Types of structures of wooden stairs, their characteristics

Types of wood stairs

The classic, most common type of wooden staircase is two obliquely inclined stringer beams (straight, rounded or jagged) with steps attached to the top of the beams. This type of ladder has been tried and tested for centuries and is durable and reliable. Disadvantages: large weight of the structure, the need for a large area (depending on the size of the stairs).

A no less popular type of ladder made of wood is with bowstring fastening. A staircase of this design always serves as a decoration for the house and is located in the central hall or living room. Under the staircase space, you can make it closed and get a room usually used as a storage room. The disadvantages of such a staircase are similar to a wooden staircase on kosoura, the design of both types of stairs must be taken into account even when designing a house – they are bulky and massive.

The steps of the staircase, fixed to the bolts, turn it into a cantilever staircase – this type of wooden staircase is the most modern today. Still – a staircase without visible supports, without railings looks absolutely amazing! True, going up and down it is a little scary, it is difficult to get rid of the feeling that the steps will collapse under the weight of someone walking along them. It should be noted that each step can freely withstand a load of several hundred kilograms, its attachment to the wall is reliable. Among all the other types of stairs, it is as easy as shelling pears to clean a staircase, it has no corners at all – places where dust usually accumulates. It takes up little space and is practically invisible. The disadvantage, in my opinion, lies in its airiness – I would nevertheless provide a cantilever ladder with a handrail for greater confidence in my own safety when descending / ascending along it.

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A spiral wooden staircase, consisting of only steps, takes up a small area, it can be created in any room – and it will decorate this room. The main inconvenience of a spiral staircase is movement in a spiral, with the need to carefully look at your feet and hold on to the railing, a quick descent / ascent along it is more dangerous than along stairs of other structures.

A wooden staircase can be a combination of several (two or more) types of staircase construction, for example, combine a marching and spiral flights, supported by stringers (or bowstrings) and a central pillar. The combined staircase will have advantages and disadvantages depending on the type of each flight in its design.

In general, wooden stairs have such positive qualities as strength and resistance to stress, harmony with the interior of the premises, relative cheapness and ease of use. Solid wood used in the construction of wooden stairs is environmentally friendly.

A common drawback that all types of wooden stairs have is that after several years of operation, ascent / descent along them is accompanied by a creak.

Manufacturing of wooden stairs – details

Not all wood is suitable for making stairs. For the main supporting elements of the stairs, hardwood is used – beech, maple and oak, because the wood of these trees is the least susceptible to drying out – the main reason for the squeak when walking on wooden stairs. Other elements of the staircase structure, including decorative ones, are made of cherry and hornbeam, walnut and ash, teak and rosewood. When calculating the construction of a staircase, it is necessary to take into account the physical properties of each type of wood, they are different and their incorrect use can cause a decrease in the strength of the entire staircase.

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The table shows the density of some types of wood used to create stairs:

Rosewood Ash Teak Oak Beech Maple Cherry Nut
density, kg / m3
(at 12% humidity)
850 750 720 690 670 670 660 640

As a rule, a wooden staircase is not painted; it is varnished in several layers. The natural pattern of the wood will be preserved, therefore, the nature of the cut of the solid wood chosen as the material for the wooden staircase will matter. The tree trunk is sawn in two directions – radial and tangential.

Construction of wooden stairs

The radial cut goes along the core of the tree trunk, the resulting solid has almost the same texture and color. An array of radial wood is the most resistant to any impact and deformation, it is wear-resistant, which means it is durable. However, the cost of such a cut is high, because only 10-15% of the finished product is obtained from the tree trunk, and the rest goes to waste.

With a cut, called a tangential cut, the cut is cut away from the core through the tree rings of the trunk. The texture of such an array is saturated with a pattern of tree rings in the form of waves. The array obtained in this way has lower quality indicators than the radial one, and it is cheap.

Connecting ladder parts

There are many ways to connect the wooden parts of the stairs; they need to be discussed separately. In short, amateurs use nails and screws, professionals use hidden groove and finger joints and special adhesives. The strength and appearance of the staircase will depend on how and what the details of the staircase will be connected with. Nails and screws are still used by some manufacturers, but such a connection gives an unattractive look to the structure, therefore, the heads of the nails (screws) must be sunk, gluing them on top with wooden plugs – if the stairs are painted with paint, the joints will not be visible. If the staircase is varnished, then the corks will not save – the joints will be visible. Therefore, it is important to avoid using screws and nails on visible parts of the stairs..

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