What style of staircase do you want?

How do you want your staircase to look?

This can be relevant to new build and renovations. There are a few options for the structure of your staircase which dictate its style, these options are as follows;

  1. Side string (closed tread) – A traditional style staircase with diagonal side strings usually in timber and painted. Solid riser section so a solid staircase not open or see through
  2. Side string (open tread) – Slightly more contemporary but still with a diagonal side string, usually in timber again. No riser sections to see through.
  3. Cut string – Zigzag shape string on top, diagonal line on the bottom, again this is quite traditional like a lot of Victorian and Edwardian town house staircases
  4. Zigzag – Zigzag shape to whole staircase, so no strings, zigzag top and bottom lines, solid rise, very clean and contemporary.
  5. Central spine – Contemporary central under slung structural ‘spine’ to support steps. Spine can be in timber or metal. Steps are usually open so the whole structure is a feature piece.
  6. Cantilever – Think spring boards coming out of a wall. Structure string is usually hidden in the wall so consider wall depth. Open risers again, very contemporary but relies on house structure the most.

You should consider the Style of staircase you want early on. Your designers will be able to tell you straight away if your house and layout will accept it or not. The only really tricky one can be the cantilever as this often requires structure to be hidden in a wall, so for example if you are building timber stud internal walls this may not be the best option.

The style of your staircase will determine for the largest part the way it looks, the structure or how your staircase is put together is the start of the design process once place and shape have been established. Place and shape also sometimes dictate style. For example winder stair (stair with changes of direction) can often not work well with central underslung spines, and like I say above cantilevers might not work if your staircase sits next to a flimsy wall.

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