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"Spiral Stairs" - What are they?


A "Spiral Stair", by definition, is a staircase with a central column in which steps are set out in a spiral pattern . As the steps wind up the column in a corkscrew-like pattern .


The First Spiral Stairs

Although an exact date isn't known, the spiral stair came into use during the Middle Ages as a way to reach the top of towers, held inside a castle's outer walls in most cases.


Spiral stairs have several benefits, their use in the middle ages was defensive. Attackers attempting to invade a castle would be at a disadvantage. The defenders could use their sword arm more effectively than the attackers (if the spiral stair rotated up right handed), spiral stairs being less wide allowed only one attacker at a time.


Spiral Stairs Today

Today, spiral stairs are used for practical and visual purposes. They maximize floor space, spiral stairs are aesthetically appealing, and often make efficient use of areas in homes, businesses and industry .


Though the first spiral stairs were made of stone, modern spiral stairs have advanced to include metal, wood, aluminum, stainless steel, brass, bronze and combinations of all these materials. Like most other furnishings, a spiral stair can be customized, depending on a person's budget and desires.




Stairway's Inc. - Spiral Stairs


Stairways, Inc. offers four basic types of Spiral Stairs: Fully Assembled, welded (FAS); Standard Kit, bolted (SKD); Heavy Duty Kit, bolted (HD); and All Wood (AW):


  Fully Assembled Spiral Stair - Fully Assembled spiral stairs are welded and ship in one or two sections and have the most options to offer. Any of the components seen on pages 13, 14 & 15, in our catalog**, are available on this type of spiral staircase. Perfect for residential, industrial or commercial applications. Available in steel, aluminum and stainless steel. The advantages of welded construction are: Design adaptability, any diameter and height, and any material. Ability to ship up to ten code-compliant stairs, per truck, when purchasing in quantity. The only disadvantage of the welded unit is the freight cost.


  Standard Spiral Stair Kit - This is our most common spiral stair. It is a bolted assembly with stamped parts. The cost is comparable to a Fully Assembled welded spiral staircase. It is economical to produce and ship. There are limited options, but there are still a good variety of step baluster and handrail designs to choose from. Standard spiral stair kits are available in diameters from 40" to 72," with no height limitation. Available materials for this type of staircase are steel, aluminum, and stainless steel. Assembly of a Standard Spiral Kit stair requires two people and approximately 8 hours to complete and it is the most economical to ship.


  Heavy Duty Spiral Stair Kit - This is a bolted assembly with all machined parts. Heavy Duty does not mean that it is more structurally sound than our other types of spiral stairs, it only refers to the manufacturing procedures. Heavy Duty Kits have been designed to replace a Fully Assembled Spiral stair when access is an issue. In an upper end application, such as a high rise condominium, this staircase can be transported in an elevator, and when assembled, not look like a kit. Available in steel, aluminum and stainless steel. All parts on this spiral stair unit are machined and not stamped. This spiral stair model is assembled in our plant, disassembled, painted then shipped.


Please Note: Galvanization and Wood treads and handrails are available options on any of the above listed spiral staircases.


  All Wood Spiral Stair - Our final spiral stair type is All Wood. Our all wood spiral stairs are beautiful and available in any diameter and height. Our standard wood species is Red Oak but, it is also available in White Oak, Ash, Maple, Walnut, Cherry or Brazilian Cherry, Ipe, Teak, Hickory, or Pecan. This staircase is assembled in our plant then disassembled to ship.


