Staircase design in India: Exploring the options

staircase Kembhavi Hubli39

Stairs are essential for bridging the gap between 2 floors of a building, which is a vertical distance. No doubt, staircases are extremely functional and essential part of architecture, they also serve as visual enhancements, some of them portraying mind blowing designs and considered as works of art!

Shankhwalker architects featured on Prismma

Shankhwalker architects featured on Prismma

Let us take a peek into the basics of staircase design…..

Staircases may be built on the site or pre-fabricated and assembled and/or fitted on the site. An array of materials is there to choose from, when it comes to designing a staircase. Stone, steel and some other metals, various types of timber, glass, RCC etc are popular choices, when it comes to staircase design.

Anup Naik featured on Prismma

Anup Naik featured on Prismma

Staircase Design

The steps of the stairs have two components – the treads and the risers. The horizontal portion used for stepping and climbing is called the tread and the connecting portion that is vertical in between the steps is called the riser. Ideally the tread should have a minimum width of 200mm and a maximum of 250mm in residential spaces and 300 mm width in commercial spaces. The height of the riser in residential spaces should be between 190 to 200mm and in commercial spaces the height should be between 150 to170mm. An ideal proportion of treads and risers is important in staircase design. This will facilitate easy climbing without imparting any strain to the human body. The riser at an obtuse angle with the tread will enhance the width of the tread. Some designs feature open risers and others have closed risers. In residential spaces the width of the stairs should be 75cm – 125cm (depending on the number of users) and in commercial spaces 1.5 – 2 meters would be the ideal width.



The structure supporting the treads and risers is called stringer. Proper alignment of the steps on the stringer board is essential for achieving correct leveling.

staircase design Rama 59

The slope or gradient of the stairs plays an equally important role in staircase design. 26 to 45 degrees slope/gradient with the floor is recommended; ideally the gradient should be 30 degrees. The ideal head room should be 2.1 to 2.2 meters. Nosing on treads should be 1.25 inches to prevent accidental tripping. Keeping the length, width and height of the steps uniform also prevents accidents due to miscalculation.

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Ideally, after every 15 steps or so it is advised to keep a landing. The maximum height for one flight of stairs should not exceed more than 2.4 meter. Hand rails give adequate support and aid in climbing without difficulty.


Taking into consideration the average height of a human being, hand rails should maintain a minimum height of 800mm and a maximum of 900mm. Supports for hand rails (balustrades) also aids in safety purposes as well as visual enhancement.

staircase design KAZI5

Once the basics are in place executing any staircase design shouldn’t be difficult. Well, now you can start your search for the perfect staircase design for your dream home!!!



2 responses to “Staircase design in India: Exploring the options”

  1. Terrin Thampan says:

    Hi I am looking to make an exterior staircase leading to the terrace for my 2 storey building within the current land and not making much change to the structure.

  2. jayan says:

    interested in design

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