A spiral staircase is an excellent addition to any home.

Not only are they a beautiful feature, but they also have practical purposes. If you’re thinking of adding one to your home, it’s essential to understand the different types available and how to choose the perfect one for your needs.

This blog post will give you a basic overview of spiral staircases, from their history to their design features and everything in between. So, if you’re ready to add some intrigue and functionality to your home with a spiral staircase, keep reading!

What Is a Spiral Staircase and Where Did It Originate From?

A spiral staircase, not to be confused with helical stairs, is a system of stairs that connect to a centre column and form a complete circle.

The column to which the stairs are attached distinguishes the two; on a spiral staircase, the steps are attached by a tread that winds around the stated column; on helical stairs, there is no column, and the stairs simply wind around a void, meaning they do not attach to anything. Helical stairs are a trendy alternative to standard staircase designs since the steps form a flowing arc in either an upward or downward direction.

It’s also worth mentioning that they can be made to form an oval shape rather than the traditional circular or spiral shapes. Spiral staircases have existed for thousands of years; in fact, there is a reference to them being a feature of the “Temple of Solomon” in the “Old Testament” approximately around 1,000 BC.

Rome is home to the world’s oldest spiral staircase, which is still used today. In the year 113 AD, Trajan’s Column was constructed.

From ground level to the top of the 35-metre column, passengers had to climb 185 steps. A platform at the summit provided travellers with a panoramic view of Rome.

Spiral steps became more prominent in Roman architecture around this time. There are also remnants of an early kind of spiral staircase discovered at “Temple A” in Selinunte, Sicily, which was built around 480 BC.

The Different Types of Spiral Staircases Available

There are many types of spiral staircases available in many materials to suit their place in the home and the style of the house.

Below is a list of the different materials that can be used:

  • Steel: The most commonly used material for spiral staircases.
  • Aluminium: This material is often used with steel spiral staircases because of its lightness and resistance to corrosion.
  • Galvanised: A metal sheet coated with zinc to prevent corrosion.
  • Forged Iron: A type of metal that can be moulded into a specific shape for decorative purposes.
  • Wood: Wooden spiral staircases are the most aesthetically pleasing of all the different types of stairs available and can blend in with any style of a room.

There are also many use cases, such as having a spiral staircase indoors or outdoors, for lofts and attics, or even cabins and decking!

While aesthetics are a key component of a staircase’s design, and there are many styles available, other considerations also need to be taken into account, such as safety.

How to Choose the Perfect Spiral Staircase for Your Needs?

All staircases must be appropriate for the space and its purpose.

For example, a spiral staircase in a loft conversion will need to have a different design from one in a bedroom. However, choosing the perfect one for your home comes down to two things: the space available and the style of the house.

For example, a spiral staircase will look out of place in a carpeted, modern living room! To find the right one for your home, you need to assess the available space and how you plan to use it.

Consider the amount of foot traffic and how often it may just be two people walking up and down the stairs. If you’re planning to use the space often or have children, a spiral staircase with a handrail is a much better option for safety reasons.

It’s also a good idea to consider the materials and design used in your home. The overall design of your home and the way the staircase is situated will affect the entire look and feel of the house—so make sure to choose a design that you love!

Some Design Features to Consider When Choosing a Spiral Staircase

Before considering the available design options, it’s important to understand some features available with spiral staircases. These features will determine the ideal type of staircase for you and are essential for the safety of your home and guests.

  • Treads: These can be wood or metallic and come in various shapes.
  • Tread Depth (Rise): The rise of the staircase is the vertical distance from the bottom of the tread to the next level step. On most spiral staircases, the rise is between 177.8mm and 190.5mm.
  • A Half Landing: A half landing is an area that divides the stairs into two sections halfway up or a landing halfway down. A half landing can be decorative or practical, depending on what it’s used for and the space in the home.
  • Winder: The winder is the area on a step where the tread turns around a central core and winds itself back in the other direction.
  • Spindles: These support the treads and can be constructed of two different metals: steel and aluminium. Aluminium spindles are incredibly lightweight but generally more fragile than steel. Steel spindles are strong but relatively heavy and may need additional support for their weight.
  • Balusters: These are vertical supports that divide the treads into individual steps and are used to prevent the treads from collapsing or sliding off the staircase structure. Balusters can be made of steel or wood. A combination of different materials and design features will allow you to create a safe and practical staircase designed to your liking.

While a spiral staircase does not take up much space in the home, it will add a feature to the room that otherwise may be missing.

A spiral staircase has practical purposes in the home, too, such as providing extra space for storage or an extra seat for a large gathering. There are plenty of design options to cater to your tastes and preferences, so don’t be afraid to be creative.

How Much Do Spiral Staircases Cost and What Are Some Factors That Affect the Price?

Spiral staircases range in price depending on several factors, including material type, the design features, and any customisations that may be required.

For example, a spiral staircase built from wood will be significantly cheaper than one made from steel, and both could have different prices based on the type of wood used or any extra decorative features added. Another factor that affects the cost of a staircase is the number of spiral steps or treads.

The more steps or treads the staircase has, the more expensive it will become. The tread depth is another feature that affects the cost, with a larger tread depth costing more due to the increased structural integrity that is required.

The availability of space and the design you choose will also affect the price of the staircase. If you have a non-standard-shaped room, for example, the spiral staircase will need to be custom-made, increasing the overall cost.

Some Final Tips for Choosing the Perfect Spiral Staircase for Your Home

When choosing a spiral staircase, it’s important to consider the space that you have available and the purpose that it serves.

If it’s not the most integral part of the home, make sure that the spiral design matches the room’s style. Make sure that the staircase is safe and secure, so it’s suitable for children, the elderly, and anyone who uses the stairs often.

The staircase should be sturdy enough to withstand heavy foot traffic and adverse weather conditions such as wind or rain. If more than one individual uses the staircase often, a staircase with a handrail is advisable for safety reasons.

For more information regarding spiral staircases or any other services provided by Blackbull Engineering, please contact us directly via the contact form on our website, by email, or by telephone.

Summary

So, whether you are looking for something traditional or modern, minimalist or with more intricate details, there is a spiral staircase that will be perfect for your needs.

Just consider the different factors that can impact the cost and consult with a professional before making your final decision. With the right spiral staircase, your home will be stylish and functional!