Open vs. closed staircases: Which one suits your home best?

When it’s time to renovate or install a staircase, the choices go beyond just materials, colors, and finishes. One of the primary decisions homeowners face is whether to opt for an open or closed staircase. Both styles come with their unique set of advantages and drawbacks.

Josh Hemsley

Open Staircases: A Breath of Fresh Air

An open staircase is defined by the absence of risers, allowing you to see through its steps. This design imparts a sense of lightness and spaciousness, making the staircase appear as if it’s seamlessly blending into the room.

1. Aesthetic Appeal: Open staircases offer a minimalist, modern look, enhancing the openness of a space.
2. Enhanced Light Flow: Without risers blocking the way, light can freely pass through, brightening up both the staircase and the surrounding area.

1. Acoustic Challenges: Open staircases might not be the best in terms of sound insulation.
2. Heat Distribution: The open design can lead to quicker heat dispersion to upper floors.
3. Carpeting Issues: Installing a carpet can be a tad more challenging on an open staircase.

Closed Staircases: The Traditional Choice

Closed staircases come with risers, making them more solid and prominent in a space. They tend to have a more traditional appearance and can act as a distinct feature in a home.

1. Storage Solutions: The space beneath a closed staircase can be utilized for storage, or even transformed into a small restroom or cloakroom.
2. Acoustic and Thermal Insulation: Closed staircases offer better sound insulation and retain heat more effectively.
3. Safety: Especially if you have young children, closed staircases can be a safer option due to the absence of gaps.

1. Space Consumption: They can be bulkier and might take up more space in a room.
2. Light Blockage: The solid structure can hinder the flow of natural light.
3. Maintenance: Cleaning might be a bit more tedious, especially the risers.

Conclusion: Making the Right Choice

The decision between an open and closed staircase largely depends on your home’s layout, your aesthetic preferences, and functional needs. If you’re aiming for a contemporary, airy feel, an open staircase might be the way to go. However, if you prioritize storage, insulation, and a classic look, a closed staircase could be a better fit.

Remember, staircases are not just functional elements in a home; they can be statement pieces that reflect your style and personality. Whatever you choose, ensure it aligns with the overall ambiance and design of your home.