Some would argue that staircases are purely practical – designed to get you from A to B. However, with the introduction of new materials and building practices, staircases of today can be more than just functional and are quickly becoming one of the major features in architect designed homes. Given their span and structural elements – the way that they join and navigate space, and how they scale both horizontally and vertically – it is no wonder that they offer a perfect opportunity to make a lasting statement. But what staircase material is best for your home?
Moving away from the standard conventional staircase made from MDF and covered with carpet, the variety of materials that are now used and their aesthetic outcomes invite special consideration. Indeed, experts in stair construction are constantly redefining what can be achieved with hardwood, glass, stainless steel, stone and concrete; the wide range of different materials can combine and contrast, offering something for every taste and budget.
When most of us think of timber staircases we often only think of them in terms of colour – whether it be dark, light, polished or natural. What we don’t necessarily think about are the variety of designs that can be achieved with this traditional material. No longer do staircases have to feel heavy, boxed and uniform – they can be designed to generate a wonderful sense of lightness and ease. For instance, the light and space created by pairing floating timber treads with glass balustrades can almost feel ethereal. Similarly, suspended wooden stairs can achieve a lightness of being while introducing pattern and repetition into a home, lending the staircase an almost artistic element.
When it comes to introducing something that can be structural and sculptural at the same time, steel can offer amazing versatility and interest. Rigid and strong, steel can span great lengths. Whether coiled into a spiral or stretched and suspended, steel has the ability to introduce dynamism and movement into a space. With clean cut finishes and industrial tones ranging from matte black to oxidised metal, steel draws the eye and can be particularly well contrasted with stark walls or other exposed materials.
Concrete and tile staircases
Traditionally considered more of an industrial material, concrete has gained increasing popularity thanks to advancements in building technology and growing awareness of its design potential thanks to prominent architects. Le Corbusier included the material in residential projects and highlighted its aesthetic and functional potential in a domestic environment.
Often combining a sense of calm with natural rawness, concrete and concrete tiles can sometimes evoke classical architecture while suggesting a modern sensibility. In many homes, the use of a concrete and tile staircase offers a sense of permanence while contrasting exceptionally well with the lighter elements of the design.
As part of the design development process with Modscape, you’ll work with our in-house design team, who will propose suggestions based on design preference and budget. And thanks to the advancement in building materials and processes, you can really have fun with your staircase design. To discuss your project in more detail please feel free to contact us or visit our Instagram page for more inspiring imagery.