Closed string staircase is one of the most common structures along with the saddled stairs. It is practical, aesthetically attractive and simple to manufacture. It is easy to make with your own hands, and a price of such model is low. Such staircases can be found both in the houses and in the production, shopping malls, as well as outdoors (as a part of entrance group) as an emergency ladder and in many other applications.
What is “string”?
String is an inclined beam with special grooves for the installation of other elements of the stairs (primarily steps). As the steps are inserted into the grooves, their ends will not be seen from the outside.
The width of stairs will depend on the width of the step and that of the width of bowstring, to which the railings are fastened. Most often, the balusters are installed on the top of the string, but sometimes the width of the base is greater than the string. In this case, balusters can be fastened outside the string so as not to reduce the width of the staircase (like in case when you fasten the railings directly to the steps).
Any structure can perform its function only when assembled in compliance with all the established regulations and guidelines. However, it is not always possible to achieve if you build the stairs with your own hands.
Closed string stairs are almost never equipped with internal illumination, as the riser looks much richer and more interesting. Thus, you can choose between the riser and the illumination.
Elements of staircase
Any staircase has the basic elements: base, handrails and steps. By the type of basis, the stairs can be divided into the following types: saddled stairs, closed string stairs and bolt stairs:
- Stringers – the beams, situated right under the steps.
- Bowstrings – the beams that tighten the steps from the ends.
- Bolts — the bearing elements, connecting the steps without support to the bearing beams.
As bolt ladders don’t have a massive supporting framework, their structure looks more airy, light and elegant. Despite the seeming lightness, bolts can withstand heavy loads. Bolt structures can take any shape. This feature is especially popular among the interior designers. However, the most common types of stairs are saddled and closed string stairs.
Materials used as a base of closed string stairs
The base can be made of different materials: wood, reinforced concrete or metal. The total price of the product will depend primarily on this material. Designers always experiment with the materials and their combinations. A wide variety of combinations of the wooden elements on reinforced concrete, glass or rattan inserts, ceramics or cork sheet, lacy forged iron not only make the structure look exclusive, but also have an artistic value. The pictures of such stairs are impressive. Only the simple structures can be made by hand.
Wood remains the most popular material for the manufacture of the stairs. All the elements of wooden structure must be coated with a layer of protective material: mordant, varnish, paint or oil. Wooden stairs are usually built outside the premises (where they will be installed), and the final assembly is made after the end of all finishing works.
String for the reinforced concrete staircases looks massive and monumental. Finishing with the natural stone (granite, marble, etc.) makes this structure look solid and luxury. As polished stone has a slippery surface, a special strip of other material must be attached to the edge of the steps.
The most common material for the manufacture of metal base is cast iron or stainless steel. Depending on the design goals, the framework can be closed or open. Closed type is often additionally faced with stone, forged iron patterns, wooden or glass inserts, etc. Railings are handrails are often made of metal in combination with decorative inserts. It is impossible to build the metal staircase (or reinforced concrete) stairs with your own hands.
What do you think? How strong are the string ladders? Leave your opinion in the comments!