Spiral staircases have been around for centuries and became more popular for the first time in the Middle Ages. Although the exact date of creation of the spiral staircase is unknown, the concept is believed to be around 3,000 years old.
Spiral staircases were mostly found earlier in forts and castles and were originally built to protect against enemy attacks. The small space of the curved staircase would make it difficult for any kind of ambush, since only one can run up at a time.
Spiral stairs are still popular in modern construction because they take up less space and are convenient for building in a small space. We can find them in many homes and are also used as chic stairs in some luxury accommodations.
Why spiral stairs?
Image source: EDGE Design LLC
The growing population and the migration to cities have led to the construction of many houses in a smaller space. The focus is on the maximum use of a place everywhere. In such houses, spiral staircases are a good way to save space and also to maintain a traditional staircase as before.
Curved stairs are very flexible and can be easily accessed in places where traditional stairs may not work as well.
Materials for spiral stairs
Image source: John Malick & Associates
In the past, the materials used to build spiral staircases were usually stone and marble, as they used to be built directly into the walls of fortresses and castles. It was only in modern times that they were built as independent stairs, with the pole serving as a support.
Today, spiral staircases are built from many materials such as wood, metals, wrought iron, composite metal, a combination of wood and metal, aluminum, steel, and galvanized metal. Metal spiral stairs are very common nowadays because they are easily affordable and durable for a considerable amount of time.
Steel is a great material for building curved stairs because it can be bent into any shape without losing its strength. Steel is extremely strong and is also used in many other construction work.
Aluminum is very affordable compared to other materials and is lightweight and resistant to corrosion, which gives the spiral staircase a clean look. Although it could collapse under extreme pressure, unlike steel.
Galvanized iron is a good alternative again. It is coated with a zinc layer to protect the iron from rust.
Wood is also used in the construction of spiral staircases, although it requires constant maintenance and can crack or flake over time due to external environmental influences.
So the choice of material for the spiral staircase depends on the location where it is built to understand the impact it would have to endure.
Round stairs design & dimension
Image source: McCutcheon Construction Inc.
It is important to determine the position of the spiral staircase to be built, where to build it. It is also important to determine the material for the spiral staircase. You should have enough light when building the house as most are away from windows.
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The most important measure for the spiral construction is the floor height. This determines the rotation of the spiral staircase. The twist and the number of threads go hand in hand. Once you have calculated the rotation of the stairs, the number and degree of the steps can be calculated.
Most spiral staircase heights reach 9.5 inches as the steps are typically set at an angle of almost 30 degrees. Typically, many stair kit suppliers have adjustable risers.
Measuring the height of the floor will give you a good idea of how offset the steps need to be and how far apart they are.
Image source: JCD Custom Home Design
This would determine the width of the spiral staircase. The standard width of the spiral staircase is around 800 mm or 600 mm depending on the apartment in which it is built. It would roughly calculate a 5 inch diameter staircase.
When determining the diameter, you need to take into account the width of the stairs, which allows you to comfortably go up and down the stairs. A diameter that is too small can be dangerous when walking, and a diameter that is larger than required can take up more space.
The tread radius depends on the diameter of the spiral staircase. The radius of the profile increases with the diameter of the stairs.
Image source: Dallas Design Group, interiors
Once you have the dimensions for the spiral staircase, you can buy spiral staircase kits for installation. The kits are available in all ranges from $ 700 to $ 7,000. The cost of the spiral staircase kits depends on the materials you would use for the installation.
Advantages of spiral stair kits
It can be easily installed by at least two or more people and the task can be completed within a day. Assembly and installation are very simple and the kits contain instructions that are easy to follow.
There are many bespoke custom and high performance spiral kits that can be disassembled and disassembled for shipping. Once the installation site is reached, it can be reassembled just as easily.
It can be done with normal tools and does not require fancy equipment to support the installation.
Spiral staircase kits are available in a variety of materials such as wood, glass, metal, galvanized iron, aluminum and stainless steel. The costs vary depending on your location and the choice of materials.
It does not require welding and can therefore be installed safely without expert support.
The kit contains all the parts required for installation. This saves time and space. You can easily buy it in-store or order online because delivery is also faster.
Types of spiral stairs
Metal spiral staircase
Image source: EURL Atelier d’Architecture Michel NICOLETTI
A metal spiral staircase is great for its durability, affordability, and ease of availability. As mentioned earlier, aluminum, stainless steel, galvanized iron, etc. are commonly used in spiral staircases.
The disadvantage is that they have to be serviced to avoid corrosion or color changes on certain metals. They would need to be waxed and coated to get their look.
Wooden spiral staircase
Image source: Birdie Miller Designs
They are inexpensive compared to curved metal stairs and make the house feel warm and soft. It would be less noisy than metal counterparts.
The disadvantage, however, would be the durability of wood. It is susceptible to pests and needs treatment. Other environmental factors such as moisture and moisture can also affect the material. If you can afford the maintenance of wooden spiral stairs, you can install them. Otherwise, metal is recommended for a cheaper and more durable solution.
Spiral glass staircase
Image source: EeStairs America Inc.
Glass stairs have also gained popularity as they add elegance to architecture. They also offer a range of designs, textures and styles such as frosted glass, clear or sandblasted glass, which give the stairs uniqueness compared to conventional materials.
They are moisture-friendly, have a lighter effect on the eyes and can make the place brighter if they reflect light. Unlike wooden stairs, they don’t have the pest problem.
However, they also have few disadvantages, since they have to be checked continuously for broken glass. Accidents can be dangerous and lead to glass breakage. They can also be affected by certain hazardous materials. Installation and maintenance can easily burn your bags.
Concrete / stone stairs
Image source: Martha Franco Architecture & Design
These materials have been used for ages due to their strength and durability. They do not require a lot of maintenance and are easily affordable. They are not influenced by environmental factors that are sustainable over a longer period of time.
You may not have a fancy attraction to them. Concrete profiles and stones are difficult to machine. Any damage or crack could further affect the structure of the steps and affect their appearance.
See the details above if you are planning to build a curved staircase for your home, office, or other location. Choose the material wisely and according to your budget and have your stairs ready with the installation kit.
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