Staircase Understairs. Wednesday , October 10th , 2018 - 18:05:53 PM
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.
Before you start, prepare for dust and disruption and remember that, unless you have a second staircase, you won't be able to access the upper levels while work is going on. A standard, straight staircase kit can cost as little as £250, but bespoke designs start at around £3,000. This could rise to £25,000 plus for a bespoke one with real wow factor. Issues such as access can up the final figure further (installing a staircase on the sixth floor will be more pricey than on lower levels, for example).
'Small spaces are more economical to run,' points out Elizabeth Wilhide, author of Small Spaces. 'And because the surface areas you are dealing with are more limited, you can choose more luxurious materials and high-end details. Small-space living also concentrates the mind as, with less room to play with, you need to be quite focused and selective - which is no bad thing.'
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