In this article let's discuss the existing types of staircases. The form of the staircase in plan determines its type. According to their form the staircases can be with straight flights, with swinging flights, arched flights and spiral flights.
When choosing the type of the staircase the following aspects shall be taken into account:
- designation of the staircase (front or supporting),
- intensity of usage,
- the form of the place allocated for staircase construction.
It should be remembered that the area occupied by the staircase is excluded from the usable space of the house. Also the form and location of the staircase have a direct impact on convenience and functional usage of the staircase.
That is why you shall studiedly approach the choice. It should also be mentioned that compactability of the staircase is achieved at the expense of convenience and safety.
Staircases with straight flight
The group of staircases with straight flights is, perhaps, the most widespread. The presence of straight flights, treads located straight across the trajectory, landings makes them convenient, functional and straight. This group includes Straight stairs , Quarter Landing Stairs, and also Half Landing Stairs.
According to general rules the amount of treads in one straight flight shall not exceed 16. Despite their simple forms pertinent components may communicate a unique style to the staircase. You may read more detailed how to choose components for a staircase in Stairs Design section.
The most simple in terms of design, manufacture and installation is the staircase with straight flight.
Despite its simplicity, it is convenient and functional. It is easy to go up and down it, as also to carry things on the next floor. But the presence of one long flight makes this type of staircases limited in height. As you already know, the amount of treads in one straight flight shall not exceed 16. The usage of staircases with straight flight is feasible only in those cases when we need to join two levels connected by imaginary straight line.
Fig. Straight stairs
If two flights of stairs going in one direction are supplemented by a landing, the minimum depth of the landing shall amount to the sum of the step length and the depth of one tread in plan. If depth of the landing shall be more than the value received, the increase shall be a multiple of the minimal depth value. The landing divides the staircase into two, thereby reducing quantity of treads in one flight, and makes walking more comfortable. But the usage of staircases with straight flights and intermediate landing is limited in view of inefficient usage of space needed for the stair flight construction.
Fig. Straight stairs with intermediate landing
Quarter Landing Stairs
Quarter Landing Stairs represent a variety of straight stairs, which also include a landing. But here the landing is needed to change a direction of the flight by 90 degrees and at the same time it serves as a place for rest when moving. The landing may change its position in the flight from its beginning and up to its end. Staircases of this type are more convenient and safe than straight staircases. Due to the presence of the landing the flight is divided into two, thereby reducing quantity of treads in one flight, and makes walking more comfortable.
You shall pay particular attention to the shape of landing. As you already know from the section How to build stairs, the depth of landing shall be longer by half of the tread width in each direction, or by the whole tread width in one direction.
Staircases of this type enable rationale use of the space needed for the stair flight construction.
Fig. Quarter Landing Stairs
Fig. Double Quarter Landing Stairs
Half Landing Stairs
Half Landing Stairs are also a variety of staircases with straight flights. Just like Quarter Landing Stairs they also have a landing, but here it changes a direction of the flight by 180 degrees already and also serves as a place for rest when moving. The landing divides the staircase into two, thereby reducing quantity of treads in one flight, and makes walking more comfortable.
Staircases of this type are very convenient, functional, and safe.
Pay attention to the shape of the landing. Just like for Quarter Landing Stairs, the depth of landing shall be longer by half of the tread width in each direction, or by the whole tread width in one direction.
Fig. Half Landing Stairs
Winder Stairs are the stairs with a turn by 90 and 180 degrees, but in contradistinction to Quarter Landing Stairs and Half Landing Stairs on turn the wedge-shaped treads are used for their construction. It is no need to construct an intermediate landing, and also to reduce the space occupied by the staircase. In terms of design, staircases of this type possess soft and flowing lines, which underline their beauty, of course. And such staircase looks evidently intriguing, as if inviting to go up the radial stairs. However, staircases of such type satisfy safety requirements. The treads on turn being located not straight across the trajectory and tapering at one side build a zone inconvenient for walking. But if you design it all correctly, you can minimize the discomforts In view of absence of an intermediate landing the amount of treads according to general rules is limited to 16. Staircases of this type are complicated in designing and require accurate calculations. You can read about Winder Stairs calculation in more detail in the section How to calculate stairs.
Single Winder Stairs
Single Winder Stairs are stairs with a turn by 90 degrees. Winder treads may change their position in the flight from its beginning and up to its end. However, it is worth mentioning that the staircases with winder treads located at the beginning of the flight are more convenient than those with winder treads located at the end of the flight. This is because of winder treads located at the beginning of the flight are well within view from below, and it is handier to maneuver with things when you carry them onto the next floor.
Fig. Single Winder Stairs
Double Winder Stairs
Double Winder Stairs are stairs with a turn by 180 degrees. They are more compact than Single Winder Stairs. In this type of staircases we can distinguish two varieties: smoother passage of winder treads from turn to turn, and more abrupt passage. Stairs with smoother passage are more convenient but they occupy more space.
Fig. Double Winder Stairs
Arched Stairs are the stairs with a flight resembling an arch in its shape. The treads in such stairs are wedge-shaped as well, but tapering at one side is not very vital as that at Winder Stairs. They are elegant and graceful in appearance, and with pertinent components the staircase looks very effective. They are very difficult-to-make because all basic details, closed strings and (or) open strings, as well as handrails are curved.
Fig. Arched Stairs
Stairs of this type have stair flight resembling a circle or a part of it in its shape. Here just like in Winder Stairs and Arched Stairs the treads are wedge-shaped, but all of them (except for the last one) are uniform-sized. Spiral stairs have a central vertical post constituting the backup abutment for all treads in the flight. Due to their spiral shape such staircases look very effective. Such staircases are not convenient for frequent use in view of fast climbing up on a confined area.
Fig. Spiral Stairs
These are stairs occupying minimum space in the house. Quite often they are called "goose-step" or "sambo" stairs because of the distinctive shape of their treads. You shall start going up or down them only with the "proper" foot; otherwise you may end up by falling down. When designing Compact Stairs it should be taken into account that as a rule most people start moving with the right foot. That is why the quantity of treads in the flight shall be such as to start going up or down with the right foot. They are extremely inconvenient and not ergonomic consequently the usage of such stairs shall be limited. They can only be installed in utility rooms where there is particularly little movement.
Fig. Compact Stairs
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