Metal stairs – advantages, disadvantages, styles and designs
Metal stairs emphasize the originality of the interior or exterior design and can add a sophisticated elegant appearance to the home, a contemporary sleek look, even a certain feeling of grandeur. Metal stairs work with many different architectural styles – beautiful wrought iron staircases are the perfect choice for Mediterranean exteriors, ornate stair railings decorate grand staircases, sleek modern designs work with contemporary styled homes and public buildings. These steps are ideal for Industrial style designs and delicate artisan stairs can be used in Shabby Chic interiors as well.
Nowadays architects, designers, decorators and homeowners work together to create special and unique exterior and interior designs. Staircases combine functionality and appearance and we see amazing bespoke staircases, fascinating floating stairs, unique interior staircases – masterpieces that are a major focal point of the interior design and please the eye of homeowners and visitors.
Metal stairs come in many designs and combination of materials – they work with glass, wood, stone, and when you want a solid, durable and visually pleasing interior or exterior staircase, you can choose form the most diverse and unique designs. We selected some of the most spectacular metal stairs and inspiring staircase designs which will show you the diversity of styles, appearance, design and aesthetic value.
Table of Contents
Types of metal stairs – design options, material and appearance
When it comes to choosing metal stairs, customers are faced with numerous options. The variety of designs allows you to create elegant exteriors and interiors in different styles. Apartment, house, office, sports complexes, shopping malls, office buildings and business centers – anywhere you can find metal stairs. They can have any shape – straight, curved, flared, circular, spiral, landing mid-stair, floating, etc. In terms of material, metal stairs can be manufactured from raw steel, wrought iron, aluminum, stainless steel, galvanized steel, brass, bronze, they can be painted or powder coated, with wood treads, glass railings, etc.
Most often people are wondering between prefabricated or custom made metal stairs. Prefabricated stairs are a good solution when you need a functional staircase to provide the movement up and down inside or outside you home. They are usually simple, easy to install, cost effective and will suit your needs perfectly.
Custom made metal stairs, however, are the opposite of prefabricated stairs and are made to meet certain requirements – either fitting a staircase into a tight place, replicate the appearance of the original staircase in an old house or you need a staircase with a custom design to be installed in a place with an unusual shape. Custom made staircases or bespoke staircases will cost significantly more than prefabricated stairs but you will get a staircase with unique look that is especially made to meet your needs.
Why choose metal stairs – pros and cons of these staircases
Every homeowner wants to make his home special and most unique, to create a comfortable, convenient and pleasing environment, a place that expresses his individuality, personality and taste. This includes many elements and design techniques – from the choice of color scheme to style and overall design concept. Staircases, as structures, remain the same and only the overall shape and overall design change so that they meet the requirements of the modern man. A staircase can have metallic elements – railings, treads, balusters or the entire staircase can be made of the same material. Metal stairs offer many benefits and have many advantages, depending on material they can be lightweight which is very important for any modern building. Let’s look at the major pros and cons of metal stairs.
Strength and durability – metal is one of the strongest materials. Alloys are resistant to all kinds of external stress including mechanical shock, exposure to corrosive substances and temperature fluctuations. Everyone is aware of the fact that wooden staircases may suffer cracks with time. Metal stairs will not lose their shape, they will not crack, warp or rot. They can be manufactured from any type of metal – from stainless steel to aluminum – and when you want a decorative staircase, that is something to consider.
Versatility – metal stairs can take any form in the hands of a skillful master and make the staircase an original interior accent. The design possibilities are endless and a this type of staircase will blend in simple, elegant, traditional or modern exterior and interior designs. In addition, you can have a custom designed staircase and choose from a variety of shapes and sizes. Due to the high flexibility of the material it can be cut and welded in numerous designs and patterns – spiral, straight or curved designs, simple, ornate and elaborate designs – anything that meets the personal requirements of the homeowner. Metals can be combined with any other material so that it works with the overall concept of the exterior or the interior of the room.
Installation and maintenance – metal stairs are easy to install which keeps the cost for construction lower compared to staircases from alternative materials. Once installed, a stainless steel, iron or aluminum staircase adds aesthetic appeal and value to your property. Due to the incredible durability of materials, such staircases do not deform and will not require repairs during its lifetime. There is no need to seal, varnish or paint a metallic staircase every year to maintain its good appearance. All you need to do is to promptly remove dust and examine for damages to the coating (paint).
Metal stairs do not squeak. A squeaky staircase gives a headache and can be a real nightmare for homeowners. This may not sound as a major benefit to many people, but those who had to fix a squeaking floors and stairs know how irritating it can be.
Safety and security – compared to other types of steps, metal stairs are safer as they are less slippery and even in the event of a slip, the landing may feel softer than landing on concrete, for example. Of course, stair railings are a necessity for support and preventing falls.
Metal stairs can be space saving – this is especially valid for spiral staircases as they are the perfect design for tight spaces. You can have a functional spiral staircase without compromising the aesthetic appearance and the design style of your home.
Environmental friendliness – this is a very big advantage of metal stairs as the material can be recycled. Resource and Nature preservation are a serious concern to many people, so choosing metal stairs is environmentally conscious decision.
Let’s summarize the advantages of metal stairs:
- high durability;
- withstand heavy loads;
- resistant to harsh weather conditions;
- low maintenance;
- lower cost compared to staircases made from alternative materials;
- easy to install;
- metals work in harmony with many other materials;
- A variety of types and shapes, suitable for many design styles;
- metal stairs do not creak
- Long service life.
What are the disadvantages of metal stairs?
Compared to the many advantages, the cons of metal stairs are insignificant, yet we shall look at the most important considerations.
Corrosion is one of the major concerns of people and it can appear even if the staircase is treated and protected with a special coating. This problem usually occurs to outdoor staircases. Choosing high quality material will make sure that you will not have worries and your staircase will not suffer rust. Keep in mind that metal stairs made of iron or bronze may change color in time. To preserve their appearance, you need to coat them with protective sealants which will increase the maintenance costs. In addition, treating a metallic staircase is a laborious process as the metal should be sanded with sandpaper, a primer must be applied, and after the primer is completely dry, apply a protective coat of paint.
Noise is, probably, the biggest disadvantage of metal stairs. When walking on the steps the noise can be loud and unpleasant.
Cost – custom made metal stairs in various decorative styles will have higher prices. The more decorative elements, the higher the cost and depending on the complexity of design and installation, the price tag of these staircases can be significantly higher compared to a wooden staircase.
Welding seams – if not done professionally, the welds may look rough and even ruin the appearance of your metal stairs. It is advisable that you hire professionals to install your staircase and if you buy pre-farbricated models, pay attention to the quality of the welds.
Installation problems – such problems may occur if you have not considered the dimensions of your staircase. This is a typical problem with interior staircases, so you need to consider how the staircase will come into the building. It is necessary that bulky structures do not damage walls, doors or other elements of your home in the process of installation.