Staircase Understairs. Friday , October 19th , 2018 - 05:50:26 AM
If you prefer carpet to bare wood or glass, make sure you buy one that's suitable for stairs. 'It's imperative you choose a quality, hard-wearing carpet - 80 per cent wool to 20 per cent nylon,' says Rupert Anton, marketing director of The Carpet Foundation. 'Avoid loop-pile carpets as they "grin" (open up when bent) and are more slippery.' Use a good underlay over both tread and riser and fit the carpet so the pile runs down the stairs. It's also possible to use a strip of carpet as a runner. Look at Ryalux, which does carpet to your width. For runners, see Roger Oates or The Carpet Library's Hartley runners, which are reversible so last twice as long.
Spiral staircases wind around a central pole and have a handrail on the outer side only. Helical stairs do not have a central pole and there is a handrail on both sides. If a spiral staircase is being used to access a single room, it must be at least 1500mm in diameter. But if the spiral goes up to more than one room, it is classed as a main staircase and needs to be at least 1900mm. 'Bear in mind that the opening in which your spiral fits needs to be 100mm wider than the spiral itself,' says Sally Noseda, director of Oakleaf Industries. Many spiral staircases are available in kit form from about £800, but only go up to 1600mm wide. A bespoke spiral would start at £3,000. It can be difficult to get furniture up and down, so move large items in before you install the stairs.
If your budget won't stretch to a whole new staircase, there are some simple updates you can do that are quicker and cheaper. Consider removing the understairs cupboard to give a more open-plan feel. Replace solid risers with glass to allow light to filter through to the space below. Swap solid balustrades or dated spindles for a more modern equivalent. Sheet glass creates a minimal look and allows light to flow more freely. Or choose a beautiful wooden balustrade for timeless style.
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