Types of Staircase Construction
When you enter a house the staircase will quite often be the first thing you see, leading up from the hallway to the first floor landing. A staircase is thus always ‘on show’ and its shape and design can influence greatly the look and feel of an interior. The shape and position of the stairs will largely be determined by the structure of the house, but variations in the style of balustrades and handrails and the materials from which they are constructed provide opportunities for altering appearance. Most stairs in homes are made from timber but concrete and metal are not uncommon.
By far, the majority of homes, will include a traditional timber style of staircase, though naturally other types may be encountered. Lengths of wood called strings form the sides of the stairs, which may be cut from either solid timber or MDF (medium-density fibreboard). These strings have zigzag housings trenched into them, into which risers and tread boards are then glued. When properly constructed and finished, such stairs will give years of trouble-free service.
Concrete Staircase Construction
Concrete stairs are comparatively rare in residential properties but by no means unknown. They can be built off site or on the job, but will take more time to construct and are substantially heavier than their timber counterparts. Where a house is constructed on a sloping site they may be used outside the front or back door. The look of the concrete may be softened by adding brick facings, or it is possible to add a decorative coat of paint.
Spiral stairs represent an unusual option for fitting a staircase, and are often chosen purely for style to create a ‘retro’ focal point in the house. However, they are also a highly effective choice where space is at a premium. Spiral stairs can be made from wood, metal, concrete or a combination of all these materials. As you would expect, spiral stairs are more difficult to build than either a concrete or traditional timber staircase. Although pleasing to the eye, the twist in spiral staircases can make moving furniture difficult, especially when the outside edge of the stairs is bound by a wall.