A well-made, beautifully constructed staircase can be an amazing addition to any home or commercial infrastructure. Choosing the right kind of stairs requires consideration of both design and functionality. While there are many aspects to consider when choosing the right staircase for you, nothing is more important than choosing the most appropriate materials. Steel has many benefits that cover concerns regarding both design and functionality equally; it is truly the most versatile material you can build with. Let’s take a look at some the key perks of building a staircase with steel.
Strength and Reliability
Steel has extremely high tensile strength. It is an alloy, usually made up of extremely strong materials such as iron ore and carbon, both with discourage dislocation at an atomic level. It is as sturdy as you can get when it comes to building materials and require little to no maintenance. Steel is non-combustible and won’t rot like wood. Bugs and insects such as termites have no appetite for steel. In fact, there are almost no elements which can threaten steel’s integrity – not wind nor fire or gale force winds. For peace of mind, you can always count on steel.
Thinking About The Environment
One of the greatest factors contributing to global warming in the modern age is the large-scale felling of trees across the globe. A large wooden staircase can require large quantities of lumber, whereas a 100% steel staircase requires none. Wooden staircases are also almost entirely non-recyclable. Steel on the other hand is one of the world’s most recycled materials, with a global recycling rate of over 60%. By opting for a steel staircase you are directly contributing to the fight against global warming.
Saving Money with Steel
Despite its many perks, steel is actually quite inexpensive – especially when you consider its long-term benefits, its reliability and its sturdiness. Building a staircase with steel can save you a small fortune as manufacturing of steel isn’t cost intensive, and because building with steel takes considerably less time than building with other materials, it will save you money on labour hire. Steel will also last you a lifetime, increasing the value of your home or business if you ever opt to sell.
A Modern Aesthetic
Trends in construction and architecture over the last half century have favoured steel more and more, not only for the reasons above, but also to align with modern aesthetic models across many areas of design and technology. Steel is sophisticated and modern, whereas materials like wood have become near obsolete for many reasons. Steel is also an extremely flexible and versatile material – with an impressive strength to weight ratio – and lends itself to creative modern staircase designs making it the material of choice for many contemporary and forward-thinking designers and architects.
A New Outlook
In the past, steel has suffered from negative preconceptions about how it is sourced, how it is made, and how it can be used. However, in the modern age, great advancements have been made in steel production and technology, and because of this it is fast becoming the material of choice in design and construction. Builders love it because it is lightweight, strong and easy to work with, and designers opt for steel for its modern looks and creative flexibility. While it may require a slightly larger initial investment, steel has assured longevity and is guaranteed to save you money in the long run.
Elements of a Steel Staircase
Steps – Steps are comprised of two sections, the tread and the riser. The tread is the horizontal part of the step that the foot is placed on. The riser is the vertical portions between each treat. Often in steel staircases, the riser of left out, giving the flight an “open stair” look. Nosing is the part of the tread that stick out past the riser.
Starting step (Bullnose) – The starting step is a first step that may have one or two open sides and are often larger than the rest of the steps.
Stringer – Stringers are the structural element that supports the tread and risers. There are usually two – one on either side of the stairs.
Winders – Winders are stairs that are narrower on one side than the other. They are used to alter the direction of the staircase (spiral staircases contain only winders).
Trim – The trim is applied where the walls meet the floor or where the tread and riser meet (think skirting for walls).
Bannister (handrail) – The element of the stair for holding. Steel staircases can have one, two, or no bannister at all. In the case of larger staircases there can be one (or multiple) handrail(s) in the middle of the flight.
Volute – The end of a handrail that curves around the starting step in a spiral shape.
Gooseneck – The gooseneck is a vertical handrail that vaults to reach a higher handrail or the railing of a balcony.
Baluster – Balustrades are the vertical bars that connect the handrail and the tread.
Newel – The newel is a large baluster that anchors the handrail. These are structural elements that often extend below the floor for greater structural integrity. In the case of staircases with an open landing, newels may extend past the landing right down to the floor.
A steel staircase will last longer, is more eco-friendly, is more cost-effective and will look better than any other building options that might come your way. If you are considering steel frames for your new staircase and would like a professional opinion, we can help.
Our team of expert structural steel fabricators have the experience and knowledge to answer any of your questions and will ensure that you find the best solution to suit your needs. To contact us today, simply call, fax, email or drop by our Brookvale location.