Curved Staircases

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Curved Staircases From Pear Stairs

The staircase is a key element of your home’s architectural design, as well as a reflection of your personal style and taste. Our curved stairs combine structural strength with luxurious looks to give your hallway a real wow factor. As long as you have the space, this style of staircase can make a stunning visual statement. The art of designing, planning and sourcing exactly the right materials for creating a curved or splayed staircase is not something that can be learnt overnight. The craftsmen at Pear Stairs have spent more than two decades perfecting the method of manufacturing these graceful structures. Below is a classic white-primed curved staircase featuring a classic D-End feature step, cut strings and tread nosing. Manufactured from high quality softwood, these stairs are a stunning feature that begs to be the centrepiece of a home.

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Merits of Curved Staircases

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Curved staircases are a popular architectural feature in many UK homes and buildings. These staircases are not just functional but also have aesthetic appeal and other advantages. Here are some of the key merits of curved staircases:

  1. Aesthetic Appeal: Curved staircases are visually striking and can serve as a focal point in a home or building. Their elegant curves and flowing lines add a touch of sophistication and style that straight staircases often cannot match.
  2. Space Efficiency: Although curved staircases may require careful planning, their design can be a space-saving solution in tighter areas. Unlike traditional straight staircases, they can be designed to fit into corners or smaller spaces, maximizing the use of available area.
  3. Variety of Materials and Designs: Curved staircases can be crafted from a wide range of materials including wood, metal, and glass, each adding a different character to the space. This versatility allows architects and designers to create a staircase that perfectly complements the interior design and architectural style of the building.
  4. Enhanced Property Value: A well-designed curved staircase can increase the market value of a property. It's often seen as a luxury feature that can make a property more attractive to potential buyers, setting it apart from others in the housing market.
  5. Better Flow of Movement: The gradual ascending arc of a curved staircase can make the ascent and descent smoother compared to the abrupt angular changes of a straight staircase. This can be particularly beneficial in settings where the flow of foot traffic is heavy or continuous.
  6. Customization Options: Curved staircases can be highly customized to fit specific dimensions and styles. This flexibility allows builders and homeowners to create a unique feature that is tailored to their specific needs and preferences.
  7. Improved Acoustics: In some cases, the shape of a curved staircase can help to manage and modulate sound within a building. The curve can act to deflect sound waves differently than straight staircases, potentially reducing noise levels in key areas of a home or office.
  8. Safety Features: While the safety of a staircase depends on many factors including the quality of construction and adherence to building regulations, curved staircases often feature continuous handrails and can be designed with ergonomically safer steps (e.g., wider tread and lower riser heights). This can make them safer for users, especially in high-traffic environments or homes with children and the elderly.
  9. Architectural Harmony: Curved staircases can be designed to harmonize with architectural elements of a building, creating a sense of unity and flow. This is particularly important in custom and luxury home designs, where every element is considered for its contribution to the overall aesthetic and functional harmony.
  10. Potential for Natural Light: The design of curved staircases, especially those positioned near windows or under skylights, can enhance the penetration of natural light into the building. This not only improves the ambience but also contributes to energy savings by reducing the need for artificial lighting.

In conclusion, curved staircases in the UK offer both functional and aesthetic benefits, making them a popular choice in both residential and commercial properties. When well-planned and executed, they can enhance the beauty, functionality, and value of a building.

Components of a Curved Staircase:

