Helical stairs are often located in exclusive apartaments or commercial buildings like hotels or representative office entrance halls. Also with helical stair designs we want to go our own way and create impressions which leave a memory.
As the word “helix” implies, helical staircases are designed in a helical shape. Helical staircases differ from spiral staircases as they do not have a newel, and handrails are present on both sides. They are also not limited to a circular staircase, and may be built in an elliptical or oval shape. Without a newel for support, better materials and/or construction is required for helical stairs compared to spiral stairs. Because of its shape, it is possible to build two helical staircases while occupying the same vertical space, allowing two persons access to a staircase at the same time.
Our standard models as well as custom designs are made to measure and can be adjusted to your ideas in almost all ways.
Technical knowhow and lots of experience with the materials wood, steel glass and stone help us to realize everything what is possible. When combined with other materials, such as stainless steel, glass or stone, the staircase becomes more exclusive and expensive.
Spiral stairs wind around a newel (also the central pole). They typically have a handrail on the outer side only, and on the inner side just the central pole.
A squared spiral stair assumes a square stairwell and expands the steps and railing to a square, resulting in unequal steps (larger where they extend into a corner of the square). A pure spiral assumes a circular stairwell and the steps and handrail are equal and positioned screw-symmetrically. A tight spiral stair with a central pole is very space efficient in the use of floor area.
Spiral stairs have the disadvantage of being very steep - only if they are tight or are otherwise not supported by a center column. This is because of two reasons. The wider the spiral, the more steps can be accommodated per spiral. Therefore, if the spiral is large in diameter, via having a central support column that is strong (invariably large in diameter) and a special handrail that helps distributes the load,each step may be longer and therefore the rise between each step may be smaller, (equal to that of regular steps.) Otherwise, the circumference of the circle at the walk line will be so small that it will be impossible to maintain a normal tread depth and a normal rise height without compromising headroom before reaching the upper floor.
To maintain headroom some spiral stairs have very high rises to support a very short diameter. These are typically cases where the stairwell must be a small diameter by design or must not have any center support by design or may not have any perimeter support. An example of perimeter support is the Vatican stairwell shown in the next section or the gothic stairwell shown to the left. That stairwell is only tight because of its design in which the diameter must be small. Many spirals, however, have sufficient width for normal size treads (8 inches) by being supported by any combination of a center pole, perimeter supports attaching to or beneath the treads, and a helical handrail. In this manner, the treads may be wide enough to accommodate low rises.