When building a house with two or more floors, one of the most important aspects to consider is the placement and style of the staircase. The staircase not only serves the function of allowing people to move from one floor to another, it can also draw attention and enhances the overall design of a house. Depending on the placement, it can even be a focal point when one enters a home.
Parts of a Staircase
Most staircases have these basic parts. A flight of stairs is composed of the steps. It may have a landing which is a resting place between flights. Each step is made up of the tread which is the part that a foot is placed on and the riser which is the vertical part of the step. Steps may be uniform in width or maybe winders which are narrower on one side and wider on the other. They may have a handrail which is supported by the balusters. The staircase may have one or two stringers which supports the treads on both sides of the stairs.
Essential Elements of the Staircase
The staircase must be composed of a specific height of risers and width of treads to provide safe steps. Handrails should be of suitable height to provide support for people going up or down and help balance them as they move. Additionally, there must be enough headroom for people to stay upright while moving through the stairs.
Types of Staircases
A staircase maybe composed of a straight flight of steps with or without a landing between flights. Some landings may be positioned at the halfway point or at a quarter point. Landings may also be used to change the direction of a flight of steps. It may turn in an L shape or towards two directions in a T shape. It may also turn 180 degrees to face the opposite direction. Some staircases may also be built in a U shape. For houses with wider spaces, the flight of stairs may turn in a gradual arch while for smaller spaces the staircase may be spiral in form.
Apart from the above aspects, other things to consider include the materials to be used for the stairs such as wood, metal or concrete or a combination of these. Different types of wood and metals are available as well as finishes. Additionally, staircases may also be carpeted depending on one’s taste and style. Today’s staircase design may also range from the classic to the contemporary to ultra modern types with some serving double purposes.