Spiral Stairs form a complete circle which is the diameter of the staircase. This is generally between 1400-2000mm on domestic spirals and 2000mm + on commercial models. The depths of each step are uniform and equal and the handrail normally runs around the perimeter.
Helical Staircases, sometimes known ad ‘curved stairs’, often form a continuous “C” shape with a larger, consistent radius. They can however be made to form an oval or elliptical shape configuration.
No Central Column
The key difference between the two different shapes is that a spiral staircase has a centre column supporting the treads whereas a helical staircase has a void in the middle – it has no central column.
In terms of floor space – Spiral stairs tend to win this one, they’re are monsters of efficiency and an extremely popular choice of getting between floors whilst saving a great deal of space.
Helical staircases tend to require a large space and a sizeable opening in the floor to accommodate them but are often designed to be the focal point in a room / reception.
Whilst both spiral and helical stairs have consistent riser heights and tread depths, a helical stair is certainly more easy to ascend as the tread depth at the tightest point is much greater.
Price is of course a big factor to consider and simply put, helical stairs are always going to be the more expensive option. Depending on the materials and size, a helical might be size times dearer than a spiral. Without that central column to support the treads, construction methods and grade of material are higher dramatically altering the cost.
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