What is Best for Interiors: Winding or Spiral Staircases?

staircase option 1

Photo credit ActiveMetal

Building your dream home, or perhaps just gathering ideas?  Consider including a unique and gorgeous staircase, which can add incredible design appeal.  Here are a few tips when investigating this option.

While large houses can sometimes allow for straight staircases, its more common to have a at least one bend or turn in the stairs to make it fit in a tighter space. In small multi-floor apartments, this can be a significant architectural issue as every inch counts.

A spiral staircase can be a dramatic choice that allows stairs in the smallest of areas, but are they better than a more gently winding stairway? If you’re thinking about doing some stair renovations, you might want to learn more about your options.

Footprint Size

In terms of space, the spiral staircase will have a smaller footprint and take up less room. If your biggest concern is saving space, this this can be the way to go. On average, a spiral unit can be around 4 feet in diameter (they have a circular space requirement). A non-spiral layout can be as long as 5 to 10 feet, depending on how the turns are oriented.

Practical Use

This is where the spiral staircase starts to lose some points. The tight circular layout isn’t the most comfortable to navigate, and it can be literally impossible to move large items up and down the stairs.

The stairs on most spiral staircases are wedge shaped, so you can have a smaller tread underfoot as you walk. This may or may not be a problem, depending on the people who are going to be using the stairs. It might not be the most safe choice for smaller children, especially since most spiral cases are open between the stairs (no risers).

staircase option 2

Photo credit ActiveMetal


A spiral staircase is usually self-supported around a central post, making it more of a stand-alone unit. On the other hand, a typical stretched out staircase is not self-supporting and will require a lot more construction to build. That can make a huge difference in installation time and cost. Spiral units can be purchased as a kit, and put in place by a handy homeowner. Few people would be able to build a new staircase on their own. When you consider the construction and contractor costs, the spiral route is cheaper. In some cases, you buy a kit for as little as $500 or even less.


It’s hard to make a choice based on looks alone, because it depends on your taste. The spiral staircase tends to be a more artistic or dramatic looking architectural element compared to a standard set of stairs. If you’re looking for a room centerpiece, this could be it.

Overall, the spiral staircase is the best option if your only concern is space. But for practicality and function, the winding option may make more sense. One way that a spiral would work better is in a situation where it is not the main staircase, or in a location with non-daily use (up to an attic, or down to the basement).

Either way, it’s worth examining your options and not necessarily going with the more mainstream style of stairs just because it’s the most common choice. Check out the pros and cons, and see what will work best for your home and your family.

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Article provided by one of this blog’s collaborators.



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About COMtnMom

Hi, I'm Tami! Writer, Influencer, and mom of two who loves travel, the outdoors, staying active, photography, reading books, and eating desserts. We are pretty much always planning our next trip to Disney World.

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