As professional stone workers, we’re always interested in new design trends that feature our chosen medium. In the last few months, we’ve seen some clever ideas for staircases using stone, so we thought we’d share them here.
Reinforcing Wood with Stone
It’s not a new idea, but reinforcing wooden staircases with stone is a smart one, as long as the structure can support it. Stone is more durable and harder than wood so it wears better and looks elegant longer than carpet. They’re a great foundation material as well, so if you decide you want carpet at a later date, you can add and remove it without damaging the stone stairs.
Edwardian houses, like those seen in period dramas, used this technique and it can be used with great effect to revive a period staircase or create an ultra-modern look. It’s all down to the type of stone you choose.
Floating Stone Stairs
Stone is strong enough to support its own weight, and if it’s thick enough it can easily support an adult human, too. If you don’t want the visual clutter of a full stair case, floating stairs are a great choice.
Individual treads are set into the wall, and jut out, forming steps. On the open side, a hand rail is attached to the treads, leaving the space under and around the stairs free. It’s looks light and airy, and goes very well with minimalist and modern designs. That said, staircases in castles were originally built in this way, so it’s a versatile look!
Make a Feature of a Transition
Split-level open-plan rooms are a great way to create distinct spaces without closing off an area. They’re also common in renovated and extended houses, as it’s not always possible to create a level floor. Using stone stairs for the transition allows you to decide whether to make a feature of the transition or to camouflage it.
If you’ve opted for a stone floor in one part of the room, then stone steps are a natural and logical transition. In rooms without stone floors, using stone for the steps makes them a feature. The change in texture and material can act as a visual alert, reminding people to step down when they cross from one area to another.
Stone in the Garden
Stone is an obvious material for outdoor steps and stairs. Whether the stone is rough limestone for a rustic look, or smooth marble for an elegant atmosphere, stone is durable, weather resistant and requires little maintenance.
If your front door is set above or below the street, stone steps can make getting up the garden path that much easier and more pleasant. Using the same stone indoors and outdoors can help extend your living area into the garden. A clever choice is to use similar stone types for any steps between the kitchen or living room, conservatory and patio, creating a natural flow between the different spaces.