Steel staircases are extremely durable and can make any property look sleek and modern – but they also require maintenance to keep them in top condition. After all, you want them to contribute to your building’s aesthetic, not stand out due to rust or marks!
In this article, we will go through all the steps you can take to ensure your stainless staircase looks its best no matter how long ago you had it installed.
Why Buy Bespoke Steel Staircases?
If you’re building a new residency or commercial property with several storeys, you will probably have to make decisions surrounding staircase design. Although a staircase is, by definition, a structure holding a series of stairs, finding the perfect solution that both fits building regulations and looks aesthetically pleasing can be a fun challenge.
In the last few years, many architects, structural engineers, and interior designers have turned to steel staircases, and more companies are focusing on their fabrication.
The reasons are varied; the material is sturdy, inherently resistant to dire and flood, and simply looks stunning in most buildings! Now, a custom-made staircase design can genuinely add personality and value to a property and fit any style or theme you like. But are they easy to install and assemble, and are they actually cost-effective?
How Much Does a Steel Staircase Cost, and What are Its Benefits?
Most steel staircases will have to be made to measure, so their cost can be a little tricky to estimate. There are also different materials involved (such as glass, plastic, or timber stair treads), the various designs available (zig-zag, floating, etc.), and the finishes both for the stairs themselves as well as the handrail and balustrades.
We mentioned steel is a robust and resilient material. Steel staircases are also extremely easy to maintain because they that be treated to resist impact and rust (especially compared to timber, which requires frequent polishing and treatments). Steel can also be easily formed into different shapes, allowing for various decorative designs.
On average, a complete planning, technical survey, coating, and installation for a steel staircase will range between £10,000 and £20,000.
Why a Steel Staircase Design?
A steel staircase will demand attention to use, safety… and aesthetics. In many cases, these structures become a space’s main feature, so it’s natural they will try to be both functional (after all, you can use a steel staircase as a fire exit) and pleasing to the eye.
No matter the application, designing a steel staircase requires precision and artistic flair. You can choose a simple yet stunning straight one, incorporate landings and turns, or go for a floating model. And, of course, combine the perfect finishes for your balustrade, tread, and joins.
Staircase design can be an exciting endeavour, even if you need to abide by building regulations. If you want to ensure you comply with the standards but also want to have a unique, bespoke staircase design, make sure you hire a company that has experience working with structural and architectural metalwork projects.
Building Regulations for Steel Staircases
The UK has a mandatory set of criteria you will need to follow if you want to have a steel staircase built (these obligatory regulations cover stairwells, railings, and bannisters). All new builds must abode by them, so it’s good to keep them in mind when designing your perfect staircase.
First of all, all stairs are divided into three categories: Private (for homes and gardens), utility (access, maintenance, and escape routes), and general access (for offices, retail, communal stairwells, etc.) Here are some examples of what’s defined in the criteria, although you should make sure you read all requirements before you install your staircase:
- Stairs can contain 36 consecutive steps for domestic buildings but only 16 for general access.
- The maximum staircase pitch is 42 degrees, and the maximum rise of a single step is 220 mm.
- There must be clear landings on either side of the staircase.
- All risers must be uniform and level.
- All steps must have the same measurements.
- Although there’s no minimum width defined, the maximum is 2000 mm.
There are a few building regulations for bannisters and handrails too:
- Handrails need to be present at least on one side of your steel staircase unless it’s bigger than 1m in width (then you need handrails on both sides).
- You don’t need handrails if your staircase has less than four consecutive steps.
- Bannisters need to block off any open drop that exceeds 600 mm in height.
- Bannister gaps should not exceed 99mm in height or width.
- The top of the handrail needs to be 900-1000mm from the floor’s pitch line.
- All bannisters and handrails must be a different colour from the walls and surrounding stairs.
Installing a Steel Staircase
If you want to install a steel staircase, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is that most are manufactured as a kit and then assembled in situ, so you will need assembly drawings that bolt all sections together – not to mention a methodical approach to level and tighten all fixings. You will also need to consider access, fixing surfaces, scaffolding, and offloading areas.
Ultimately, there’s no single fit-all solution, so you should always work with experienced suppliers and installers to ensure your steel staircase is set up correctly.
Conclusion: Should You Get a Steel Staircase?
Steel staircases are durable, sturdy, versatile, and stylish. Structural steel is also relatively cheaper than concrete or wood and has much better longevity. Lastly, steel staircases are easy to install, sustainable, more secure, and very easy to maintain.If you’re considering a steel staircase for your residential or commercial property, you should choose a team capable of creating and setting up bespoke stairs, railings, and bannisters. Smart Steels has more than 40 years of experience offering metal fabrication, welding, and fixing across the UK. Smart Steels will manage the whole process for you, from design and materials to fabrication and installation. Get in touch today to get a personalised quote.