Choosing a staircase is a major consideration in any self-build or renovation project - as well as being a core functional part of the property for access, a staircase can also be a focal point, as it’s often the first thing visitors see when they enter a home. So, here’s our quick guide on how to create an eye-catching centre piece with any budget, and key things to consider when planning your staircase.
The right material
If you’ve got money to play with and you’re looking for a staircase with wow factor that gives a sense of grandeur when you enter the property, there are a number of options to choose from. Firstly, there is no greater luxury than opting for an oak staircase. Oak offers unbeatable strength and durability, and truly reflects the traditional qualities of English craftsmanship.
Where budget allows, a contemporary style staircase is a great way of making a statement. Mixing materials can help modernise a staircase design; by connecting the solid smooth lines of oak with black iron or steel spindles you can create a clean and sleek look. If you choose to use a touch of glass in your staircase, then more light will travel through the property, giving the illusion of increased space.
Alternatively opting for a traditional designed staircase such as hemlock is a cost effective alternative to oak which allows you to apply a range of stain or paint finishes that will add a touch of colour to your project. If you want to save time and skip the laborious task of priming your staircase, opt for pre-primed components that are supplied sanded and primed ready for a top coat.
A question of style
You can mix and match component styles to create an individual look for your project. For a traditional look choose barley twist or flute style spindles, or alternatively, for a simple statement look opt for square spindles and newels.
Another added feature which complements an oak staircase is a bullnose or curtail step. The bullnose refers to the rounded corners of the bottom step, whereas the semi-circular protruding shape of the curtail step can be used for adding decoration or to support newels and a volute handrail. The continuous volute handrail works with the curtail step to create a dramatic sweeping handrail, which is supported by spindles to extend to the bottom step.
Double Bullnose Step
A top tip for those wanting to achieve a striking look, but don’t have the budget for a complete oak staircase, is to use an oak handrail and caps with a more cost-effective material for the spindles such as softwood.
Getting the measurements right
When it comes to installing stairs every millimetre counts, so it’s crucial that the space available is measured correctly for the new staircase. Before ordering, think about what finish you are looking for, the purpose of your staircase, whether you need a winder or straight flight and the configuration you’ll require. Consider where the internal wall will be positioned, or whether you will you opt for the staircase to be open on one side.
You’ll also need to make sure that your installation will meet Building Regulations, for example, a domestic staircase will need a minimum of 2 metres headroom space. Also think about the ‘bigger picture’ e.g. allowing for doorways and walkways to ensure that there is enough room for people to walk around once the staircase is in position.