Top 10 Types of Stairs Used in Residential Homes

The staircase is an integral part of the home, connecting one floor with another. In homes where there is little space, compact staircases are required to be space-efficient while larger spaces can enjoy more grand designs. Let’s look at 10 types of staircases that are commonly used in residential homes.

  1. Straight Stairs: this is one of the most common types of staircases as they are affordable to build, can have pre-cut risers, and their straight line means that they do not need any special type of supports. It only needs to be attached at the top of the staircase and at the bottom and works well with railings or handrails due to its straight shape. 
  2. Half-Turn Staircase: this type of staircase winds up at 180 degrees but is not designed in the switchback style. The upper and lower portion of the stairs have space between them, and it can either be a continuous stair or have a landing at the top.
  3. Spiral Staircases: this type of staircase is perfect for very tight spaces and is characterized by their one central post to which all steps are attached too. They are found in very compact residential dwellings, where only one person needs to go up and down at a time. One needs to be careful with their footing on spiral staircases as the inner portion of the stair is much narrower than the outer portion. Moving large or heavy items up and down a spiral staircase is very difficult and potentially dangerous.
  4. L-Shaped Stairs (Quarter-Turn): this is a very common type of staircase that mimics a straight staircase in design but has a turn, either in the middle of the staircase or closer to one end. They are both visually appealing and take up little space as they can be fitted nicely to any corner in a residential home. The wide landing in an L-shaped staircase makes navigating them easy.
  5. U-Shaped Stairs (Switchback): a u-shaped staircase is easy to spot since it consists of two flights of stairs that go in opposite directions. The landing on these is often very generous in size and they don’t take up nearly as much floor space as other types of staircases. Downside to these is moving large objects up and down is difficult.
  6. Winding (Curved) Stairs: this type of stair is very similar to an L-shaped staircase but has no landing and is instead, one continuous turn. The steps are often wedged shaped and are found in older homes as the secondary staircase.
  7. Helixed Stairs (Circular): this type of staircase can sometimes be confused with spiral staircases, as they do ascend upwards in a circular shape and have tapered steps, the actual curve of the stair is very relaxed, and the staircase is easy to navigate. They are used to make architectural focal points, are graceful in their look and are not very compact in the amount of space they take up.
  8. Bifurcated Stairs (Split): a bifurcated or split staircase are used in grand entryways of very spacious, luxurious homes like mansions. They have a wider flight of stairs at the bottom and part way up there is a very generous landing with two narrower flights of steps on either side of bottom section. One narrow flight goes to the left and the other to right, giving it that split look. These are often used to make a big impression and are both expansive and expensive to build.
  9. Floating Staircases: floating staircases are neat to look at because their support structure is minimally visible, giving them that floating look. They are usually a variation on the straight staircase but have treads with no risers. They give off a contemporary look and are often made from wood, metal, glass, or stone.
  10. Ladders: while ladder stairs may not be found in larger homes, they are perfect for small residences that require space-efficient steps. Unfortunately, a lot of ladder stairs are not permitted to be the main staircase, due to how difficult they can be to climb, but are very handy for reaching tight spaces like the attic or for rooms with extensive bookcases or shelving units.