The Ins and Outs of Floating Staircases

A floating staircase appears to “float” in mid-air, often without visible supporting structures like traditional staircases. These staircases create an open and airy feel, allowing light to flow through and enhancing the visual appeal of a space. 

These stunning staircases can often be found in contemporary homes, as they complement the minimalist and open aesthetics. 

Considering having a floating staircase in your new home? We’ve created this guide to help you make an informed decision.

The floating staircase design makes the steps look like they are floating in the air, creating a sleek and minimalist look. The steps can be attached to the structure using brackets, anchors, or other methods. These methods create the illusion that the steps are floating, while still providing enough strength. 

Modern floating stairs (also known as cantilever stairs) can be constructed using various materials each offering different aesthetics and design possibilities. 

Materials can include:

  • Floating timber stairs,
  • Steel floating stairs,
  • Stone floating stairs,
  • And floating concrete steps.

How do floating stairs work?

Floating stairs achieve their unique ‘floating effect’ through innovative engineering and design. The steps may be attached to the supporting structure using stair tread brackets, anchors, or other engineering methods that provide the necessary strength while maintaining the illusion of “floating” steps.

The Ascendo Floating Stairs ‘Serratus’ Style

Floating stairs are popular in modern interior designs because they have advantages over traditional stairs. Here are some of those advantages:

Aesthetic Appeal: Floating staircases are visually striking and can become a centrepiece in your home’s design. Some may have glass railing included in the stair design, others may have spiral floating stairs. There are many options depending on the aesthetic you’d like to achieve in your home. The absence of visible supports creates a sense of openness and spaciousness in the area.

Modern Design: Floating stairs allow natural light to pass through and offer a contemporary and minimalist look that fits well with modern interior design.

Design: You can often customise the materials, finishes, and design elements to suit your preferences and home décor. These materials can include wood, concrete, steel, and even stone.

Are floating stairs safe?

Yes, floating stairs are safe when designed, engineered, and installed properly by experienced professionals following building codes and safety regulations

Their unique design and construction means it’s crucial to ensure that certain safety considerations are taken into account:

Structural Integrity: Floating staircases rely on hidden supports or structural elements for stability. These supports must be carefully designed to handle the weight and load of people using the stairs. Ackworth House manages the staircase from inspiration to installation and works with leading architects and builders nationwide to do just that.

Materials: The choice of materials for the steps, handrails, and supporting elements plays a significant role in safety. High-quality, durable materials that can withstand the demands of regular use are important and slip-resistant surfaces on the steps are also recommended to prevent accidents.

Installation: Proper installation is critical to the safety of the floating staircase. Professional installers who are experienced in working with floating staircases should be used to ensure that all elements are securely and correctly attached.

Handrails: Handrails are important safety features for any staircase, including floating staircases. They provide support and prevent falls. Handrails should be easy to grip, and set at an appropriate height to prevent accidents.

All Ackworth House stairs projects comply with the NZ Building Codes and are easily included in the architecture plans prior to the building consent process.

What do floating stairs cost?

The cost of floating stairs can vary widely based on several factors, including the materials used, design complexity, location, and the expertise of the installers you hire. Pricing can start at approx $50,000. More elaborate designs or premium materials can significantly increase the cost. It’s essential to consult with staircase specialists to get accurate quotes for your specific project.

How to order your floating stairs

We’d love to support you with your floating stairs inspiration and installation – contact us here for a quote. Ackworth House has been working in the building and joinery industries for 40 years and manufacture and install floating stairs, New Zealand-wide. We also offer a broad selection of floating stair treads, balustrades, handrails and brackets, available in various materials including timber and steel.

Our Ascendo floating stairs series provide a unique aesthetic quality and functionality, presenting a variety of options regarding materials, colours and finishes. Our floating staircases, inspired by modern and functional design, lend a sleek, refined appeal to any residential and commercial space.

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