While a staircase is a major feature in any house, its potential for design impact is often overlooked in older properties. With so many clever ideas and stylish solutions now available it’s worth considering an update during a renovation or hallway redecoration.

Replacing stairs is similar to knocking down a structural wall, so consult an architect or specialist company for advice to ensure it meets building regulations.

How much does a staircase cost?

Costs range from £500 for a softwood design without balustrading, to £3,000-£5,000 for a fully installed modular staircase. The most expensive option is a bespoke staircase, with basic styles starting from £5,000, extending to £90,000.

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DIY staircase

If you’re a competent DIY-er, then you could update your staircase using a bespoke kit. Supply your measurements and select the handrail and balustrade you’d like and the company will supply a kit ready for you to install.

 This bespoke brushed stainless steel handrail with toughened glass panels, and all fixtures and fittings, cost £1,011, from Stairfurb

Matching materials

Create a cohesive look throughout your interior by updating the staircase with timber elements to match doors and floors. This staircase features solid oak, while other options are walnut, maple, ash and sapele.

There’s a choice of classic and contemporary rails and spindles, or glazed options including bracketed glass and smaller embedded glass spindles.

staircase in barn

These stairs perfectly complement the oak beams and aluminium roof windows
of this renovated barn. They cost £14,000 from Complete Stair Systems

Floating staircase

Make a dramatic impact with a cantilevered staircase, where the treads look as if they are defying gravity but are actually fully supported by the wall on one side.

This style of staircase can be fitted into an older home during a renovation and needs a structurally sound wall to conceal the support framework; alternatively, a steel wall can be built to anchor the treads. Finishes for the steps include timber, stone, Corian or even glass, for an awe-inspiring minimalist look.

floating staircase

The minimal design really opens up the space, making the room feel larger and allowing light to flow through. Shown with walnut treads and a glazed balustrade, it is also available in oak and cost £20,400, from First Step Designs

Stair refurbishment

If your staircase is looking dated but there are no structural issues, consider refurbishing it. The work can be carried out over a weekend, and you can swap every non-structural element to create a bespoke design.

Choose between carpet and timbers such as oak and walnut for the treads and, for posts and balustrades, select from glass, wood and cast iron.

For the perfect stairs refurbishment and contrast between old and new, combine a contemporary glass balustrade with a grey Bardolino
oak handrail. This design cost £2,400, from Neville Johnson

 Statement details

You can dedicate as much design skill and creativity to your staircase as to any other part of your home. For a contemporary statement, a laser-cut steel balustrade will add wow factor to transform a plain space, whilst letting light pass through.

statement bannister

This cell design can be adapted to your taste, whether you’d prefer a more open or closed pattern, and is also available in white or grey. Here, it’s combined with a simple glass balustrade on a spiral staircase to let the design stand out. It cost about £40,000, EeStairs

Alternatively, give your staircase a contemporary twist by swapping the balustrade for panels featuring fabric. Sandwiching strands of chiffon between sheets of laminated glass, this unique design creates a more fluid effect than a traditional baluster, and lets the light through to brighten the space.

Other fabrics can be used, as well as metal foils for a more glamorous effect, and the panels can be fitted to any staircase.

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Laminated glass panels with fabric inserts, £600 per m², Keir Townsend

Spiral staircase

The flowing arc of a helical staircase makes it a real showstopper as the treads curve upwards, leading the eye. Perfect as the centrepiece of a grand hallway, it will also look beautiful in more compact spaces.

This is a bespoke design with iroko treads, but there are plenty of other options for materials, including stainless steel, glass and stone, to create exactly the finish you want.

4_EeStairs stone helical

Helical flight of stairs with hidden mild steel carcass clad in iroko, with stainless-steel handrail and painted timber board, from £42,000, EeStairs

 Adding a light staircase

If your hallway is narrow with few openings, or your staircase is part of an open-plan living space, dark wood steps and spindles will block the flow of light, making the area feel gloomier than it needs to be.

With glass panels that will let the light shine through, combined with white oak for a bright and contemporary feel, this staircase is perfect to replace a heavy, dated design.

 3_Jeld-Wen_CO_Radiance_set_06Oak and glass Radiance staircase, from £1,800 for a 13-step flight, Jeld-Wen

Staircase storage

Turn your staircase into a stylish and practical feature with a contemporary storage solution underneath. These pull-out designs allow you to use – and access – the full width of the space below the stairs.

As well as purpose-made shoe storage units, there are coat racks and shelving options. The units are made from melamine-faced chipboard, and you can choose from veneered MDF or solid oak doors.black and white staircase with storageThis staircase combines a dark wenge tread with white laminate and a stainless steel bannister, giving a sleek and modern look, costing around £8,000 from James Grace. The pull-out units and shelving make great use of the space, allowing you to both display and hide things away

Traditional style

Invest in an architectural feature with timeless appeal by choosing a stone staircase in a classic design.

This stunning curved creation is made from Combe Brune, a creamy limestone from France, while the balustrading is cast iron with a powder-coated paint finish. Portland limestone and Clipsham stone from the UK, or Anstrude or Burgundy limestone from France could also be used, along with many other stone options.

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Stairs in Combe Brune stone, £27,600, with cast-iron balustrading, £14,400, both per 15-step flight, The Stonemasonry Company

 Bespoke staircase

Go all-new with a design tailor-made to suit its surroundings. A good company can create a contemporary or traditional style, or work with your architect if you’re building, renovating or extending.

This staircase complements a loft look with walnut treads, stainless-steel handrails and posts, and tinted iron-free glass spindles. Oak, Dust Oak, Lava Oak, Walnut and Wenge finishes are also on offer, as well as clear glass balustrades.

11_James Grace_Contemporary glass and steel - BarrWalnut stairs with glass and steel balustrading, price on application, James Grace

 Period staircase

Modern stair parts can look out of place in a traditional home. For a more sympathetic update, lose uniform chunky spindles and try characterful black metal designs that will work perfectly with cast-iron door and window furniture. Slimmer spindles are a great solution for a compact home, too, as they will help to create a light and spacious effect.

period staircase black spindles

A carpeted staircase adds warmth to a space with otherwise wooden flooring. This cosy, period staircase costs from £3,700, Jeld Wen

 Tactile finish

Combine classic and contemporary elements to create a feature that is sympathetic to the architecture of an older property, yet works with a more modern interior scheme. This design uses Portuguese limestone with chrome balustrading and has a handrail with a leather wrap that can be removed to change the look.

Alternatively, a glass baluster with a timber handrail could be chosen for an ultra-modern effect. There is a wide range of limestones on offer for the stairs, as well as many different balustrade and handrail options.