What Is a Flight of Stairs?
The flight of stairs is a set of steps between the two floors or the two landings. A flight of stairs is also known as a stairwell, stairway, just stair, or staircase.
Flight is a continuous series of steps between the floor and landing, or between landing. A flight should possess no fewer than 3 risers and no more than 15 risers in it otherwise it might be risky, especially for the young or the elderly.
Stairs can be defined as series of steps suitably arranged to connect various floors of a building. It may similarly be defined as an arrangement of treads, risers, stringers, newel posts, handrails, and balusters, so designed and constructed to give easy and quick access to the various floors.
It must be designed to transmit certain loads, which are comparable to those utilized for the design of the floors. Stairs may be created of Timber, Bricks, Stone, Steel, or Reinforced Cement Concrete.
How to Calculate flight of stairs
To calculate the number of steps in a flight of stairs, you need to know the height of the landing, the height of each step, and the length of the tread. The formula for calculating the number of steps is:
Steps = (Height of landing) / (Height of step)
The height of each step is determined by the rise, which is the vertical distance between each step, and the tread, which is the horizontal surface area on which you step. The standard rise is typically around 7 inches and the standard tread is around 11 inches.
Once you have calculated the number of steps, you can determine the total length of the flight of stairs by multiplying the number of steps by the length of the tread.
This will give you the total distance that the staircase will run, which is important for determining the amount of space required for the staircase and for ensuring that it meets local building codes and safety regulations.
Read More: Components of Staircase | Parts of Staircase
Types Of Stairs
The different types of stairs, their unique features and benefits, and the factors to consider when choosing the right type of stairs for your project.
- Straight Staircase
- Half-turn or U-shaped staircase
- Quarter-turn or L-shaped Staircase
- Spiral Staircase
- Helical Staircase
- Winder Staircase
- Cantilever Staircase
- Split Staircase (Bifurcated)
1. Straight Staircase
The straight staircase includes one straight flight of stairs or occasionally two separated flights of stairs by a landing partway up.
It is mainly economical. But it similarly has a drawback in that it covers more space in the house or room. Many of the different stair types develop a privacy barrier between the floors of your household. Straight stairs do not give this privacy.
Landings are incorporated between two staircases to attach it, creating it safer with a resting place partway up. Except for the landing between two flights of stairs, all the treads are rectangular and of similar dimensions.
2. Half-Turn Or U-Shaped Staircase
A half-turn or U-shaped staircase is a variant of the quarter-turn staircase. The Half-turn staircase contains two straight flights with two 90° degrees turns. The steps of this kind of staircase turn 180° degrees from the base to the top. It is usually also called a switchback Staircase.
In this type of staircase, taking turns sometimes makes the step more comfortable and safer by lessening the angled tread tapering. These types of stairs are a little bit more difficult to construct than simpler stair types.
Half-turn or U-shaped stairs can be simpler to fit into an architectural plan. They give some architectural interest. The landings can give a resting point partway up the stairs.
3. Quarter-Turn Or L-Shaped Staircase
A quarter-turn staircase is two straight stairs attached with a quarter-turn of 90° degrees. The steps turn at 90° degrees. L-shaped stairs can be better visually interesting. The landing can offer a place to stop and rest while ascending.
This stairwell is similarly known for saving a lot of space in the place where it is built. When we are going with the trend of creating a smart household, these kinds of space-saving stairs will surely create our dream home possible.
The stairway turn may similarly feature an intermediate landing or angled steps. The turn can be anywhere in step, be it the floor, the middle, or the top of the staircase. You can select any design as per your requirements
4. Spiral Staircase
The spiral staircase is the classification with an open stairwell (hollow newel) in which treads go around the circular pillar or shaft. The Spiral staircase is similarly known as screw, helical, corkscrew, or cockle stairway
The tread of a spiral staircase is mainly less wide than all different types of stairs. So, it is generally utilized in places with less space. It similarly has its drawbacks, like it can not support the furniture move because of its smaller width.
For spiral stairs, one of the main benefits is their compactness. They are extremely popular on beachfront decks where space is at a premium. They are also utilized greatly on city lofts for a similar reason.
