The L shaped stair is a variation of the straight stair with a bend in some portion of the stair. This bend is usually achieved by adding a landing at the bend transition point. The bend is often 90 degrees, however it does not have to be. If the landing is closer to the top or bottom of the stairs it is sometimes referred to as a long L stair.
Advantages of L shaped Stairs:
- L Stairs can be more visually interesting.
- They provide a visual barrier between floors so they can add some privacy.
- Also L Stairs can help somewhat with sound transmission between floors if the stairs are contained within walls.
- Some believe they are safer than straight stairs as the central landing reduces the number of treads one could fall in a given flight.
- The landing can provide a place to stop and rest while ascending.
- They can be located in a corner of a room if this works better for your design.
Disadvantages of L shaped Stairs:
- L shaped stairs are a bit more difficult to build.
- A support is typically required for the landing in a L type stair. Often this is built into the surrounding walls so it goes unnoticed. In modern dwellings however it is usually desirable to open up the space leaving the stair structure visible. In these cases the supporting structure can be visually minimized by taking advantage of the strength of steel to create slim supporting members. Through careful engineering,it is possible to eliminate the landing support all together.
- Handrails for these types of stairs require more skill and planning to construct.
- In climates where basements are used, stairs are typically stacked over each other for efficient use of space. Since basements are often used for storage, large items can be difficult to move in and out of the basement.