The Staircase Experts

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Walking On Air With Cantilevered Stairs

A cantilevered staircase

A cantilevered staircase

There are many different types of stairs, but nothing is as impressive as cantilevered stairs. We hope you’re ready, because you could literally figuratively be walking on a stairway to heaven of your own!

What are cantilevered stairs?

Cantilevered stairs are constructed by attaching threads (the steps) to surfaces, mostly via wall stringers. Others use beams to support the steps by attaching them above or the side of the beam.

The most notable feature of cantilevered staircases is their lack of risers, which gives an impression of walking on air.

Some argue if stairs with risers can still be called cantilevered. We say “yes”, although it does not have the same effect of openness that riser-less stairs have.

More argue if these stairs should have handrails. While we agree that it also diminishes the effect, it’s also an issue of safety. Ultimately, it’s up to the owners if they want hand rails attached.

The materials used in cantilevered stairs have to be stronger than usual because the stringer and individual steps need to be durable to support the weight of whoever is stepping on it plus the weight of the step itself. To that effect, most cantilevered stairs will use stronger versions of stone, metal, and glass in their construction.

Why cantilevered stairs?

If there’s just one reason to get cantilevered stairs, the reason will be because it’s awesome. Since they’re usually attached to walls, it looks like the steps are floating, which looks pretty amazing in any home. It saves space and gives the room a certain degree of openness. If weak floors are an issue, then cantilevered staircases are a great alternative to other staircases.

However, cantilevered stairs can still be expensive even if it uses less materials. You can also opt out of using handrails, but it can be dangerous. Because of that issue, some building codes might not allow cantilevered stairs to be constructed in the first place. Remember to check those building codes before planning to construct one.

Examples of Cantilevered Stairs

Spiral cantilevered stairs

Cantilevered spiral stairs in Germany

Cantilevered spiral stairs in Germany

Spiral staircases with a newel (centre pole) are technically cantilevered since the newel is the sole support for the steps.

St. Paul spiral stairs

Meanwhile, true cantilevered spiral staircases are commonly found in towers without a newel.

Helical cantilevered stairs

Cantilevered helical stairs constructed by Spiral UK

Cantilevered helical stairs constructed by Spiral UK

Helical cantilevered stairs are basically similar with spiral cantilevered stairs, except with the shape and slight differences in construction. Because of their shape, helical stairs are usually standalone stairs, meaning they are not usually attached to a wall.

Straight cantilevered stairs

Cantilevered straight stairs by Spiral UK

These are the easiest to construct out of all the rest. Most will use walls to mount the threads.

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