What Type of Staircase is Best for Small Spaces?

Designing staircases for small spaces presents a unique challenge for homeowners and architects alike. These spaces often come with limitations that can make traditional staircase design impractical or even impossible. Safety regulations and building codes add another layer of complexity, ensuring that any staircase solution must meet certain standards. However, with innovation and creativity, space-saving staircases have emerged as a viable solution for those looking to optimise small spaces effectively.

In this article, we’ll dive into the challenge of designing staircases for small spaces, explore common space-saving staircase designs, and discuss the benefits of customisation in small-space staircase design.

The Challenge of Designing Staircases for Small Spaces

Small spaces, whether in tiny homes, compact apartments, or cosy cottages, demand innovative staircase design solutions. The challenge stems from various factors:

  • Limitations of Small Spaces: Small spaces often lack the square footage needed for traditional straight staircases or grand, sweeping designs. This limitation forces designers to think creatively and maximise every inch of available space.
  • Safety Regulations and Building Codes: Safety remains paramount when designing any staircase, and small-space staircases are no exception. Meeting safety regulations and building codes can be especially challenging in tight quarters.
  • Introducing Space-Saving Staircases: To address these challenges, designers have introduced the concept of space-saving staircases. These innovative designs are tailored to maximise both functionality and aesthetics within the confines of limited space.

7 Common Space-Saving Staircase Designs for Small Spaces

Let’s explore seven common space-saving staircase designs that cater to the needs and preferences of those living in small spaces:

1. Spiral Staircases: Spiral staircases are a classic choice for small spaces. Their compact, helical design allows for efficient use of space while providing a stylish and unique focal point.

2. Alternating Tread Staircases: These staircases feature alternating treads that reduce the overall depth of the staircase, making them an ideal choice for narrow spaces.

3. Floating Staircases: Floating staircases create a sense of openness in small spaces by eliminating the need for visible supporting structures. They appear to “float” in mid-air, adding a modern and airy touch.

4. Ladder-Style Staircases: Ladder-style staircases are incredibly compact and space-saving. They resemble ladders with alternating steps and are suitable for accessing lofts or mezzanines.

5. Compact Straight Staircases: These straightforward staircases are designed to fit seamlessly into tight spaces, offering a functional solution without sacrificing style.

6. Custom Modular Stairs: Modular stairs are highly customisable, allowing homeowners to create a staircase that perfectly fits their small space. They come in various materials and designs to suit individual preferences.

7. Retractable and Foldable Stairs: Retractable and foldable stairs are versatile and can be tucked away when not in use, freeing up valuable floor space in small living areas.

7 Benefits of Customisation in Small Space Staircase Design

Customising your small space staircase offers a plethora of benefits, each contributing to an enhanced living experience tailored to your specific needs and preferences. Here’s a closer look at these advantages:

  • Tailoring to Specific Spatial Constraints: In small spaces, every inch matters. Customisation allows you to design a staircase that precisely fits the available area, optimising space utilisation and ensuring a seamless fit.
  • Personalised Aesthetics: Your staircase can be a design focal point. Customisation empowers you to choose materials, finishes, and design elements that align with your personal style and complement the overall decor of your small space.
  • Material and Finish Options: Whether you prefer the sleek, modern look of metal or the warm, inviting appeal of wooden staircases, customisation offers a vast array of material and finish choices. This ensures your staircase harmonises with your design preferences.
  • Integrating Storage Solutions: Small spaces often lack adequate storage. Customised staircases can be designed to incorporate hidden storage compartments, effectively addressing your storage needs and maximising the functionality of your staircase.
  • Enhancing the Overall Interior Design: A custom staircase has the potential to be an artistic centrepiece within your interior design scheme. It adds visual interest, uniqueness, and a touch of luxury to your small space.
  • Accommodating Unique Needs and Preferences: If you have specific requirements, such as accommodating mobility challenges or integrating additional safety features, customisation allows you to tailor the staircase to address these unique needs effectively.
  • Maximising Comfort and Usability: Beyond aesthetics, customisation ensures that your staircase provides optimal comfort and usability. It’s not just about fitting into the space; it’s about enhancing your overall living experience.

Incorporating these customisation benefits into your small space staircase design can transform it from a functional necessity into a seamlessly integrated and aesthetically pleasing element of your home. Whether you live in a small house, apartment, or any space with limited room, customising your staircase ensures that it not only serves its practical purpose but also elevates your living experience to new heights.


In summary, crafting the ideal staircase for small spaces is a multifaceted task that requires creativity, adherence to safety standards, and a touch of customisation. Space-saving staircase designs like spiral staircases, alternating tread staircases, and floating staircases offer practical solutions to maximise your limited space without compromising on style. 

For expert guidance on small space staircase design and a plethora of customisation options, look no further than DAB Stairs. With over 40 years of experience, this family-run company is based in Hertfordshire and proudly serves London, Hertfordshire, Essex, and the South East. Their dedication to crafting exquisite wooden and timber staircases is reflected in their testimonials, showcased on their website.

To embark on the journey of designing a space-saving staircase that perfectly fits your small space, reach out to DAB Stairs today. Create a staircase that not only reflects your unique style but also maximises your limited space, enhancing your living experience in ways you’ve never imagined. Contact DAB Stairs at 0203 991 1071 or via email at info@dabstairs.com to start your staircase transformation. Your small space deserves a staircase that combines functionality, style, and innovation – let DAB Stairs bring this vision to life for you.