The Best Staircase Designs for Family Homes

Whether you’re extending out or up, or simply renovating, there’s a chance you’ll need to put in a new staircase. As you’re likely to spend around £1,500 on installing it, you probably want your new staircase cost to feel worth the money. So, a statement design might be on your mind. 

Although they add lots of character, open stairs, spiral staircases and paddle stairs aren’t the most kid-friendly designs. That’s not to say your staircase can’t look fancy but you do need to think about safety. If you’re in need of inspiration, here’s the best staircase designs for family homes.

Use winder stairs

Many new-build homes now have staircases that feature a turnat in the middle or near the bottom. And there’s a good reason for this. They can be installed in a fairly tight space without being steep. They’re known as winder or winding stairs. And they’re a good choice for replacing an old staircase in a period terrace or cottage, as these do tend to be on the steep side. 

They’re also useful for creating access to loft extensions as they meet building regs and don’t eat up your bedroom space. But how can you be sure this type of staircase doesn’t look too plain? To make the most of a winder staircase design, go for a curtail bottom step. Couple this decorative, curved stepwith a detailed rather than basic stair skirting and you’ve got yourself a grand looking winder staircase.

Wow with wood

Stairs can be made out of MDF or wood. And if you’ve got your heart set on a wooden staircase, you probably want to show it off. But bare wood stairs can be slippery, making them hazardous for kids. So, how can you show off a wooden staircase in a family home? Thankfully, there are a few family-friendly ways to wow with wood.

Use a durable wood with an attractive grain such as oak or walnut, so it looks good and deals with high traffic. The most important thing is to use an anti-slip varnish or oil and get it done professionally. Alternatively, just carpet the tread and leave the riser bare. Or use a runner instead of carpet. This means you’ve got a safe and comfortable staircase to walk on and can still show off a good portion of the woodwork. Using decorative stair rods or clips with your runner will add an extra touch of sophistication. 

Make your handrails the star of the show

Carpeting the stairs is the most favoured option for families,but how can you stop carpet from making your new stairs look boring? Well, the obvious answer is to wow with your handrails. Along with carpet, handrails make it easier and safer to get up and down the stairs but that doesn’t mean you need to stick with plain spindles and rails.

You could go for a literal twist on tradition by using sleek wood spindles with a single twist. This gives a contemporary edge to wooden staircases while preventing falls from the side. But wood isn’t the only option. There are geometric metal stair panels that not only safely screen off your stairs but bring in patterning and light.

If allowing lots of light to flood in happens to be your top priority, then clamped-glass balustrades are the obvioussolution. As the glass is toughened, it meets safety requirements. So, there’s no need to worry about safety. 

Tips for safe staircase installations

Once you’ve got your staircase design nailed, you’ll be ready to think about installation. It’s all very well coming up with a child-safe design. But you can’t guarantee it’ll do the job unless it’s professionally fitted by a qualified carpenter, joiner or builder. Stairs are an integral part of the home, so never try to DIY it. Everything needs to be done to building regs, including the size of gaps between spindles and the angle of your staircase, in order for your staircase to be safe and family friendly.

If you’re fitting carpet, this needs to be secured properly. Carpet fitters can do this for you. However, if you decide to do this bit yourself, be sure to pad the tread and nose of the stair to soften it. When stapling, pay particular attention to the top and bottom of the runner as loose ends that stick out are a trip hazard. Use a bolster to tuck the runner neatly into the edges and use headless nails to secure the edges of the runnerto prevent movement and trips.

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