Stairs design: 9 staircase shapes & types

Stairs design varieties to choose fromStairs design varieties

When you plan for a staircase, the stairs design layout goes a long way in defining your home. Since it is one of the most economic way of vertical circulation, it makes perfect sense to have an understanding about the different types of stairs design. 

The different stairs design that we have curently are not only according to their shapes, but also as per the spaces.

Stairs Design types

1. Straight Staircase Stairs-design-varieties

A straight staircase is one where steps continue as a flight and the stair ends at the landing, in ONE direction. So, the design in this type consists of a single flight and a double flight straight staircase.

Here, you can benefit in spaces that are long but narrow. All you need is the minimum width for a step, good vertical clearance and you are good to go!

The fact that it is unidirectional, cuts down the labour charges. Also since it is comparitively quite simple, the materials also yield less wastage.

Stairs-design-varieties2. L-Shaped staircase

For stairs design at the corner, this is one of the most preferred type of stairs. In this type, you have the first flight ascending in one direction, at the end of which is the landing. From here, you turn a 90 degree towards the next flight- which means you change direction. And the second flight of steps terminates in the next level.

An L-shaped staircase obviously suits corner headrooms. Plus, like with any other staircase, you can use the soffit areas to your liking. This type is suitable for structures with ground plus one level.


Stairs-design-varieties3. Bifurcating Staircase

It is similar to an L-shape staircase,except for one difference in the stairs design. Unlike the L-shape stairscase, you ascend the first flight, reach the landing and can either turn LEFT or RIGHT  to aceess the next flight. 

Of course, this staircase needs some good amount of length and width. But the major benefit is that it makes for an easy access to the next level from either directions.

Obviously you should locate this stairs design centrally. Generally, these staircases can be seen in big spacious halls that seek Victorian grandeur and elegance. And so you also see a lot of traditional detailing done if the material is wood.However, these days, you can see plenty of concrete, steel, glass and composite staircase in this design.

Stairs-design-varieties4. Dog-legged staircase

These staircases are quite common in commercial and institutional structures.

In this type, you ascend over a single flight of stairs, reach the landing, take a 90 degree turn towards the beginning of next flight. Then, you take a few steps ahead, reach the beginning of the next flight, turn a 90 degree again and begin ascending the next flight.

The second flight either terminates to the next level or to the next landing, which further continues to the next flight in similar manner. Many commercial buildings have to follow standard building codes (for eg, NBC) when it comes to planning means of vertical  circulation in a building. Be it as an emergency exit or as a general mode, dog legged staircase is a space and material saver. How? Well, at each turn, the handrail of a dog legged staircase does not leave a gap. Instead, it immediately continues with the next flight. Which means, there is no gap between the handrails of successive flights in a DOg leg staircase.

Stairs-design-varieties5. Open Well staircase

This type of staircase is similar to the Dog leg stair case. However, in this stairs design, the landing is a bit more wider, so you have a handrail that extends horizontally, abit, along the landing width. Then it continues over the next flight of stairs.

So basically, what you have is a handrail that continues vertically in a way that in effect, it creates an open well in the centre. This happens because of the slight horizontal extension at each landing. 


Stairs-design-varieties6. Three-quarter turn staircase   

Think about a stairs design where you have considerable headroom volume, with three or more walls in more or less equal length. It is in these spaces that you think of a three quarter turn staircase. 

In this type, you ascend a single flight of steps in one direction, take a right angle turn to begin the next flight and continue. Once you reach the next level, you again have to turn at right angle to ascend the next flight. This repeats once more- a third right angle turn- before you finally reach the next level.Apart from the fact that it may sound quite a handful of steps to climb, it does make an exhaustive building component. But then again, this stairs design gives a broad open well that can be made use of effectively.

Stairs-design-varieties7. Geometric staircase

A geometric staircase adorns circular or oval wall quite beautifully. This type of staircase does not have sharp turns. Instead, the whole stairs design resembles an arc in shape.

Of course, this type of staircase needs a spacious headroom to begin with. However, because of this reason, it can be easily accommodated in the living or dining room. Thus, it eliminates the need of extra room.

A geometric stair can also be made in a headroom with corners. But here, you have to spend more to negotiate and sync the sharp corners into the main flight. 

Going by looks, it is one of the most stylish stairs you can have in your house.

Stairs-design-varieties8. Spiral /Circular/Helical stair

As the name suggests, this type of stair has a circular build. You don’t have a lot of flights. Instead, you have a lot of direction changing steps(triangular steps called winders).

These may continue to ascend spirally over a central pole. Also, if you have a lot more space, you can plan an open well circular stair. This type has handrails on either sides of the flight. So what you have is a coiled winding flight that makes a circle in the center.

Like an open well staircase, this central well can be put into effective use.


Stairs-design-varieties9. Cantilever staircase

This is one stairs design that fascinates the viewer. Have you ever seen floating steps- that are fixed only at one edge on a wall, with three free surfaces? When such steps ascend to create a staircase, what you have is a Cantilever step staircase.

Apart from eliminating the need of a riser, a cantilever staircase also creates interesting aesthetics in an interior.

These are some common types of stairs design that you can find out more about, if you are planning one. Ultimately, it is all about comfort, anthropometry and material/space economy.

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