Skip to main content
Bespoke Staircases


Cantilever Staircases – creating the dramatic effect of floating stairs

It is little wonder that floating stairs have become popular with architects and interior designers as they can make such a powerful design statement. Spiral UK are able to create bespoke cantilevered staircases that give an outstanding visual impact.

What are cantilever staircases?

With a cantilever staircase design, the treads are mounted on a metal structure built into the wall and hidden from view with the rise between the treads open. The stairs appear to be ‘floating’ as a result, with no visible means of support. This is why the term ‘floating stairs’ has become a popular name for this type of staircase which we call a cantilever or cantilevered staircase design.

Straight staircase
Straight staircase

Points to consider

Due to the need to embed the supporting structure in the wall, cantilever staircases are more cost effective when used in new build properties or major refurbishments. We always recommend that you consider the structural implications of a particular type of staircase design early in the build process to ensure the wall can support and connect with the staircase.

Spiral UK can advise on the loadings that a cantilever staircase design generates so you can design the supporting structure to suit, but we do recommend speaking to a structural engineer to ensure the design and build works effectively.

We can design cantilever staircases in a range of beautiful materials

So what are the popular materials for floating stairs? The supporting structure for floating stairs is usually made from mild steel, but the materials for the stairs themselves offers you many possibilities. The treads can be produced using boxed or solid timber, steel, natural stone, concrete or toughened glass. These can be shaped or finished in a range of elegant styles.

Handrails for floating stairs can be designed in steel, wood, glass or clad in leather. People often choose a combination of glass and steel for the balustrade, so that the floating stairs effect is clearly visible and creates an impressive showpiece for the home. It is always worth discussing the options with us, so we can ensure the approach is appropriate for your needs.

We create bespoke floating stairs with a real wow factor that combine all the best elements of contemporary staircase design.

What staircase design styles can cantilever stairs be made in?

Cantilevered staircases can be designed in many styles including spiral, straight, dog legged and helical or curved floating stair designs.

Are floating stairs the same as an open-tread staircase? And are floating stairs the same as hanging stairs?

With floating stairs there is a clear gap between the risers. So all floating stairs can also be described as open-tread staircases. (It is also possible to build conventional staircases that have open treads.) Because floating stairs appear to have no support on one side, they are sometimes also referred to as hanging stairs – a term that appears to be more common in the USA.

How expensive are cantilever staircases or floating stairs compared to other options?

That depends on the style, dimensions and materials that you choose. You can download our price guide to get an initial idea of costs and get in touch with us to ask any specific questions on pricing for your project. As all Spiral UK's cantilevered staircases are made bespoke to your requirements we assess the cost on a case by case basis and tailor the quotation to your needs.

Do you guarantee the quality of your floating stairs?

Yes. All our floating stairs are built to comply with the relevant quality standards, including ISO, EN1090 and Achilles standards. You can see more details on our Accreditations page.

Can you work with my architect or contractor?

We supply floating stairs UK-wide and we are very experienced at working alongside architects and contractors to achieve a great result. We will discuss your project with them and can supply detailed plans and 3D visuals, as well as free samples of materials for approval or colour matching.

How long does it take to construct cantilever staircases or floating stairs?

For bespoke floating stairs, once you have approved the design, construction typically takes between 6 and 12 weeks, depending on the complexity of the design

How thick are floating stairs? And are cantilever staircases safe for children?

There is a regulation that the gap between the risers or the space between the balustrade cannot be greater than 100mm. This is another stair safety feature. For example, it ensures that small children cannot get ‘stuck’ in any of the gaps.

What locations can floating stairs be used in?

Floating stairs are usually sited inside the home but they can sometimes be used externally, provided they are made from weatherproof materials such as concrete.

Are floating stairs safe?

Yes. There is no reason to be concerned about floating stair safety when you use Spiral UK. We work to the latest building regulations that ensure stair safety.

Are your stairs manufactured off site and installed, or built in situ?

We can use either approach, depending on your requirements – either prefabricated and ready to install onsite, or constructed at your location.


Unsure about staircase terminology? Take a look at our handy glossary of terms.


Materials & finishes

We love the challenge of finding the right staircase materials to suit your home's interior design and we are happy to supply free samples.

Materials & Finishes
Curved luxury staircase

Technical information

Download our British Standard specification sheets for the different categories of spiral and helical stairs. These technical drawings help ensure compliance with BS5395 Part II 1984.

Technical Information

Get in touch

We love to talk through staircase design ideas and our approach to projects. Get in contact for a no-obligation discussion.

Get in touch

Download a residential brochure

Let us help you find the right staircase design for your home. Find out about Spiral UK and the different staircases we produce.

Download your brochure

Email updates

Sign up to receive email updates on our latest staircases, news, activities and services. If you'd like to see how we manage your personal information take a look at our privacy policy.