  1. Stringers: In curved staircases, the stringers are the structural elements that support the treads and risers. Unlike in straight staircases where stringers run linearly, curved staircase stringers follow a helical or spiral arc. They can be on the outer edge (outer stringer), inner edge (inner stringer), or both, depending on the design.
  2. Treads: These are the horizontal parts of the staircase on which you step. In a curved staircase, treads are often wedge-shaped or triangular to accommodate the radius of the curve. The tread design must ensure that the wider part is safely positioned for stepping, usually oriented towards the outer radius where more footfall occurs.
  3. Risers: Risers are the vertical components that sit between each tread. In some designs, especially in more contemporary or open-plan styles, risers might be absent to give a more open feel to the staircase.
  4. Handrails: An essential safety feature, handrails run along the length of the staircase. In curved staircases, the handrail must be continuously curved to match the arc of the staircase, providing support and stability for users as they ascend or descend.
  5. Balusters: These are the vertical posts that support the handrail. In curved staircases, balusters must be accurately spaced and designed to maintain the safety and integrity of the handrail, especially given the curvature.
  6. Newel Posts: At the base and sometimes at the landing of the staircase, newel posts act as major structural supports for the handrails. In curved staircases, these are often intricately designed to enhance the aesthetic appeal and to provide robust support for the curved structure.
  7. Landings: Depending on the design and the height of the staircase, one or more intermediate landings may be included. These provide a rest point during ascent or descent. In curved staircases, landings can be curved or pie-shaped to maintain the flow of the design.
  8. Spindles: These are similar to balusters but typically refer to the more decorative elements in the railing system. They can be crafted from various materials and styles to complement the staircase’s design.
  9. Trim and Finishing Details: The beauty of a curved staircase is often in its details. Trim pieces, moulding, and other finishing touches are used to cover transitions between materials, conceal hardware, and enhance the overall aesthetic of the staircase.

Curved staircases require precise engineering and craftsmanship, especially in the measurement and cutting of components to ensure everything fits perfectly within the designated curve. The choice of materials and design details can significantly influence both the practical use and aesthetic appeal of the staircase.

For more details, call us on 01938 553311 to speak to one of our specialists.

Curved Staircase Options

Splayed Staircases

Splayed Staircases

The more gently curved splayed staircase is an equally impressive way of enhancing a hallway. Either one or both strings of the staircase can be splayed (spread outwards), depending upon the layout of your property and individual preference. While 

this style is a little more understated than curved stairs, the elegance of the splayed staircase still creates a wonderful impression, making a powerful design statement. Its individuality will set your stairway and your home apart.

A splayed staircase can enhance your entrance space, the staircases can be paired with a range of different balustrade designs to suit the interior of your home. Splayed staircases are the perfect addition to both Traditional and Contemporary spaces, creating a striking statement.

A Pear Stairs custom-made curved staircase is the height of sophistication. Carefully designed and beautifully crafted from traditional oak, it will enhance any hallway.

The Mitchell Staircase (top) demonstrates a stunning splayed design, manufactured in American White Oak throughout the entire flight. Traditional components were used to create an impactful design - see case study 107 for more information.   

Our imposing Compton splayed staircase (bottom) looks right at home in this large reception hall. With two elegant wreathed volutes (curved handrail ends), it provides a superb centrepiece for the property. The stairs are made from American white oak, with fluted Oxford newels and spindles. See Case Study no.108 for more details.   

Every staircase is unique and tailor-made to precisely accommodate the customer's needs. The Carrodale curved oak staircase, for example, is splayed only on one side because it is positioned against a wall.

The sweeping continuous handrail and volute newel post make a graceful addition to the reception hall. For safety, we added extra balustrading to the landing to protect the stairwell. Take a look at Case Study no.129 to find out more.

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Staircase Materials

The solid timber we use is of the highest quality and is not engineered or laminated. We can make stairs using a variety of different timbers, including softwood pines such as European redwood and whitewood. Our splayed and curved staircases can also be manufactured in a range of different timbers, including the below:

PINE

One of the most popular timbers for building and DIY projects, Pine is a versatile softwood that hosts a range of benefits. Strong and durable, pine can be finished in a number of ways, ideal for those looking to paint their staircase, whether it be white primed or a more striking shade. Pine is easy to work with and, due to its wide availability, is perfect for those with a smaller budget.

HEMLOCK

Often used as an economical alternative to Oak and Ash, Hemlock is a natural-grained timber that is increasing in popularity. Due to its natural colour, Hemlock components can be enhanced by using varnishes or stains to create a beautiful finish.

As a softwood Hemlock is easy to work with and will not split or break when being used. The neutral colour of the timber means it is the perfect addition to contemporary and minimalist interiors.

SOUTHERN YELLOW PINE

A cost-effective timber, Southern Yellow Pine is tougher than many of its hardwood counterparts. Southern Yellow Pine boasts a naturally golden finish that can be enhanced with various varnishes and stains.  This timber, whilst being a cheaper alternative to many other timbers, does not compromise on durability and has a reputation for being strong and easy to work with.

