The presence of staircases are elegant and stately regardless of the style. They are a life line or main artery of the home and office allowing passage from one floor to the next. They are not only a necessary element, but also an opportunity to create architectural interest in the space. It’s easy to notice a staircase with grandeur… whether it is modern or traditional. A staircase that has been designed well will resonate long after someone leaves the building. Some of the most grand staircases are used in spaces such as the main hall in a hotel, lobby of an office building, and especially the entry of a home. They not only add visual interest, but also involve the sense of touch through the handrail and treads. In homes, there are less restrictions and more possibilities for creativity.
The most influential element of a staircase is the tread, which is the flat surface of the step. The tread should keep you safe with enough slip-resistance to prevent falls and be durable to last for years to come. In addition to countertops, perhaps the best choice for stair treads is stone slabs, such as marble and granite, since it outperforms the alternatives. Firstly, stone slabs are available in endless colors and patterns making it an ideal material to enhance any style. Secondly, slabs that are not polished give natural slip resistance and safety. Thirdly, stone is more durable than most other tread options giving the staircase a longer life. Finally, this beautiful, safe, and durable choice also has the convenience of low maintenance. Carpet or wood treads require constant maintenance to keep them looking new, whereas stone is a hard material naturally that is more resistant to scratches, daily wear, and staining. Slabs on stair treads are installed just like a countertop, and can be created from many different types of stone including granite, marble, and travertine. With modern technology and the use of water-jet machinery, the slabs can be cut in almost any shape or configuration. Stone is the ideal choice for spiral and curved staircases.
Much like a backsplash, granite and marble slabs and can be cut to fit the riser of the staircase. The riser is the vertical surface of the step. It is the decorative element since it does not endure as much wear and can be seen upon approach of the staircase. It is a classic choice to use the same stone that is on the tread, but many designers are encouraging their clients to get more creative. It has become a trend to use more color and pattern on the riser to enhance the style of the rest of the space. Some examples of dressing up the riser include using mosaic tile patterns, complimentary stone, and even brightly colored paint; similar to adding jewelry to the design. Stone slab treads and risers enhance any design and bring practicality to the staircase.