a metal staircase as ultimately, metal stairs last longer with minimal maintenance required. A big shift towards sustainability and climate concerns means metal structures are increasingly becoming the preferred choice within the industry.

Versatile designs

Metal is considered far more contemporary and the go to-choice for architects and interior designers. The possibilities of modern metals is vast, the structural integrity of steel means you can incorporate the beauty of timber into your design, through balustrades and timber treads. Architects have been actively incorporating the natural world into design by using timber elements in structures. The idea of pairing timber treads with metalwork staircase structures is also becoming an increasingly popular option; particularly oak and sapele timber for a classic appearance.

Helical Staircase

The option to incorporate the stripped back, industrial finishes of raw steel continues to rise in popularity in to 2022 the idea of injecting character and textures into staircase design. The design possibilities are endless!

For over 30 years Canal have also played an invaluable role in designing, fabricating, and installing an expansive range of architectural staircase designs for many prestigious projects.

At Canal our greatest strength lies in turning your design brief into a reality and we have manufactured and installed unique metalwork solutions to some of the UK’s most prestigious residential and commercial projects. If you would like to discuss your latest architectural metalwork design then please email canal@canalengineering.co.uk for more information or head over to our website and speak directly to one of our technical advisors.

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Call us Today

To discuss your next architectural project and to receive expert advice, please contact the Canal Architectural Team; you’ll be glad you did!

Call: +44 (0) 115 986 6321 or Email Us

Latest from the Blog

Staircases 101: What Are the Different Types of Staircases?

What are the different types of staircases? A staircase is comprised of a flight of steps between two (or more) floors, including any landings, handrails, and balustrades. But more than a means of getting from one floor to another, a staircase can be a key interior design feature of a space. There are a range…


Staircase Trends 2022

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The evolving pandemic and advances in sustainability has shifted the way architectural design is perceived in 2022. There is an ever-growing appreciation of craftmanship as well as a trend towards the mixing of styles, finishes and unique features in staircase design. The use of visually personalised features with sustainable finishes are rising in popularity in the design world.

Also, we’re seeing an upward trend towards metal staircase specifications in residential and commercial properties; metal structures are strong, durable and built to last. A big shift towards sustainability and climate concerns over the past year means metal structures are becoming the increasingly preferred choice. The material is highly functional, resistant to temperature changes and a worthwhile long-term investment.

We’re also beginning to see the following staircase trends in 2022:

Exposed metal finishes

Bringing the great outdoors and natural finishes into an interior setting was a huge inspiration for architects in 2021. The stripped back, industrial finishes of raw steel is rising in popularity with designers; the idea of injecting character and textures into staircase design.

Raw hot rolled steel with a natural beeswax finish is a popular finish, the heat caramelises the wax and produces a rich black bronzed colour on the surface of the metal.

Laser cut balustrades

The balustrade is the barrier that protects the open edge of the staircase or stair void. Many homeowners are using balustrades to bring their own unique expression and style to a staircase design. One trend proving particularly popular with homeowners is the flat bar spindles that feature on the Stroud Green project. The contemporary antique bronze staircase features simple, monochromatic lines for a sleek and modern twist. Another great example is the Regents Crescent sweeping staircase design, every balustrade spindle on the helical staircase is unique in design to create fluidity and movement in the installation.

(Pictured Westburn, laser cut balustrades)

Timber treads

In the light of sustainability, there is a delicate aesthetic towards more natural materials in architectural design. Architects have been actively incorporating the natural world into design by using timber elements in structures. The idea of pairing timber treads with metalwork staircase structures are certainly becoming an increasingly popular option; particularly oak and sapele timber for a classic appearance.

(Pictured High Peak, curved cantilever with timber treads)

Staircase designs:

Helical staircase

Helical staircases are fabricated to appear curved, and their structure is a  similar shape to a DNA molecule; in which two strands twist around each other. The design of the structure means you’re led from one level to the next through circular rotation but without the constraints of a traditional spiral staircase. The curved nature of the helical staircase structure means the design is right on trend with its graceful flowing arc.

(Pictured Mayfair Park; Helical Design)

Cantilever floating staircases

This stylish staircase trend looks to remain popular in 2022, the cantilever design is a uniquely intelligent piece of architecture and engineering. For the client whose tastes are sharply on-trend, this staircase features tasteful lines for a unique floating design. The structure can be crafted from a wide range of natural materials, the cantilever style adds a contemporary twist to any design.

