Spiral staircases have been around for centuries and they first became increasingly popular during the Middle Ages. Although the exact date of origin of the spiral staircase is not known, the concept is believed to be around 3000 years old.

Spiral staircases were mostly found in earlier days in forts and castles and were originally built as a form of protection from enemies’ attack. The small space of the curved stairs would make it difficult for any kind of ambush as only one can run up at a time.

Spiral staircases are still popular in modern day construction because they take less space and are practical for building in small spaces. We can find them in many homes and also are used as a fancy staircase in a few luxurious abodes.

Why Spiral Staircases

Urban-retreat-by-EDGE-Design-LLC Spiral Staircase Pictures and Things You Should Know About Them
Image source: EDGE Design LLC

Growing population and migration to cities has led to the construction of many houses in smaller space. Maximum utilization of a place is the focus everywhere. In such houses, circular stairs are a good way to save space and also get a traditional staircase like olden days.

Curved stairs are very flexible and can be easily accessible to places where traditional stairs might not work that well.

Materials Used for Spiral Stairs

Victorian-Pool-House-Atherton-California-by-John-Malick-n-Associates Spiral Staircase Pictures and Things You Should Know About ThemImage source: John Malick & Associates

In olden days materials used to build spiral staircases were usually stones and marbles as they used to be built directly into walls of forts and castles. It was only in the modern era that they were being built as standalone stairs using the pole as a support.

Today, spiral staircases are built using a lot of materials like wood, metals, forged iron, assembled metal, a combination of wood and metal, aluminum, steel and galvanized metal. Metal spiral staircases are very commonly found today as they are easily affordable and durable for a significant amount of time.

Steel is a great material for building curved stairs as it can be bent into any shape without losing its strength. Steel is extremely strong and is also used in many other constructions work.

Aluminum is very affordable as compared to other material and is lightweight and anticorrosive, which gives a clean look to the spiral stairs. Although it could break down in extreme pressure unlike steel.

Galvanized Iron is again a great alternative. It is coated with a zinc layer to protect from rusting the iron.

Wood is also used in the construction of spiral stairs although it would require constant maintenance and could crack or chip over time due to external environmental factors.

So, choosing a material for the spiral staircase depends on the location of where it is being built to understand the impacts it would have to endure.

Circular Staircase Design & Dimension


Hand-Forged-Artistry-Deck-n-Spiral-Staircase-by-McCutcheon-Construction-Inc Spiral Staircase Pictures and Things You Should Know About ThemImage source: McCutcheon Construction Inc.

It is important to determine the location of the circular staircase which needs to be built, where it is to be built. It is also important to decide the material for the circular staircase. They should have enough lighting when building inside the house as most are away from windows.


The most important measuring dimension for the spiral design is the floor to floor height. This will determine the rotation of the spiral staircase. The rotation and the number of threads go hand in hand. Once you calculate the rotation of the staircase, the number and degree of the treads can be calculated.

Most spiral staircase heights rise to a 9.5” as the treads are set usually to a near 30- degree angle. Usually, many stair kit providers have adjustable risers.

Measuring the floor height will give you a fair idea of how staggered the steps need to be and how far apart from each other.


Mountain-Meadow-by-JCD-Custom-Home-Design Spiral Staircase Pictures and Things You Should Know About ThemImage source: JCD Custom Home Design

This would determine the width of the spiral staircase. The standard circular staircase width would be about 800mm or 600mm depending on the dwelling where it is being constructed. It would roughly calculate to 5” diameter stair.

While determining the diameter you have to consider the width of the stair which allows you to walk up and down the stairs comfortably. Too less a diameter can be dangerous while walking on them and larger diameter than required could eat up more space.


The tread radius will vary depending on the diameter of the spiral design stairs.  The radius of the tread will grow with the diameter of the stairs.


North-Dallas-Residence-by-Dallas-Design-Group-Interiors Spiral Staircase Pictures and Things You Should Know About ThemImage source: Dallas Design Group, Interiors

Once you have the measurements for the spiral design stairs you can buy spiral staircase kits for installation. The kits are available in all ranges from $700 to $7000. The cost of the spiral staircase kits will depend on the materials which you would use for installing.

Benefits of Spiral Staircase Kits

It can be easily installed by a minimum of two people or more and the task can be completed within a day. Assembling and installation are very simple, and the kits come with instructions which can be followed easily.

There are many custom built in-house and heavy-duty spiral kits which can be dismantled and dissembled for shipment. Once reached the installing location, it can be reassembled as easily.

It can be done using regular tools and does not require any fancy equipment to support the installation.

Spiral staircase kits are available in different materials like wood, glass, metal, galvanized iron, aluminum, and stainless steel. Depending on your location and choice of material the cost would vary.

It does not require welding and hence is safe to install without expert assistance.

The kit includes all the necessary parts for installation. It saves time and space. You can easily buy it from the store or order it online as the delivery is faster as well.

Types of Spiral Stairs

Metal Spiral Staircase

Les-Catalons-à-Sevrier-by-EURL.-Atelier-dArchitecture-Michel-NICOLETTI Spiral Staircase Pictures and Things You Should Know About ThemImage source: E.U.R.L. Atelier d’Architecture Michel NICOLETTI


A metal spiral staircase is great because of its durability, affordability and easy availability. As previously mentioned, aluminum, stainless steel, galvanized iron, etc., are commonly used in spiral staircases.


The disadvantage is they would need maintenance to avoid corrosion or change in color in certain metals. They would have to be waxed and coated to preserve their appearance.

Wooden Spiral Staircase

Custom-Woodwork-by-Birdie-Miller-Designs Spiral Staircase Pictures and Things You Should Know About ThemImage source: Birdie Miller Designs


They are cost effective as compared to metal curved stairs and also provide a warm and gentle feel in the house. It would be less noisy than metal counterparts.


The downside although would be the durability of wood. It is prone to be affected by pests and would need treatment. Other environmental factors like moisture and humidity can also affect the material. If you can afford the maintenance of wooden spiral stairs, then you can go ahead and install them else metal would be recommended for a cheaper and durable solution.

Glass Spiral Staircase

Glass-Spiral-Staircase-by-EeStairs-America-Inc Spiral Staircase Pictures and Things You Should Know About ThemImage source: EeStairs America Inc


Glass stairs have also gained popularity as they provide elegance to the architecture. They also provide a range of designs, textures, styles like frosted, clear or sandblasted glass which adds uniqueness to the stairs compared to the conventional materials.

They are moisture friendly, have an easier appeal on the eyes and can make the place brighter as they reflect light. Unlike wooden stairs, they do not have the problem of pests.


But they also come with few disadvantages as they have to inspected constantly for any breakage in the glass. Any accidents can be hazardous will glass breakage and it can also be impacted by certain hazardous materials. Installation and maintenance could burn your pockets easily.

Concrete/Stone Stairs

64-by-Martha-Franco-Architecture-and-Design Spiral Staircase Pictures and Things You Should Know About ThemImage source: Martha Franco Architecture & Design


These materials have been used for ages due to their strength and durability. They do no need much maintenance and are easily affordable. They are not affected by any environmental factors are sustainable for a longer duration.


They might not have a fancy appeal to them. Concrete profiles and stones are heavy to work with. Any damage or a crack could continue to further hamper the structure of the steps and affecting its look.

Keep the above details in mind while you are planning to build a curved staircase for your house, office or any other location. Choose the material wisely and as per your budget and have your staircase ready with the installation kit.

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