Floating Staircases

Also known as cantilevered staircases, our bespoke floating staircases are designed to appear suspended mid-air, effortlessly floating. The designs of our floating staircases are elegant, stylish and minimalist, allowing the maximum amount of light to enter into your home, breathing life into otherwise gloomy hallways and creating more space where needed.

What materials and styles can be used in a floating staircase?

You can choose from a number of materials for both the stair treads and the balustrades. We would recommend choosing either wooden or steel treads paired with a frameless glass balustrade so that the unique architecture of the stairs remains visible.

A metal floating staircase with a thin and simple handrail made from the same material would add a touch of industrialism to your décor, especially where the walls also have a rough finish. The different shades of grey and the finishes create a nice balance. Alternatively a floating staircase with dark hardwood treads placed against a crisp white wall can create a striking, modern effect in the interiors of your home. When the staircase is part of the living room’s décor and layout, it’s best to make it as transparent and simple as possible. A floating staircase with slim and delicate lines would maintain an airy décor while also integrating easily into the design.

Here at Glass & Stainless, we have a wide selection of styles of bespoke floating staircases, meaning you can decide on a straight, curved or quarter turn structure.

Compliance of UK Building Regulations

It must be noted that in the UK, there are certain criteria that need to be met when installing a floating staircase. When planning the design of your treads, remember that the maximum rise for each step is 220mm and the minimum is 150mm. The width of each step from nose to nose must be a minimum of 220mm and a maximum of 300mm.

Many homeowners are unsurprisingly concerned about safety when deciding on whether or not to install a floating staircase, worried that they will fall either through the gaps or off the edge. The regulations outlined above take care of the former anxiety, and the latter is solved by the installation of a balustrade. According to UK building regulations, a staircase in a domestic property must feature a handrail with a minimum height of 900mm. This balustrade can be made from a whole range of materials in a wide variety of styles, so long as there are no openings through which a 100mm sphere could pass. If you have ever queries about the safety or design of your bespoke glass cantilevered staircase, please do get in touch.

 

Installing Your Floating Staircase

In order for these magical floating staircases to be constructed, each tread is secured to a interior wall using a concealed attachment. The specific type of attachment used greatly depends on the position of the floating staircase in your home and the condition of the load-bearing wall.

Please note that floating staircases are easiest to install when a brand new wall is going up. The earlier you get us on the project, the better. That way we can inform the construction team about how the steel-reinforced wall specifically needs to be built. Here at Glass & Stainless, we recommend that prefabricated anchor pockets are inserted into the wall’s framework, over which the concrete can then be poured. This process ensures that the necessary spaces will be created for the treads to slip in. These frameworks can be removed later, when the concrete has sufficiently dried. You can then use some temporary tread inserts to keep the holes clear while you plaster or clad the wall. The real treads can easily be added in later.

Alternatively, if you are not beginning the project from scratch and have existing walls in your property, a substitute method of instalment is using a stud partition wall and steel string. In order to distribute the weight more evenly across the weaker stud partition wall, a steel string is firmly fixed to the wall and anchored to the floor with a steel foot plate. Each tread is then individually attached to this string. For added strength, metal sheeting can also be used to reinforce the wall. To achieve a polished effect, all of this metalwork can be covered over with your desired finish or left as it is for a more industrial, modern look. Floating staircases can be retrofitted into a property but you should seek the advice of a structural engineer prior to doing so.