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Stairs & Staircases

There are multiple ways to beautify your space. Nothing makes a statement more than a stunning modern staircase paired perfectly with gorgeous handrails.

Staircases are the spine of the home. Not only do they bridge together the rooms and essence of a space, but they’re also often the first thing to greet the eye as you enter a home. With such an important function, staircases deserve to be just as meticulously appointed as the other key features in your home. A pop of daring color, a wrought-iron banister, or a chandelier can instantly transform stairs into sculptural masterpieces. 

Cantilevered Stairs

Combining elegance and engineering, the cantilevered staircase takes minimalism to a new level. It is not only visually intriguing, appearing to defy gravity, but also extremely versatile being suitable for both internal and external construction.

The treads, fixed only at one end, appear to ‘float’ in mid-air, projecting from the wall with no visible support. The secret is in the engineering, with structural support hidden within the specially constructed wall and within each tread. The impression of a floating structure can be enhanced by incorporating cleverly positioned lighting. A unique feature of this design is that the cantilevered treads are exchangeable, allowing for a completely new look in future years.

Treads are available in beautifully grained hardwoods, intricate metal designs and in smooth concrete: either cool and polished, or textured for a rustic effect.

A unique feature of this staircase is that the cantilevered treads are exchangeable, allowing for a completely new look in future years. A true cantilevered staircase is a design where each tread is fixed only at one end. The supporting structure is hidden within each tread and behind the face of the wall. There are no supports between the treads.

 The Spiral Staircase

Spiral staircases, also known as circular staircases are great where space is limited. Their design means they can fit into simple vertical spaces, without the need for a large area to incline. For small houses or houses with additions or finished attics, this type of staircase is a particularly good option. Spiral staircases suit both traditional and modern spaces due to their wide range of styles. They’re quirky, add a bit of fun (especially sliding down the banister) and make a really interesting feature within a room.

Mono-Stringer Stairs

Mono-Stringer stairs are modern and versatile. Their contemporary style can create a beautiful focal point by itself. The treads that are attached to the central spine can be manufactured from a wide variety of materials. Including hardwood, stone and many others as well as concrete. Materials are available in many different finishes and colours.

Floating staircases

Floating staircases take up a lot less room than standard staircases, which are ‘boxed in’, allowing a more spacious, lighter, and brighter feeling room, not to mention, make a conversation-starting feature when paired with lights, such as in the image above. For this design to work, you’ll need to ensure the wall to which you mount the stair treads is structurally sound enough to take the weight. Otherwise, the design and installation are relatively straightforward and can really bring the ‘wow’ factor to a room.

 Straight Staircase

A straight staircase is perhaps the most straightforward. (No pun intended!) Straight staircases consist of a single linear flight of steps with no change in direction. Straight staircases are the most common in architecture because they are relatively easy to design and construct. However, they use more linear space and may not be functional for every floor plan. 

Winder Staircase

Winder stairs are similar to quarter-turn staircases, except there is no landing. Instead, the steps are continuous and wind the corner with larger wedge steps that take up less space than a full landing. Winder staircases are more common in older homes.  

How to Choose the Right Staircase Design for Your Home 

With so many different types of staircases out there, how do you choose the right staircase design for your home? Northern Son recommends evaluating your functionality, budget, and space concerns. For example, an existing floor plan may pose limitations on which design options are possible due to the amount of space needed. Budget restraints can eliminate more expensive designs, like curved or bifurcated stairs. Also, consider if the stairs will be a focal point or serve a more functional purpose. It may be worth investing in a grander front entry stairway, while a secondary staircase may dictate a more straightforward design.  

Staircase Glossary: Staircase Terminology and Parts to Know When Discussing Plans with Your Architect

Before meeting with your architect to discuss plans for a new staircase design, familiarize yourself with all the different parts of a staircase. Knowing staircase terms will make the design process flow smoothly! It is important to note that staircase specifications are dependent on many factors, including the space, city codes, and other limitations.  



The staircase includes all the structural elements that make up the stairs, including steps, treads, risers, noses, landings, and railings.   

2. STEP 

The step is both the tread and riser combined.  


The tread is the top horizontal surface of the step, which should measure on average a minimum of 10 inches deep. 


The riser is the board that forms the face of the step, which should measure on average a maximum of 7 ¾ inches high. 


The nose is the edge of the tread that projects past the face of the riser. Some staircases have no nose, which creates a more contemporary look. 


The landing is a platform built between stair flights that allows a user to change directions or rest easily. If a stair run is too long, a landing is necessary.  


The railing consists of handrails mounted to the wall or supported by balusters, allowing the user to keep themselves balanced and safely navigate the staircase.   

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