5. Helical Staircase
The helical stair is a classification of stair in which the treads rotate from their base in circular, elliptical, or polygonal. The treads on a helical staircase are not established around the pillar.
As far as the formation of this stairway is concerned, it usually needs custom-made designs. Helical stairs are largely like spiral stairways. It similarly has space-saving qualities because of its smaller passageway, less wide treads, and thus not useful in moving furniture through this stair.
Helical stairs are always placed in exclusive villas or commercial buildings like hotels or representative office entrance halls. Similarly, with helical stair designs, we require to go our own way and establish impressions.
6. Winder Staircase
Winder stairs are a deviation of an L-shaped stair but instead of a flat landing. The winder staircase has pie-shaped or triangular steps at the corner transition.
The major benefit of winder stairs is that they need less space than several other types of stairs. They are relatively common in older homes and are constantly utilized as secondary staircases. For instance, they are popular in homes where the grand staircase is in the entryway.
Winder stairs are slightly harder to navigate than L stairs. It can be more difficult to add a handrail to these than some of the different types of stairs. Like with L-shaped stairs, the center support is generally needed.
7. Cantilever Staircase
Cantilever stairs are created to have the stair treads seem to be floating in the air without any support. The stair stringer will be connected to one end of the treads and can be hidden or exposed. Cantilever stairs add curiosity and spaciousness to any room.
Cantilever stairs develop better visual interest and are more unique than different types of stairs. The stringer is typically placed to one side or hidden in the wall which can enable additional headroom cantilever stairs to generate a more open and spacious aesthetic to the room.
The design of the structure requires to be obtained into consideration to support the cantilever stairs. Tread supports require to be designed to handle the weight and potential torque. Cantilever stairs are more expensive than conventional mono-stringer stair due to additional structural requirements.
8. Split Staircase (Bifurcated)
Split Stairs also called bifurcated stairs generally have a wide set of stairs beginning at the bottom that ends at a landing partway up the flight. The stairs split at the landing into two thinner sets of stairs leading in contrary directions.
Split stairs enable one staircase to function as two, by leading up to various sections of the building making each end of the upper level easily accessible. They add an outstanding architectural design statement to the building.
Split stairs need a considerable amount of space. This space requirement will require to be considered in the design of the building. Split staircases are more costly than most stairs.
Stairs Require In A Flight Of Stairs
The flight is a continuous series of stairs between the landings. If there are too many stairs (or steps) in a single flight (without existing broken up by landings) it can be boring to walk up, disorientating to walk down, and if there is a fall, increases the risk that there will be a considerable injury.
Most of the flights of stairs average out at 12 steps or 13 steps but it depends on the height of the staircase, the location of the stairs (as stair height regulations vary between public and private buildings and between countries), and the intention of a staircase (as fire escapes have more specific rules than other types of stairs).
Some Facts About Stairwell
The excellent height of rising 17 cm but the height of rising of steps in ancillary rooms may be up to 22 cm.
To design the stair, you have to understand the tread-to-rise ratio.
The ratio of rise and tread is indicated as,
m = a/s
m = ratio of rising and tread
a = width of tread
s = height of rising.
We construct any stair after specifying the ratio of rising and tread in advance. The staircases have traditionally been constructed of wood, stone, or marble, and iron or steel.
The usage of steel and reinforced concrete has created it possible to design better-looking staircases and add aesthetics to them by creating good curves and additional features.
Escalators and ladders are considered unique types of stairs.
There are some options for the stair too. These are elevators (also known lifts), stair lifts, inclined moving walkways, and ramps.
Benefits Of A Flight Of Stairs
The following are advantages of Flights of stairs in the staircase,
- One flight of stairs can save an area in a home and can similarly be visually appealing to the aesthetic of the house, as long, straight lines make for pleasing sightlines in a space.
- It is standard for the houses to have either between 8 feet and 10 feet ceilings, with 8 feet being the extensively common.
- Unless you have a split-level house, dwellings with ceilings of these heights will nearly always have at least one flight of stairs.
