Whether building your dream home from the ground up or redoing an existing space to make it everything you desire, give careful consideration to your staircase. Increasingly, homeowners and homebuyers alike are giving more attention to this once-overlooked area, so think about how you can use it to boost the beauty and functionality of your existing – or brand-new – surroundings.
Maybe you have space-related limitations, or maybe you’re starting from scratch – but familiarizing yourself with the following staircase shapes and options should give you a better sense of where to start. When designing your stairs, consider the following options.
Traditional Straight Staircases
“Traditional” doesn’t have to mean “boring.” Sure; you may have to keep your stairs in a straightforward design due to size constraints, but you can still customize your treads, handrails, balusters and newel posts to make your straight stairs uniquely yours.
Often a top choice among homeowners dealing with limited space, spiral staircases feature narrow, wedge-shaped treads and create an eye-catching, aesthetically pleasing addition to any small space.
Ladder staircases, as the name suggests, have open areas behind each tread and appear frequently in small residential spaces and even tiny homes. These space-saving staircases help you maximize square footage without sacrificing style, but keep in mind that they may not be suitable for homes with young children or older adults.
L-Shaped a.k.a. Quarter-Turn Staircases
Staircases that have one turn and one landing are known as L-shaped, or quarter-turn staircases. These stairs are common in many historic and modern homes and have a 90-degree turn after the landing that leads the user in a different direction.
U-Shaped, or Half-Turn, Staircases
Though less common than L-shaped models, U-shaped, or half-turn, staircases are similar to those you often see in multi-floor office buildings. As is the case with an L-shaped staircase, a landing exists before the stairs change directions.
A curved staircase features a continuous stream of steps that flow in line with the handrail. Unlike L- or U-shaped stairs, there are no landings in this type of staircase.
Great for mansions and similar grand homes, bifurcated staircases add an air of elegance and sophistication to your entryway. These staircases feature a single set of stairs on the ground floor that splits into two at a landing, allowing users to climb to the left or the right.
Ultimately, the final design of your stairs will depend on your space limitations, budget and stylistic preferences. However, familiarizing yourself with the various types that exist should make it easier to express your wishes and communicate with suppliers, architects and contractors along the way.