Glass Cantilevered Staircases
If you’re looking for a dramatic bespoke staircase with a touch of magic about it, a glass cantilevered staircase could be perfect. Also known as ‘floating staircases’, they appear to be suspended from the wall without any additional support. It can feel like you’re walking on air. This illusion is guaranteed to intrigue people and so glass cantilevered staircases making an excellent talking point.
A glass cantilevered staircase can easily become a real focal point in the centre of the property, something from which everything radiates outwards. You use your staircase pretty much every single day so it pays to get it right. Why not go out and make it into a real statement piece?
The transparent and unobtrusive nature of glass makes it an brilliant fit for all types of interior decor. Any wall decorations will still be easily seen and light will be able to freely pass through the space. Hallways can often be one of the darkest areas of the house so a glass cantilevered staircase helps to reflect the available light in multiple decorations.
For the added wow factor you could choose to add LED lights on the nosing of each stair or along the wall. As well as illuminating the gorgeous architecture of the staircase, these lights are also eminently practical and help improve safety. Choose coloured lights for that extra touch of drama.
Meeting UK Building Regulations
In the UK, there are certain criteria that must be met when installing a glass cantilevered staircase. When you’re planning the placement of each tread, remember that the maximum rise for each step is 220mm and the minimum is 150mm. The width of each step from nose to nose (also referred to as ‘the going’) must be a minimum of 220mm and a maximum of 300mm.
Arguably one of the biggest fears many people have about glass cantilevered staircases is that they will fall either through the gaps or off the edge. The regulations outlined above take care of the former issue and the latter is solved by the use of a balustrade. Under 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. We would recommend choosing a frameless glass balustrade so that the unique architecture of the stairs remains visible.
If you have ever queries about the safety or design of your bespoke glass cantilevered staircase, please do get in touch.
Installing Your Glass Cantilevered Staircase
This is the part where we break the magical illusion of glass cantilevered staircases! Each tread is secured to the wall with a concealed attachment. The type of attachment we use will depend on the position of the staircase and the state of the load-bearing wall.
Glass cantilevered 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. We would recommend that you insert prefabricated anchor pockets into the framework of the wall, over which the concrete can then be poured. This will ensure that the necessary spaces will be created for the treads to slip in. When the concrete has sufficiently dried, these frameworks can be removed. 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.
An alternative option is to use a stud partition wall and steel string. In order to distribute the weight more evenly across this weaker form of wall, a steel string is firmly affixed 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 be used to reinforce the wall. All of this metalwork can be covered over with your desired finish.
Glass cantilevered staircases can be retrofitted into a property but you should seek the advice of a structural engineer prior to doing so.