** Our catalog is available to download or view at the bottom left of our home page.



Residential " Residentially, spiral stairs can be used for interior or exterior.

v  Decks - Spiral stairs meet code for secondary access, can be a means of egress.

v  Outdoor Kitchens - Above outdoor kitchens spiral stairs add accent.

v  Libraries - Wood spiral stair or metal and wood staircases will add warmth in the space.

v  Shops- Spiral stair will save floor space with enough walk room to carry tools.

v  Boat Houses - These spiral stairs, in aluminum, will allow no added floatation.

v  Widows Walk - Beautiful in the center of a room disappearing into the roof.

v  Entry Way - Spiral stairs will make a great first impression.

v  Reading Lofts - A spiral stair will make a small space feel larger.

v  Towers - Limited space at the top, spiral stairs solve the problem.

v  Hunting Camps - Spiral stairs can be carried in the back of pickup trucks.

v  Man Cave - Unusual designs and materials will add to a masculine space.

v  Roof Access - Spiral stair top can be cut off,  roof hatches can drop over the staircase top.

v  Boats - House boats to yachts, spiral stairs will fit any budget.

v  Tree House - Safe and space saving, any child would like a spiral stair.

v  Basement Access - Remove a straight run staircase and replace with a spiral stair - added room.



v  Lobbies - Make a statement with a spiral stair.

v  High Rise Connecting Floors - Occupying a couple of floors, spiral stairs prevent elevator use.

v  Press Boxes - Practical uses or luxury boxes, spiral stairs solves space issues.

v  Back Stage - Theaters, performing arts, auditoriums, tall applications, multi-levels - spiral stairs fit well.

v  Multi-Housing - Spiral stairs sold in bulk are inexpensive to purchase and ship.

v  Airplane Hangers " In limited spaces, spiral stairs take little room.

v  Water Parks - Queue lines can be made fun with spiral stairs.

v  Amusement Parks - Roller coaster emergency access, spiral stairs will add a design element.

v  Zip Lines - Spiral stairs can serve multiple levels.

v  Bandstands - High School and College Band Directors utilize spiral stairs for viewing.

v  Mezzanine Access - Plant areas in mezzanine or to shop offices, spiral stairs are strong and safe.

v  Production Lines - Tight spaces in production lines, spiral stairs can access through floors or mezzanine faces.

v  Stage Sets - From Broadway to Hollywood, spiral stairs will add flair to any stage set.

v  Towers - No height is unattainable - spiral stairs will be more cost effective than typical switch back stairs.

v  Fire Exits - Large diameters or small spiral stairs can serve one floor or many.



v      Replacing Cage Ladders - No harnesses needed or clipping to ladders when using spiral stairs.

v      Crane Access - Gantry, pivot or stationary pedestals - spiral stairs can be designed for all crane access.

v      Sewage Treatment Plants - Galvanized spiral stairs serve these plants well.

v      Dams - Spiral stairs can make tall spans with multiple exit points.

v      Mines -  Short or tall elevation changes, spiral stairs conform to OSHA standards.

v      Silos - Inexpensive and easy to install, spiral stairs with catwalks can link silos saving space and money.

v      Plants - Interior or exterior, welded spiral stairs are durable and practical.

v      Wet Sumps - Submerged spiral stairs can be produced in aluminum or stainless steel.

v      Oil Platforms - Ships or rigs, Monkey Board to the Moon Pool, spiral stairs are used with limited space.

v      Ships - New construction or remodels, spiral stairs can be designed for any ship layout.

v      Maintenance Access - Roof access to underground service panels, spiral stairs will get you there.

v      Tanks - Spiral stairs are much less expensive than conventional curved stairs.

v      Military - Submarine maintenance at port - spiral stairs drop into missile ports for maintenance.


These are a few of the many spiral stair applications that Stairways Inc. has helped design and manufacture.  Whether your project is Residential, Commercial or Industrial contact our trained sales staff  for design information pertaining to your application



Thank you for your interest in Stairways, Inc.  If you have any questions contact us at 1-800-231-0793 or e-mail to swinfo@stairwaysinc.com.


Texas Proud & Made In The USA 

Stairways Inc., 4166 Pinemont Houston, TX 77018

Phone: (713) 680-3110

Fax: (713) 680-2571

Email: swinfo@stairwaysinc.com

Toll Free: 1-800-231-0793

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