Types of stairs


The staircase is an integral part of the interior, consisting of two or more levels. This architectural detail has its own history of thousands of years.

The ancient Greeks and Romans created a whole cult of stairs, in in the Middle Ages they were treated consumerly, in the Baroque period they were made a luxury, and the architects of the era of Queen Victoria made the stairs as comfortable as possible.

Modern technologies and materials have made it possible to radically change the appearance of staircases, turning them into an architectural element worthy of admiration.

Do you have a private house in the process of construction or redevelopment?

Most likely, not you, but “specially trained people” will carry out the staircase structure 🙂 However, when designing a house, it is important to know the configuration and dimensions of the opening of the interfloor ceiling and the staircase itself.

That is why every self-respecting private developer should familiarize himself with the basic formula for calculating the size of stairs and all possible options for their configurations.

In order not to get confused in terms, I propose to remember the names of the structural details of the ladder structure.

Kosoura — these are inclined beams on which steps are attached. There may be two on the sides or one in the center. They are made of wood, reinforced concrete, metal.

Flight of stairs — this is a series of steps fastened with a kosour (string), from the beginning of the ascent to the horizontal platform and from it to the end of the ascent.

Horizontal venues the flight of stairs is divided at turning points or if the rise is too high (resting area).

railing — stair lift fencing for safety (made outside) or convenience (attached to the wall).

And now you can move on to the consideration and discussion of specific staircase structures.


DIRECT (with a turn) — the most common and simple designs.

Uncomplicated and functional wood options are available for DIY, provided that you have extensive experience with wood, a specialist in welding, or the design is really simple.

Do you think that the calculation of the ladder structure is too complicated? Then take a look at the photo on the left.

Yes, it is important to choose a minimum tread (step depth) equal to 23 cm and above and a maximum height (up to 17 cm). But to make such a ladder is quite easy.

All the «salt» lies in the method of fastening the steps: on the one hand to the wall, on the other to a solid wooden kosour, and all with the help of a metal corner.

Steps should be purchased from glued wood, because it is such a material that retains its strength and shape for a long time.

CURVED (curvilinear) stairs — spectacular, but require more careful calculation and skill of the performer

Curved structures made of reinforced concrete are more available. Again, it is impossible for a beginner to complete them on their own.

But bending a tree is possible only with the appropriate equipment.

So this type of stairs can be safely called a luxury item.

SPIRAL staircases — occupy a minimum of space, but not everyone is comfortable. And when climbing to a great height (with a ceiling height of more than 280 cm), your head may spin 🙂

The design feature of any spiral staircase is simple: on the one hand, the step is «strung» on the rod, on the other hand, it is either attached to a curved stringer or connected to the upper and lower rack (link).

If you have the skills to work with metal and wood, love for accuracy and accuracy, you can design and build a spiral staircase yourself.

In addition to the well-known parameters (step height no more than 17, tread depth no less than 23), it is important to know that the width of the flight of stairs of a spiral staircase should not be less than 80 cm. The presence of a railing is mandatory.

LINKS — self-supporting structures that provide visual lightness of the stairs in the interior.

They are built according to all the laws of physics about the application of forces 🙂

At first glance, such a staircase seems unreliable, but if you climb it once, you will be convinced of the strength of the structure.

The structures made of links are convenient in that they do not clutter up the space visually with heavy stringers.

The configuration of the stairs depends on the place where the link joints are attached: on both sides of the step — for straight stairs, in the center — for curved ones, from one edge — for screw ones.

BUTTERFLY (duck step) — the steps are adapted for the right or left legs alternately, very compact, but not convenient for everyone.

Its main advantage is the possibility of a steep descent and ascent, subject to ergonomic requirements.

Most often it is used in small-sized summer cottages and for access to the attic.

CONSOLE ladders — an ultra-modern solution. These are steps that are attached to the wall with one edge, and the second just hangs in the air. These designs are often complemented with tempered glass railings to secure movement between floors and at the same time maintain the illusion of a staircase floating in the air.

Cantilever structures are very reliable, because each step is mounted on a solid metal frame, which, in turn, is hung on the wall. Subsequently, the fasteners are disguised as cladding and it seems that the step «grows» from the wall.

A little more dry theory, without which it is impossible to plan one or another staircase design.


  • The height of the stair step should not exceed 17.5-18 cm, otherwise the climb up the stairs will be very steep and traumatic.
  • The tread (step depth) cannot be less than 23 cm, otherwise the foot may slip during the descent.
  • There cannot be more than 15 steps in one flight of stairs, if there are more of them, then the staircase design should be divided by a platform. This item will provide comfortable movement up the stairs for the elderly, otherwise, at the first level, a sleeping room for the older generation should be included in the plan (we will all be them someday 🙂
  • The minimum allowable width of the flight of stairs is 80 cm, provided that only one person can use the stairs at a time, for two this figure increases to 120 cm or more.
  • Any staircase must be equipped with railings, these can be railings, walls on both sides, including glass ones.

The formula for calculating a straight staircase is as follows:

The thickness of the floor is added to the height of the room and divided by 0.18 m (the maximum allowable step height), the resulting value is rounded up to a larger integer.

In this way, the number of steps is obtained.

Now it remains to make sure that all these steps will fit in the size of the room. We multiply their number minus one (the top one will be the «floor» of the second level and is not included in the calculation) by 0.23m (the minimum tread).

Example: the height of the room is 2.5 m, the thickness of the ceiling is 20 cm, the width of the wall to which the ladder will be attached is 4.5 m, but in order to approach it and start climbing, you need to leave at least the width of the flight of stairs from the corner (let us have this will be 90 cm) plus the same amount from the corner on the second level. Thus, 4.4-0.9 * 2 = 2.6 m remains.

We calculate the number of steps: (2.5 + 0.2) / 0.18 = 15

In this case, it turned out to be an integer, but if you have, for example, 16.2, it is better to round up, that is, 17.

Now we check if these 14 (15-1=14) steps will fit in the specified width dimension (2.9 m). We multiply 14 by 0.23 and get 3.45. This is much more than the declared value.

In this case, the design of the stairs will need to be done with a turn. Immediately a counter question: how to calculate such a ladder?

We take the entire width of the wall (4.4 m), subtract from it the width of the turn, which is equal to the width of the flight of stairs (at least 0.8 m, we have 90 cm) and one more such width to exit the stairs at the upper level. We consider: 4.4-0.9 * 2 \u003d 2.6 m

Divide the resulting value by 0.23 and round down. It turns out: 2.6 / 0.23 \u003d 11.3, that is, 11 steps.

So, in the original size of the wall, a turn of 90 cm, an exit of 90 cm and 11 steps are placed.

In terms of height, we should have 14 steps, 11 of them we have already «attached», 3 remain, but one step will be at the level of the site, which means 3-1 = 2, in total three steps should be attached to the turntable, but additional length will be required only two.

To find out whether it is possible to inscribe the turn of the stairs to the adjoining wall, we calculate its minimum size. It consists of the width of the turn (the width of the march), we have it 90 cm, and the total width of the remaining steps 0.9 + 2 * 0.23 = 1.36 m.

So, in order to make a staircase in the room in question, it is necessary that a 1.36 m turn be placed at the adjacent wall.

If we make a plan for the development of the walls in question, then our design will look like in the diagram above.

Another important point: the hole in the interfloor ceiling must have a size. sufficient for the safe lifting of a tall person, this is 2 m from the lower edge of the ceiling to the step located below it.

You can calculate if you put a line of stairs on a scale plan of the wall.

For this very reason, the design and location of the stairs are designed at the design stage of the house, and do not adjust to what is later.

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