(Pictured Fulham Road; Cantilever Design)

At Canal our greatest strength lies in turning your design brief into reality and we have supplied unique metalwork solutions to some of the UK’s most prestigious residential and commercial projects. If you would like to discuss your latest architectural metalwork staircase design then please email canal@canalengineering.co.uk for more information or head over to our website to chat directly to one of our technical advisors.

Check out our Staircase Ideas and Trends for 2023.

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Call us Today

To discuss your next architectural project and to receive expert advice, please contact the Canal Architectural Team; you’ll be glad you did!

Call: +44 (0) 115 986 6321 or Email Us

Latest from the Blog

Staircases 101: What Are the Different Types of Staircases?

What are the different types of staircases? A staircase is comprised of a flight of steps between two (or more) floors, including any landings, handrails, and balustrades. But more than a means of getting from one floor to another, a staircase can be a key interior design feature of a space. There are a range…


Staircase design for the evolving commercial landscape

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What is the role of staircase design for commercial spaces in 2021?

Office spaces have completely changed over the past year as businesses begin to adapt to the evolving working environment. At Canal we are beginning to see a shift occurring in office developments along with the approach to commercial interior and architectural design. The staircase is a fundamental for requirement for businesses to connect spaces and people together. At Canal Architectural we understand staircase designs greatly enhance communication and connection within the workplace.

Our greatest strength is turning your design brief into reality and we’ve supplied some unique metalwork solutions to some of the UK’s most iconic commercial properties and developments.

Here are some of the most notable commercial staircase designs we offer:

Helical

This grand sweeping staircase design is an ideal solution for joining office floors out into an atrium and suitable for spaces with a larger footprint. A helical staircase is one of the most exquisite yet dramatic designs with its graceful, flowing arc.

Recently, the team at Canal were approached to manufacture and install an impressive bespoke helical staircase for the WD40 European headquarters. The client requested that the feature staircase connected three floors and reception desk inside the main central building. The structure was manufactured in high quality mild steel with a raw oiled finish applied to blend with the brand identity.

Bespoke Metalwork

Straight

The straight staircase design certainly doesn’t mean boring. There are many possibilities from half turn, quarter turn, open riser, floating treads, central spine and many more. The team at Canal have designed an array of straight staircase designs for numerous types of commercial developments.

Recently, the team at Canal completed a stunning feature staircase for ROMO Fabrics headquarters in Nottinghamshire.  The commercial space was designed to consolidate all elements of the business from process and storage space into one stunning headquarters. This mild steel structure is the centrepiece of the atrium with MDF clad over the frame and features a wax finish.

Another notable commercial straight staircase design was for a contemporary London office development – Phipp Street. The combination of mild steel, laser cut risers and all wax finish blended perfectly with the modernised commercial surroundings.

straight Feature stair

Spiral

A few businesses are opting for smaller commercial spaces to achieve flexible working environments for employees. The spiral staircase design offers a dramatic connection between spaces with its circular plan and winding treads. The design is perfectly adept and suits smaller office environments due to its smaller footprint and space saving design. The central steel column creates a solid and more stable structure that can be applied to a range of styles.

republic-bespoke-spiral-stairway

Canal Architectural combine excellent design and functionality to create unique staircases to suit your commercial space. Our highly experienced technical sales team at Canal are adept to solving problems that may arise in designing your new staircase to suit your environment. Our project management team will work with you to maintain workflow processes and keep you updated on each stage of the design and build.

If you would like more information on staircase designs to suit the evolving commercial environment email: canal@canalengineering.co.uk or head over to our website to chat to one our technical advisors.

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Call us Today

To discuss your next architectural project and to receive expert advice, please contact the Canal Architectural Team; you’ll be glad you did!

Call: +44 (0) 115 986 6321 or Email Us

Latest from the Blog

Staircases 101: What Are the Different Types of Staircases?

What are the different types of staircases? A staircase is comprised of a flight of steps between two (or more) floors, including any landings, handrails, and balustrades. But more than a means of getting from one floor to another, a staircase can be a key interior design feature of a space. There are a range…