10 Types of Staircases in Residential Homes

If you’ve ever lived in a two-story (or more) home, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with staircases. Even though the staircase is just a pass-through space, bringing us from one floor to another, there’s no reason to overlook this necessary diagonal space in the home. Staircases aren’t where we spend a lot of time, but they do serve a practical purpose, and thus should not be ignored!

Let’s chat about some popular staircase construction design and decorating ideas for your house.

Types of Home Staircases

If you are in the building stage of creating your home, you may be curious to know the different types of staircases that are available. These are the most common types of staircases that most contractors and developers are familiar with.

Straight Stairs

This type of staircase is very common and, no pun intended – straightforward! Straight stairs are staircases that go straight up, with no twists and turns. They are the most practical and easy to install in the home out of all the different choices. That being said, they do take up quite a lot of space since you need a longer area to install the stairs. They’re also the most dangerous as a slip could mean a very long fall down.

Straight Staircase via Knight Architects LLC
Knight Architects LLC

Floating Stairs

Floating stairs are a modern type of staircase that features steps that are not connected to each other. They have open backs, giving them a light and airy appearance. The could have a barrier on both or just one side. Some people love the look of these stairs!

Floating Stairs via Century Stair Company
Century Stair Company

L-Shaped Stairs

L-shaped stairs turn 90 degrees about half way through their elevation. There is generally a flat square landing installed at the turn, to make it easier to continue walking.

L-shaped stairs via Jute Interior Design
Jute Interior Design

Winder Stairs

Winder stairs also turn about halfway up the staircase, but they don’t offer a flat landing. Instead, the steps continue at an even height, and they are cut diagonally, similar to a pie. I’m personally not a fan of these kinds of stairs, as the uneven width of the step can make slipping much easier.

Winder stairs via Jeff King & Company
Jeff King & Company

Twin Stairs

For twin stairs, you need quite a large entrance foyer. These stairs offer two matching staircases on either side of the main entrance hall. They create a grand greeting to everyone who walks in the home. The stairs are typically curved to create a feminine and balanced space.

Twin Staircases via Century Stair Company
Century Stair Company

Spiral Stairs

Spiral stairs are great for small spaces, though they can be tricky to mount. They offer a single spiral staircase that goes up quite steeply. Spiral staircases are often found in lofts and smaller apartments.

Spiral Staircase types Birdseye Building
Birdseye Building

U-Shaped Stairs

U-shaped stairs are a type of staircase that turns 180 degrees, forming the shape of a U. There is generally a large landing mid-way up where the staircase changes direction, but other times, a smaller staircase is installed to bridge the two main staircases. They are also known as half-turn staircases, switchback stairs or scissor stairs.

U-turn types of staircase via Thos Moser
Thos Moser

Curved Stairs

Curved staircases can bring an elegant and feminine look to your home. These types of staircases offer a gentle curve to the staircase structure, similar to a half-circle, though not quite as sharp. These are very popular in French interiors, and often feature a scroll iron bannister.

Curved types of staircases architecturaldigest

Split Stairs

Split stairs are another type of twin staircase. On a split staircase, the bottom portion of the stairs are centered, and about halfway up, the staircase splits into two, with one portion going right and the other going left, at a 90-degree angle. A small landing is installed at the division, with the opportunity to put a console table or other welcoming focal point.

Split stairs via @piperbrowngroup.compass

Ladder Stairs

Ladder stairs are generally inexpensive to install and they can even be purchased as one piece. These are often used for very short distances, such as from the ground floor to the mezzanine of a small loft or studio apartment. Ladder stairs are a great space saving choice.

Ladder Staircase via Michael Kim Associates
Michael Kim Associates

Once you’ve decided on the staircase you wish to install in your home, it’s time to decorate this space! We’ve come up with a few exciting staircase decorating ideas to spark your creativity.

Beyond these ideas, there are many ways to personalize the look of a staircase depending on your existing home decor style. You can find numerous ways to give your staircase a fresh look. We’ll be sharing in-depth guides based on style very soon, so keep checking back on our site to read about them!

I hope our staircase guide helped you understand the different options available when it comes to installing stairs in your multi-level home. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


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