- Flights of stairs are more popular clearly because there isn’t the space to have a landing in a conventional house, and there isn’t a requirement.
- While long staircases may require landings due to space constraints, these are always just found in structures with more distance between floors.
- While one straight run or flight of stairs might be suitable, it just might not be feasible in your home.
- You may have to utilize a landing, and if so you would then have two separate “flights” of stairs instead of one.
- A flight of stairs can be a showpiece in your household, especially if you choose floating stairs or satisfactorily finished hardwood treads.
- The uniform aesthetic combined with extraordinary finish details can generate a flight of stairs as a showpiece.
- Breaking up a satisfactorily finished flight of stairs with a landing does not have a different aesthetic.
Total Steps In A Flight Of Stairs
There are various ways to compute the number of steps you will require, but the simplest is to take the whole ceiling height, including the width of the joists helping the floor above and the thickness of the subfloor.
- A flight of stairs in a house with 8 feet ceilings will have 14 steps if the rise of each step is 7 ¾ inches.
- If ceilings are 9 feet, then a flight of stairs will have 16 steps if the rise of each step is 7 ¾ inches.
- If the ceiling is 10 feet, then a flight of stairs will have 17 steps if the rise of each step is 7 ¾ inches.
Total Steps For 8 Feet Ceilings
For example, your house has 8 feet ceilings, with 10 inches-wide joists supporting the floor above. 10 inches wide joists are 9¼ inches wide. You similarly have a ¾ inches subfloor on top of those joists.
Therefore, the total rise from the ground to the top floor of your flight of stairs is 8’ 10”. Transform that total into inches to get 106 inches.
We will utilize the maximum permitted stair rise per the IRC which is 7.75 inches. Divide 106 inches by 7.75 inches and you get 13.7 inches. Therefore, you will need 14 steps. Divide 106 inches by 14 to discover the rise per step and you get 7.6 rises per step.
How Long Is A Flight Of Stairs?
The length of stairs can differ widely since tread depths frequently observe a wider variance than riser height. Since vertical drop is more of a safety concern per step than tread depth, builders frequently manipulate tread depth to fit horizontal space.
The lowest tread depth of a residential step is 10 inches. Each tread must possess a nosing that is at least ¾ inches beyond the front perimeter of the step and no more than 1 ½ inches. There is no extreme tread length.
Computing the length of a flight of stairs involves recognizing the depth of your tread and the length of the stair tread nosing. The lowest tread nosing is ¾inches. Therefore, if you have 10 inches treads, subtract ¾inches from true horizontal span so, 9¼ inches.
How Tall Is A Flight Of Stairs?
A flight of stairs is generally the height of the ceiling plus the framing and subfloor of the floor above where the stairs end. In a space with 8 feet ceilings, a flight of stairs is anywhere from 8 feet 8 inches to just over 9 inches high.
Houses with ceilings that are 9 feet or 10 feet will have stairs that are either 10 feet or 11 feet, respectively. Similarly, the real height depends on the floor framing and, to a lesser extent, the subfloor on the top floor.
To compute the stair height, take the ceiling height and add the width of the joists that frame the ground where the height of the stairs terminates. Generally, this is either 8 inches, 10 inches, or 12 inches dimensional.
Then you have to add the thickness of the subfloor generally between ½inches and ¾inches. Most of the stairs are framed during construction and are computed without the finish floor in place, which is why we just compute the subfloor in the computations.
The landing at the top of a flight of stairs does not compute as a stair “tread”. There is often one additional riser than stair tread because a flight of stairs starts up with a riser and ends with a riser.
In conclusion, the flight of stairs is a critical component of any building, serving as the primary means of vertical movement between different levels. It is important to consider factors such as safety, accessibility, and design when planning a flight of stairs.
There are several types of stairs, including straight, L-shaped, U-shaped, and winding, each with its own unique benefits and limitations. Whether you are designing a residential or commercial structure, selecting the right type of flight of stairs will help ensure the long-term success of your project and provide a functional and aesthetically pleasing addition to your space.
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