Stair cases

Saturday June 1 2019


By Gloria Kawuma

Mummy: Michelle stop sitting on the stair and go to your room.

Michelle: Mummy, this is not a stair, it is a step. And off she goes
We have all fallen victim to this. We constantly mistake a stair for a step and vice versa.

Stairs are a complete flight of steps. A staircase is one or more flights leading from one floor to another. A stair flight is a run of stairs or steps between landings.

There is an element of elegance that stairs add to a space and for those of you who have them in your homes, this is the time to use them to your advantage.

For example family portrait taken on the staircase would be very glamorous.
Each material used has a characteristic and impression it brings. For example, marble and granite stairs may seem to instantly have a cold look but they are luxurious.

Wood evokes the emotions of warmth and comfort while presenting an impression of quality, sturdiness and completeness that is fitting into any interior.


Steel or iron offer many possibilities in terms of style and finish because it is versatile. They are usually seen applied in studio flats, apartments (no families) and business premises.
Glass speaks sophistication, trendy and high maintenance.

Features of a staircase
It should reduce the risk of slip, falls and trips. Carpets can reduce the severity of injury or treads at the tip of each step.
It should have a strong sturdy hand rail to help user steady themselves when they loose balance. The rail should also look strong enough to inspire a sense of security and tall enough to prevent them from falling over.

Railing can also be the centre piece of a home through the design and materials used. While creating the design, one should ensure that the gaps cannot let a 100mm diameter sphere pass through.

There should be a consistency of height of the steps to prevent over step (when the foot toes catch the riser of next step above) or under step (when the foot catches the next step down).

If your steps have already been cast, then you can use wood panels on the steps that are too high to balance them out.
Finally, a good staircase should have adequate lighting. Stairs can be a health hazard once they are poorly lit. But they can also be transformed into a feature of beauty and charm once well-lit and accessorised with art.