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Arched Stairs Design | An Architect Explains

Arched Stairs are stairs with a flight resembling an arch in its plan. Arched stairs require skill to manufacture and are expensive. But they are definitely a good investment as they create a good impression. Using different materials, you can create different types of stairs. Some examples are described here:
Free standing Arched Stairs
Arched stairs resemble an arch in plan

TWO STRINGER STAIRS:  Usually the staircase has two stringers on either ends to support the treads. The stringers are commonly made of concrete or metal and the treads- wood, stone or glass – are fixed between the two stringers.

Two-stringer, arched stairs CONCRETE ARCHED STAIRS:  Concrete stairs with two-stringers are the commonest and the cheapest among arched stairs. They are easier to construct as they can be cast in place according to the site measurements and supported by the floors.

Concrete Arched Stairs
Concrete arched stairs with wooden treads

Here is another example – a white concrete staircase with black wooden treads and black balusters and railing to match the black and white flooring of the house.

Concrete arched stairs
Concrete arched stairs with a black and white theme to match the floor

CARPETED CONCRETE ARCHED STAIRS: Another popular type is the carpeted staircase. Shown here is a white arched concrete staircase with wooden treads (similar to the flooring), draped with a runner carpet. White balusters and matching wooden railing complement the stairs.

Carpeted arched stairs
Carpeted concrete arched stairs

WOODEN ARCHED STAIRCASE: To give the staircase a wooden look, the concrete steps may be clad with wood.  In the picture below, the curving two-stringers and the rich, wooden railing highlight the curve of the staircase.

wood clad arched staircase
Arched staircase with wooden treads and risers

MARBLE ARCHED STAIRCASE: Instead of wooden cladding, Marble or granite cladding can be used on concrete, two-stringer, arched stairs. This gives a luxurious appearance to the house and such stairs are easy to maintain.

marble arched stairs
Arched stairs with marble treads

GRANITE ARCHED STAIRS: Seen here is a staircase with black granite cladding against the white, concrete closed, two-stringers.

granite arched stairs
Arched stairs with granite treads

CENTRE-STRINGER STAIRS:  Instead of cast-in-place two-stringer, concrete staircase, a concrete centre-stringer staircase can be used. This type of staircase gives an open, light appearance and highlights the curve of the staircase. However, the central stringer should be structurally strong enough to support the treads and can be made of concrete, wood or metal. The treads can be of any other material but should preferably be open and floating so that the curved stringer is visible. This type of staircase can be built only with the help of a structural engineer and is one of the most expensive. Some examples are shown here:


CONCRETE CENTRE STRINGER:  With open treads made of any material such as wood, metal, stone or glass.
centre-stringer arched stairs
Arched stairs with Concrete, centre stringer

WOODEN CENTRE-STRINGER:  Instead of concrete, a wood centre-stringer is also used to create arched stairs. No doubt it looks light, elegant and open, but it is expensive as the curved wooden stringer sections must be carved out of thick, solid wood logs.

wooden, centre stringer, arched stairs
Arched stairs with wooden, centre-stringer
METAL CENTRE-STRINGER: If the centre-stringer is made of metal like the one shown in the picture, then it has to be shop-cast to the exact specifications and measurements as per site conditions.
Metal, centre-stringer, arched stairs
Arched stairs with metal, centre-stringer

GLASS STRINGER STAIRS:  An unusual type of stairs is the glass curved-stringer stairs like the ones shown below. In this type of staircase, the stringer cum balustrade is made of cut, straight pieces of structural glass glued together at site and attached to the supporting structural floors.

Glass, curved-stringer stairs
Arched stairs with glass, curved-stringers and metal treads

Wood steps with a steel core are then fixed to the glass stringers.

glass curved stringer staircase
Arched stairs with glass curved-stringers and glass treads

In yet another type, toughened glass treads  are fixed to the glass stringers. See picture below. The whole appearance is one of lightness. All images are courtesy www.houzz.com. The stairs shown in this post are just a few examples. Innumerable types are possible with the imaginative use of different materials for the treads, risers, stringers, balusters and railings. Just like arched stairs, there are other types of curved stairs like Circular stairs and spiral stairsFor more information on other shapes of Stairs go to:  Stair Shapes

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