Staircase Designs – Staircase Railings and Staircase Pictures

wooden staircase design - traditional home-Kerala architecture

A staircase is a connecting element between two floors. Staircases maybe constructed from metal, timber, bricks, stone or reinforced cement concrete.

wooden staircase glass balusters
Wooden Staircase with wooden and glass balusters

Stair parts

Step
It is the portion of a stair which allows ascent and descent. A step is composed of a tread and a riser.

Stair Tread
It is the upper horizontal surface of a step on which the foot is placed during ascent or descent.

Stair Risers
It is the vertical portion of a step which supports the tread.

Flight
It is an unbroken series of steps between landings.

Staircase Landing
It is the level platform at the top or bottom of a flight, allowing for change of direction and taking rest during use of the staircase.

Rise
It is the vertical distance between two successive tread faces.

Going
It is the horizontal distance between two successive riser faces.

Nosing
It is the projecting part of the tread beyond the face of the riser.

Scotia
It is a moulding under the nosing that improves elevation of the step and provides strength to the nosing.

Stringers
These support the steps in a stair. They run along the slope of the stair.

Newel post
It is a vertical member which is placed at the ends of flights to connect the ends of strings and hand rail.

Baluster
It is a vertical member or wood or metal, supporting the hand rail.

Balustrade
Consists of a row of balusters surmounted by a hand rail, to provide protection for users.

Hand Rail
It is a rounded or moulded member of wood or metal that is fixed on top of the balusters.

Header
It is the horizontal structural member supporting hair stringers or landings.

Desirable qualities of  good staircase designs

Location
In domestic buildings, staircase must be centrally located to provide easy access to all rooms. In public buildings, staircases must be closer to the entrance. Staircases must be enclosed by fire resisting walls, floors, ceilings and doors.

Width
The stairs must be wide enough to carry the user without much crowd and inconvenience. 35 inches wide stairs are good enough for domestic buildings while in public buildings, 60   to 70 inches width may be needed.

Length of the flight
The number of steps in a flight must not be more than 12 and less than 3, in a straight flight.

Pitch of the stair
The labor of moving vertically is twice as much as moving horizontally. The best pitch is that inclination which is got when doubling the rise and adding the going equals 23(when rise and going are measured in inches). Pitch should be limited to 30o to 40o.

Head Room
The clear distance between the tread and the soffit of the flight above it must not be less than 82 inches to 90 inches so as to accommodate even tall persons walking with some load on their heads.

Step Dimensions
The going must be between 9 inches  to 11 inches. The rise can be between 3 inches to 5 inches. The width of the landing must not be less than the width of the stair.

Staircase Types

Straight Flight Staircase
Here the stairs run straight between two floors. These may have one or two flight of stairs with a landing.

metal and stained glass staircase
Straight stairs of metal with glass balusters.

Quarter Turn Staircase
This type of stair changes its direction either to the left or to the right, the turn being affected by either introducing a quarter space landing or by providing winders.

wooden staircase with wooden and glass balusters
Wooden winder staircase with glass baluster design

Bifurcated staircase
Bifurcated stairs are commonly used in public buildings at the entrance.The stair has a wider flight at the bottom which then bifurcated into two narrower flights, one turning to the left and one to the right.
bifurcated stair                                                        Photo Credits:Gary Birnie
Spiral staircase
Spiral staircases are usually made of R.C.C or metal, and used in locations with space limitations. Sometimes used as emergency stairs, they are also provided at the backside of the building. All the steps are winders.

spiral staircase
Spiral Staircase

Photo Credits: Ell Brown

Helical staircase
This staircase is made of R.C.C and the structure is very complicated.

helical staircase
Helical Staircase

Photo Credits:Echiner1

Modern Staircase Designs
Staircase inside home Photo Credits:Nanette Turner

staircase pebbled Photo Credits:Echiner1

forest staircase
Photo Credits:Blakeimeson

Stairlifts
Stairlifts are for the aged and wheelchair bound to move up and down stairs without having to climb them. You can even install a stair lift for dogs and pets – especially for overweight dogs.

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