A helical staircase is simply a formal name for a curved staircase. It comes from the famous and highly distinctive structure of a double helix, the shape of a DNA molecule, in which two strands twist around each other.
Helical staircases come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and styles and can be designed and built as bespoke staircases. They can be made to look very similar to a double helix if you choose to use a fairly tight curve.
To create a truly mesmerising sight, you could actually install two separate bespoke staircases which twist around each other, like a double helix, only meeting on each landing before separating off again.
Alternatively, you could choose a more subtle and gentle curve that doesn’t even complete a full rotation. In a large open space, a sweeping and winding staircase is brilliant for making a statement. It will practically invite visitors to venture upstairs and explore the property further.
Helical staircases can be used in the home, offices, hotels and a whole host of other places. If you want to make an impression, this is a brilliant way to do so. Bespoke helical staircases can be made from a wide variety of materials, including stainless steel, glass and timber, so you can match the design to the rest of your interior decor. Remember, you don’t have to stick to one material! Pair a frameless glass balustrade with a stainless steel staircase to allow for maximum light throughout the space and to create a striking modern look.
Helical Staircases vs Spiral Staircases
At a glance, a tightly curved helical staircase and a spiral staircase can look very similar. However, there is one fundamental difference. All spiral staircases have a fixed central pole or column. All the treads are attached to this pole and radiate outwards in a perfect circle.
In contrast, the curve of a helical staircase could be more oval or elliptical in shape, as tight or open as you like. The staircase is only attached to the floor below and the landing above, with no central pole. In a helical staircase, the treads are sandwiched between and supported by two stringers. These can made of a wide variety of materials, with stainless steel and timber popular options.
Spiral staircases are frequently used when space is at a premium. They have a small footprint and can be placed unobtrusively in a corner. By comparison, helical staircases are a true statement piece that almost demand your attention.
One of the most distinctive features of a spiral staircase is the narrowness of the tread close to the pole. Such design is not necessarily suitable for anyone with mobility concerns. With a helical staircase, the stair tread remains the exact same length and width with no narrowing, and there are two handrails for you to hold on to.
Both helical and spiral staircases are typically freestanding, but the former helps to create more of a floating staircase effect.
At Glass and Stainless, we can work with your architect to design a bespoke staircase that sits fit perfectly within the space available.