In this article, we look at seven natural stone staircase ideas you can use to create a magnificent stone staircase, from the straight-forward to the most amibitous and memorable.
Natural stone can be used to create a variety of forms within a building, from a bright and elegant White Mint straight staircase, to an acid-etched, double curved La Roche masterpiece, the possibilities are endless. Here are 7 different stone staircase ideas to consider when designing your stairs.
Straight staircase with cupboards underneath, attached to a wall on left or righthand side
Straight staircase central to the room
Dog leg straight staircase with mid-landing
Curved staircase, gentle curve attached to walls
Curved staircase, independent, visible on both sides
The Grand double curved staircase going left and right
1. Straight Staircase
Attached to a supporting wall with cupboards or a wall on the inside down to the floor, this is the least expensive way of producing a stone staircase. The concrete stairs are poured, then bricked up underneath, creating valuable storage and cloakroom facilities. After this the wall is plastered. Each tread is covered in stone tread with a finished edge to the front and side that can be seen. The edge can be bullnosed or pencil rolled depending on the design.
The step can have risers created from stone or the risers can be plastered and painted to match the walls, depending on budget. These staircases can be made to look modern by having pencil edges with a clear glass balustrade attached to the outside of the stairs.
If you want it to look more traditional, you can have a standard spindle balustrade drilled through the steps with either a wooden or metal handrail on the top, and a bullnosed finish to the front and sides of the steps. Also, instead of just having a square bottom step, having a curved end can give added style.
2. The Grand Staircase central to the hall
If the size of your house allows, we can produce a straight, centralised staircase like that of Blenheim Palace, with the space under the stairs filled in with walls. This provides needed storage space but also allows increasing strength and reduces the cost of producing the stairs.
Again, a modern staircase can have glass balustrade, although it could be said that this is a traditional look and requires a metal spindle balustrade plus a metal or wooden handrail. The sides of the treads and rises can be seen, so fine detail of finish is provided on the backs of each tread as they return to the wall which is an excellent finishing touch.
3. Dog Leg Straight Staircase
If space is tight for a staircase, then this design can allow you to have what you want. A dog leg is an easier version of a spiral case, as you use the existing walls as a tie for the concrete staircase. Normally at the right-angled direction change you would have a mini landing. At this point the stairs may continue up in one or two directions. This can be the easiest stone staircase to build, as the initial section up to the landing can be produced out of brick. It can all be made from blocks and beams if you use the under-stair area as cupboard space. These stairs can have glass balustrades or metal spindles, depending on how modern the requirements are.
On all the previous stone staircase ideas, lighting strips can be added to the underside of the front of the step treads. Normally we would allow an overhang of 25mm to the front and sides. If adding a lighting strip, the overhang has to increase by 10mm to allow room for the lighting strips. The LED strips put into the steps can produce normal light or can provide coloured light for an ambient feel. If you have a larger overhang, a softer radius on corners can be supplied which is not so sharp.
4. Curved staircase – Gentle curve attached to walls for stability
This staircase will be pre-formed with plywood, laced with a reinforcing bar and attached to the building walls before pouring the concrete. Usually, a spindle balustrade would be used, attached to the outside of the concrete staircase or drilled through the stair. The balustrade turns into a handrail where the wall becomes the balustrade. A curved bottom step can be applied with curved ends on one or two sides, depending on where the start of the stairs is. Our Cambridge Road and Moleanos stairs are examples. Most common stair designs are less structurally difficult to achieve.
5. Curved staircase
Curved staircases are where the stairs are only attached at the top and bottom of the stairs. Fully formed and reinforced concrete poured on site has to be certificated extremely well, as all weight is in the staircase. This method creates a certain “Wow” factor, as it is fully visible from all sides. Usually well lit, every step creates a segment to the curve and overhangs in front and sides. Bullnosed edges and lighting strips create a feature. Balustrades can be traditional spindles or glass attached through threads or through the side of the concrete. This staircase, when done well, adds a standout feature to every build.
6. Spiral staircase
This can be a steel construction with each tread clad with stone. However, the underside of the stairs would be seen as steel. Alternatively, you can go for the totally traditional and expensive staircase. Each tread of the spiral is a solid piece and sits on top of the next. Each tread is slotted over a central steel pole which keeps the staircase in place. The final result of this method, as you can imagine, looks quite phenomenal.
7. Grand double curved staircase
This design needs a lot of space as the stairs rise from left and right curving up to the central galleried landing. This would be formed on site, poured on site, and clad with stone. This method is, of course, beautiful; with traditional bullnosed edging and spindled balustrade, but also with lighting under each step. It can, however, be an expensive undertaking.
If you have an idea or a design in mind, why not speak to our experts by email, and find out how Stoneworld can make your bespoke natural stone project a reality. Our on site masonry expertise and technology mean we can design and fabricate innovative, bespoke staircases and template on site if necessary.
Alternatively, you can find our PDF document with examples of Stoneworld stone staircase projects here.
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