SAPELE

Sapele is native to West Africa with a reddish-brown finish, making it similar to Mahogany. Sapele is harder and more stable than American and South American mahogany making it a popular choice for flooring and furniture, as well as staircases. The darker finish of Sapele means it can be used to create contrast within a staircase flight, Sapele makes a beautiful statement when paired with white primed parts. Due to the richness of the finish, full staircases manufactured in Sapele can also create a striking statement. 

US WHITE ASH

Native to Eastern and Central North America, US White Ash is considered by many to be stronger than Oak and is often used in heavier structures requiring strength and durability. US White Ash boasts a naturally pale grain, that can be enhanced with various of finishes. When used in staircases, the natural light finish of the timberr makes for the ideal complement to contemporary interiors.

EUROPEAN OAK                               

The more rustic-looking European oak is another high-quality timber commonly used in the production of curved and splayed staircases. Its knots are larger than those of the American white and the straight dense grain, along with its slightly darker colouring, gives this wood a distinctive charm and character all of its own. As European oak is less widely available, it is more expensive than the American variety. However, its luxurious finish is an excellent choice for staircases and complements all types of interiors.

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Parts of A Staircase

Your staircase is a key element of your home’s architectural design, as well as a reflection of your personal style and taste. Our stairs are therefore custom-made to suit every customer's particular requirements. This means that some elements will vary according to individual preference and available space. Here are some of the main design features of our curved staircases:                                                                                

STRINGS

All stairs need a string on each side to support the structure. Also known as a stringer, this is the wooden housing on either side of the stairs into which the steps are fixed. All of our curved and splayed staircases have cut strings, which show off the profile of the treads and risers. Their shape is clearly visible from the side and this more ornate style adds character. Cut strings are connected to the treads and risers of the stairs by three-way mitre joints, which provide the staircase with extra strength. The edges of each part are bevelled at 45⁰ which join neatly together to form right angles of 90⁰.                      

NOSINGS

The cut strings of the staircase are further embellished by the addition of return nosings. Nosings are the shaped edges at the front of the treads. Return nosings are rounded mouldings that conceal the end grain at the side of the treads, giving the stairs a clean, smooth finish. The end of the return nosing extends beyond the face of the riser by the same distance as its width. The curved shape of the return nosing design developed by our skilled team at Pear Stairs is unique, allowing it to seamlessly conform to the sweeping arc of the staircase.

SPINDLES AND NEWEL POSTS

You can choose from an impressive range of decorative spindles, newel posts and newel caps to personalise your staircase and make it stand out. These are available in American white and European oaks, or any other timber you may select for your curved or splayed staircase. The splayed Compton staircase incorporates the Oxford fluted newel posts and spindles to complement the continuous handrail which is enhanced by two wreathed volutes. All of these accessories were made from American white oak to perfectly match the sweeping staircase.

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HANDRAILS

At Pear Stairs, we offer a wide variety of handrails - another way in which you can add individuality to your curved or splayed staircase. The Carrodale staircase, pictured right, features a continuous curved handrail complete with a decorative volute, all constructed from premium American white oak. As well as handrails that run along the length of the staircase, we also have a number of different balustrades for landings. An extra curved balustrade was specially designed for the top of the Carrodale staircase, pictured left, to run along the landing and protect the stairwell.

 

BULLNOSE STEP (CURTAIL STEP FOR VOLUTE)

A bullnose step or a D-end step can be added to the bottom of a curved or splayed staircase. Whilst a bullnose step is curved on one or both sides, the tread of a D-end step passes the newel post on the balustrade which then returns back into the side of the newel. Both designs will serve to complement the graceful curve of the staircase, creating a distinctly sophisticated impression in the entrance to your home. If a continuous handrail ends with a volute, the staircase will have a curtail step at the bottom to accommodate the volute and newel post. The design-led manufacturing process incorporates a significant level of innovation. This has impacted the selling price, yet the quality of the staircase has not been compromised. The picture on the left shows one of our curved staircases from above during production. All our curved staircases are made on a bespoke basis to fit individual requirements. To chat to one of our expert designers, click on the webchat link at the top of the page during office hours or call 01938 553311. We also sell a number of products to finish your staircase in our online shop. If you have any questions don't hesitate to phone us on the above number.

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