If you’re stuck for space in an existing home, maybe trying to plan a small space renovation or new build, then a spiral staircase could be the answer. Spiral staircases and space saver stairs have a far smaller footprint that conventional stairs, so take up less floorspace at the top and the bottom. They also take up less of the vertical space in the house, so can be squeezed in almost anywhere to provide access between floors. Especially well suited to mezzanine levels, spiral staircases allow a lot of light through the structure, so in spaces with low lighting they will not throw extra shadows. As a spiral staircase is supported by the central column, they do not need to be installed next to a wall and therefore can become focal points in the rooms in which they stand. They are also ideal for being placed externally to provide rooftop access for a terrace. Spiral staircases can be made from metal, wood and plastic and are often made from a combination of these materials.

Amazing Spiral Staircases

George Clarke from "George Clarke's amazing spaces" poses in front of some trees.An episode of George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces featured a cube house with areas and levels built around a central ‘spiral staircase’. This feature was not quite what we would recognise as a spiral staircase; it looked more like the Giant’s Causeway, a column of differently sized blocks making up an access route from the front door to a sleeping platform, via the living/dining area, bathroom and kitchen unit. This radical design was a response to the challenge of fitting many different spaces within a small cube and not being able to use any sort of conventional stairs. The Barcelona spiral staircase is a simple, modern design with a beech and brushed metal finish. It is suitable for heights up to 9ft7” and the risers are adjustable between 8.1” and 8.8” for finer height adjustments. The landing is supplied; meaning no space on the upper floor is taken up with exiting the staircase. This model comes with easy to follow DIY instructions for installation and is simple to adapt for mezzanine levels. At only £595 including VAT and delivery, this is a good quality budget option. Italian design is what sets these next three models apart from the pack. Sleek and modern, the Gamia spiral staircases look the part, bringing a modern look to any space. ItSilver spiral stairs with a black handrail. is available with wooden treads or with metal ones (a choice of silver or light grey) and in diameters of 120cm, 140cm and 160cm. The wooden tread models have a choice of a silver or black metal finish on the balustrades. The all-metal models are about £150 cheaper than their metal/wooden counterparts; starting at £869 for the 120cm metal model to £1,395 for the wooden tread 160cm model. They all come with an instructional DVD that guides you through home installation, and can run clockwise or anti-clockwise, fitting floor heights of between 8’3” and 9ft so they can be easily adapted to suit your space.

Spiral Stairs: The Civik

The Civik is an all black powder coated model that is available in the same diameter brackets. This design will fit floor heights of between 9 and 10 feet. It is slightly more expensive than the Gamia (the smallest Civik costs £999) but the smart black finish makes a statement. This model would be perfect for a small office or working area as the solid black finish has a slightly industrial feel to it. A DVD shows installation and like the Gamia, this staircase can be assembled in one day. For outdoor use the Civik model is available in a zinc galvanized construction. The handrail is black PVC so all the components are weatherproof. It is available in 120cm, 140cm and 160cm diameters and is suitable for heights between 2.5 and 3 metres, but can be extended up to 3.7 metres with additional treads. This outdoor model is also designed for home assembly and costs between £999 and £1,199. The Klan spiral staircase is the top end choice. This model has wooden treads, with a Spiral stairs with beech treads and a black handrail.choice of natural beech or walnut stain and the same option for the wood-effect handrail. The metalwork is available in white, black or light grey epoxy coated steel. It will fit floor heights of between 9 and 10 feet, although extra treads can be purchased if more height is needed. This design is more suited to a traditionally decorated home than something very modern, as the wooden treads bring a certain warmth that metal ones do not. The Klan spiral staircase costs between £1,349 and £1,599 including VAT and delivery and as with the others, comes supplied with an instructional DVD for on site assembly.

Space Saving Stairs

Space saving stairs have an even smaller footprint than a spiral staircase and are a popular option for access to loft conversions where a ladder is not suitable or there is not enough space inside the loft. They are also popular instead of spiral staircases to a mezzanine level or sleeping platform because of the cleaner look and the fact they can be tucked into a corner more easily. In small houses they can greatly improve the available living space by replacing a standard staircase and in new small builds, working storage into a staircase and using up as little vertical space as possible is key. Spacesaver stairs tend to follow a common tread design shaped almost like a paddle, so only one side of each tread is deep enough to stand on. These alternating paddles go up the staircase, so it’s important to start off on the right (or left!) foot when using these stairs. It’s the alternation of the tread shapes that makes these staircases so small. They also tend to have a steeper incline than conventional stairs, so are not ideal for people with limited mobility that may find a spiral staircase easier to use.

The Graz

Silver spacesaving staircase with beech treads and a silver handrailThe Graz model is very well priced, just £499 with VAT and delivery included. It will fit floor heights up to 9ft5in maximum, with adjustable risers that allow you to get an exact fit to your upper level. There is balustrading for one side of the staircase, so if it is not to be positioned against a wall, then extra balustrading is advisable, especially for households with young children. The staircase is easily assembled at home, with illustrated instructions supplied and an assembly video available on our website, should you need any extra help. The Graz model is quite versatile, as the balustrading can be fitted on either side of the staircase, and you can incorporate a turn and the top or bottom to adapt these spacesaver stairs to your available space. Polished beech treads and grey epoxy coated metal components give this unit a sleek, modern feel. This is cheaper than the least expensive spiral staircase, and will take up far less space within a room or on a landing.

The Karina Spacesaver Stairs

The Karina spacesaver stairs have a wider choice of finishes: black, white or grey epoxy coated metal parts and light or dark stained beech treads allow you get a close match to your existing décor. These stairs can be used for heights up to 9’3”, but extra treads are available to take this up to 10’9”. As with the Graz model, the risers are adjustable to allow you an exact fit to your floor heights. An additional handrail is available for this unit, meaning it can be placed safely anywhere along the upper floor level without worrying about extra handrails. The Karina model costs £725, so it is more expensive than the Graz model but has more versatility in terms of height and finishing touches. Combining a staircase and storage into one unit is another good way of maximising space, because the spaces underneath the treads can function as a shelf or drawer. Using the cupboard under the stairs as a small working area or storage by opening up the wall underneath can really make a difference to the flow of a space. However you decide to save space with a new staircase, always check with the local council, as staircases are covered by building and planning regulations. If you are unsure about carrying out the installation yourself, a handyman, carpenter or builder can do it for you inside a day. They may also be able to offer some insight and advice into what will work for your space before you purchase a spiral staircase or spacesaver stairs. The team at Midland Ladders are also very happy to discuss your options and ideas.