Steep Basement Stairs Solutions: How to Make Them Safer and More Functional
If your home has steep basement stairs, you’re probably all too familiar with the dread of going down them. Whether you live in an older home with narrow and winding steps, or a newer home with steep and straight steps, there’s no denying that they can be dangerous. Falls down steep basement stairs are one of the most common types of accidents in the home, and they can cause serious injuries.
Fortunately, you can do a few things to make your steep basement stairs safer and reduce the risk of injury. In this guide, we will discuss several ways to make your steep basement stairs safer and more functional. We’ll also provide tips on how to choose the right solution for your needs. So if you’re looking for a solution to your steep basement stairs problem, read on.
What Does Steep Mean in Stairs?
The term “steep” is relative. For some people, a stair with a rise of six inches (15 cm) may be considered steep. Others might not consider a stair steep unless the rise is eight inches (20 cm) or more.
A stair is considered to have a large riser if the difference between the tallest and shortest riser is more than three-quarters of an inch (two cm). A stair is considered to have a large run if the difference between the longest and shortest run is more than three-quarters of an inch (two cm).
Most building codes require that the risers in a stairway be no taller than eight inches (20 cm), and the runs no shorter than ten inches (25 cm). This is to prevent people from tripping on the stairs.
What are the Risks of Having Steep Basement Stairs?
There are a few reasons why steep basement stairs can be dangerous. Here are some of the most common dangers associated with steep basement stairs:
Tripping and falling
This is probably the most common danger associated with steep basement stairs. If anything is blocking the stairway, or if the stairs are not even, it can be easy to trip and fall. This can lead to serious injuries, especially if you hit your head on the way down.
If there is a fire in your home, the last thing you want is to be stuck in the basement. If your stairs are too steep, it can be difficult to get up, especially if you are carrying anything. This could mean that you can get trapped in the basement during a fire, and be unable to escape.
Steep stairs can also lead to injuries, especially if you fall down them. If you hit your head or land awkwardly, you could end up with a serious injury. This is why it is so important to be careful when going up and down these types of stairs.
How to Make Steep Basement Stairs Safer and More Functional?
Having steep staircases in the basement can be a safety hazard, especially for young children and seniors. Here are some tips on how to make your steep basement stairs safer, and more functional:
Handrails can help provide stability when going up or down the stairs. Make sure they are securely fastened to the wall so they don’t come loose over time. If the interior stairs are concrete, you can use anchors to bolt the handrails in place.
Install a stair runner
A stair runner is a strip of carpeting that covers the whole staircase. This can help prevent slips and falls, especially if the stairs are made of smooth materials like wood or tile.
Replace old or damaged stairs
If your stairs are old or in disrepair, it may be time to replace them. This is especially true if they are made of dangerous materials like wood that could break easily. Newer stair materials like concrete and metal are much more durable, and less likely to break.
Add non-slip treads
Non-slip treads can be added to the stairs themselves to provide more traction. This is a good option if you don’t want to install a stair runner. You can find non-slip treads at most hardware stores. Stair tread comes in a variety of materials, so you can choose one that matches your décor.
Put up a gate
If you have young children, it might be a good idea to put up a gate at the top or bottom of the stairs. This will help prevent them from accidentally falling down the stairs.
Make sure the stairs are well-lit so you can see where you’re going. This is especially important if the basement is not often used. You can install a light switch at the top and bottom of the stairs, or you could also consider motion-sensor lights.
A steep staircase can be a hazard, but there are ways to make them safer. By installing handrails, adding non-slip treads, and putting up a gate, you can help keep your family safe. These solutions will also make the stairs more functional and easier to use.
Step By Step On How to Fix Your Steep Basement Stairs
If your basement stairs are too steep, don’t worry, as there are ways to fix them. Fixing stairs can be a big project, but it’s one that is definitely worth taking on. Not only will it make your basement safer, it will also add value to your home. Here are the steps you need to take to fix your steep basement stairs:
What you need:
Now that you have your materials, follow these steps:
Measure the rise and run of your stairs
To fix steep stairs, you first need to measure the rise and run of your stairs. The rise is the height of each step, while the run is the depth of each step. You can use a tape measure or a level to do this.
Fixing steep stairs requires a bit of math, so make sure you measure accurately. Ensure that the floor joists in your basement are level before you start measuring. This will also be helpful if you have a floor plan for your home.
Cut the stringers
After you have measured the rise and run of your stairs, you need to cut the stringers. Stringers are the supports that run along the sides of the stairs. They are usually made out of wood. You will need two stringers for each stair.
Use a saw to cut the stringers to the correct size. If you are not sure how to do this, you can ask someone at a hardware store for help.
Attach the stringers to the joists
Now that you have cut your stringers, it’s time to attach them to the joists. You can do this with nails or screws. If you’re using screws, make sure they are long enough to go through the stringer and into the floor joist.
Use a hammer or a drill to attach the stringers to the joists. This will make your stairs more stable.
Cut the treads
The treads are the parts of the stair that you step on. They are usually made out of wood. You will need to cut them to the correct size before you can attach them to the stringers.
Use a saw to cut the treads to the correct size, and ake sure they are exactly the same length.
Attach the treads to the stringers
Now that you have cut your treads, it’s time to attach them to the stringers. You can do this with nails or screws. If you’re using screws, make sure they are long enough to go through the tread and into the stringer. You will need two screws for each tread. To do this, drill pilot holes first. By attaching the treads with screws, your stairs will be more stable.
Use a drill or a screwdriver to attach the treads to the stringers. Be careful not to over-tighten the screws, or they might strip.
Sand and finish your stairs
After you have attached the treads, you need to sand and finish your stairs. This will make them look nicer, as well as feel smoother. You can use sandpaper or a power sander to do this. If you want, you can paint or stain your stairs. This is entirely up to you.
That’s it. Now you know how to fix stairs that are too steep. These steps might seem daunting, but they are actually quite easy. Just take your time, and measure twice before you cut anything. Having old stairs can be dangerous, but following these steps will make them much safer.
Different Types of Basement Stairs
There are many different types of basement stairs. Here are some of the most common:
Straight stairs are the most common type of stairs. They are also the easiest to build, and the most economical. Straight stairs usually have a landing halfway up, which provides a place to rest before continuing to the top.
Spiral staircases are a type of stair design that is used when space is limited. It can be installed in a corner, against a wall, or even in the middle of a room. This type of staircase takes up less floor space than a traditional straight staircase, and can be more easily installed in tighter spaces.
The slightly more complex cousin of the spiral staircase, winder stairs are used when space is even more limited. Winder stairs have a series of small landings that allow the stair to turn corners while still going up. This staircase can be difficult to navigate, so it is not recommended for homes with young children or seniors.
Bifurcated stairs are two separate staircases that meet at a landing. It is often used in large homes, or public buildings where there is a lot of foot traffic. Bifurcated stairs can also be used to separate different home areas, such as the living and sleeping areas.
These are just a few of the different types of basement stairs. When deciding which type of staircase is right for your home, it is important to consider the amount of space you have, the number of people who will be using the stairs, and your budget. With so many options available, there is sure to be a type of staircase that will meet your needs.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Slippery stairs are dangerous, and a common cause of falls. You can make your staircase less slippery by increasing the traction on the treads, by adding non-slip strips,r tape, or applying a non-slip coating to the stairs.
There is no definitive answer when it comes to the height of stair headroom, as different people have different preferences. However, most experts recommend a minimum of six feet of headroom for stairs. This will ensure that there is enough space for people to comfortably use the stairs without feeling cramped.