The Comprehensive Guide to Metal Staircases: Maximising Durability and Style

When it comes to designing spaces, aesthetics are important but they should never overshadow functionality and durability.

A metal staircase, unlike its concrete or wooden counterparts, offers a perfect blend of style and practicality.

At Tony Perry Limited, we build custom staircases which enable customers to choose from a wide variety of options, including integrating with additional materials and features like ornate handrails. But if you’ve never planned a staircase into your project before, it can be difficult to know where to start and what the important considerations are.

From the individual components like steps and handrails to landings, balusters, and treads, we delve into the details of installing a customised metal staircase to help you choose the right design to maximise both durability and style in your client’s space.

Why opt for a Metal Staircase?

Metal staircases, crafted from sturdy materials such as mild steel, stainless steel, aluminium, or wrought iron, exude strength and durability. Unlike wooden stairs, they are resistant to common issues like rot and decay, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Their robustness ensures they can handle heavy traffic with minimal maintenance, making them a wise long-term investment for business owners and contractors alike.

Metal offers unparalleled design versatility. From the graceful spiral staircase with winding steps to the modern straight design or a switchback staircase with intricate railing designs achieved through plating, stamping, or cutting, there’s a style to suit every taste. Customisation options include finishes like powder coating, galvanising, or anodising, allowing integration the existing décor of the space.

Steel staircases, for example, are extremely durable, making them a popular choice both indoors and outdoors. They are resistant to scratches, marks, and the elements, making them easy to maintain and safe for your customers to use for many years to come. For outdoor use, steel staircases are ideal for braving the harsh UK winters. They remain strong and safe even when exposed to cold and rain, giving your customer peace of mind knowing that they are making a smart and safe investment.

Over the years, moisture and environmental factors have waged an unyielding battle of rust and corrosion against the intricate ironwork and metal components of staircases in heritage or period properties. At Tony Perry, we are experts at creating heritage-style metalwork to retain the authentic look of a period property and avoid premature corrosion with weatherproof finishes. With galvanised steel, for example, your metalwork can endure almost anything and remain a striking feature for years to come. Every curve, every scroll, and every baluster tells a story, and our metalwork on properties within conservation areas seeks to preserve that narrative for many years to come.

Exploring Design Possibilities:

Choosing the right metal staircase design involves many considerations, including the overall aesthetic of your space, functionality, and personal preferences. Is the room narrow? Then a straight, quarter landing or spiral staircase might be the answer. Is there an abundance of space? A switchback or dog-leg staircase design could serve as a feature of the area. And should you go for straight or curved treads? That will depend on what suits the overall décor of the environment.

Industrial-style staircases have gained popularity, especially in converted warehouses and loft spaces. These staircases feature a minimalist aesthetic, with an ‘unfinished’ look on exposed metal frameworks and open risers.

In more modern heritage staircases, steel has become a prominent material due to its strength and structural capabilities. It allows for sleek, minimalist designs while maintaining the durability expected of heritage metalwork.

In prestigious corporate settings such as luxury hotels, upscale boutiques, or high-end office spaces, an ornate grand staircase can be a showstopper. At Tony Perry, we excel in creating bespoke statement staircases that leave a lasting impression. These designs can feature sweeping curves, ornate metal balustrades, and luxurious materials, offering a sense of opulence.

Factors like room size, available space, straight or curved steps, and baluster styles play a vital role. Matching the finish of the staircase to your interior can significantly impact the overall look and feel. We can work closely with you or your architect to find the right solution.

Safety First:

In the UK, staircase safety regulations are outlined in Building Regulations. These rules ensure stairs are designed and constructed safely. Key aspects include handrails, rise and tread dimensions, headroom, landings, balustrading, guarding, access, and usage. Regulations differ between private and non-private stairs, and specific guidelines apply to alternate or space-saving staircases and spiral or helical stairs. Local authorities may also have additional guidelines.

The following are some of the key aspects of staircase safety regulations, Part K: Protection from falling, collision and impact. These rules are designed to ensure stairs are safely designed and constructed:

General rules for stairs:

  • A staircase should have handrails on both sides if it is wider than 1m.
  • For stairs less than 1m wide, you should have a handrail on at least one side.
  • A stair with a total rise of more than 600mm should have a handrail.

Rise and going (tread) dimensions:

  • The ‘rise’ is the vertical distance between the treads. The rise should be uniform and between 150mm and 220mm.
  • The ‘going’ (or tread) is the depth of the step. It should be uniform and between 220mm and 300mm.
  • Maximum pitch: The maximum pitch for a private stair is 42°.


Generally, you should have at least 2m of clear headroom throughout the length of the stair, measured vertically from the pitch line.


  • Every staircase should have a landing area at the top and bottom.
  • The width and length of the landing should be at least as long as the smallest width of the flight.
  • No single step should occur at the start or end of a flight.


Any gaps in balustrading (such as between spindles or panes of glass) should not allow a 100mm sphere to pass through, except for the triangle formed between the tread, riser, and bottom rail, which should not allow a 125mm sphere to pass through. This is to prevent pets or small children from getting through it and potentially falling.


Flights and landings should be guarded if there’s a drop greater than 600mm. The height of guarding should be at least 900mm on landings and 900mm on the flight of stairs.

Access and usage:

Stairs should provide suitable means of access, considering the people who will be using them.

The regulations make a distinction between private and non-private stairs. Private stairs are those that serve one dwelling, while non-private stairs serve more than one dwelling or are a common stairway in a block of flats.

Materials and construction:

The materials used should be appropriate for the purpose, and the staircase should be robust enough to withstand the loads they are likely to face.

Alternate or space-saving staircases:

These can only be used in certain conditions and have their own specific set of guidelines. They’re typically for lofts and can only be installed in areas where there isn’t enough space for a full traditional staircase.

Spiral or helical stairs:

These also have their own specific set of guidelines. They can be used as the main staircase in a home but often have specific conditions under which they can be utilised.

Safety is paramount when designing and installing a staircase. Steel stairways can withstand great stress and last a lifetime, but when designed incorrectly, their strength and durability can be compromised.

At Tony Perry Limited, we put safety first safety in all our metal staircase fabrications and use CAD design to calculate measurements, load-bearing properties and installation logistics with precision. We ensure compliance with safety and structural regulations and incorporate essential safety elements like handrails and balustrades. Each staircase is unique, and we tailor our approach to meet safety guidelines while satisfying our clients’ needs.

Installation and Maintenance:

You can depend on our exceptional customer service when your trust your staircase project to Tony Perry. Our experienced metal fabricators pay meticulous attention to detail, ensuring all project requirements and construction standards are met. From concept to completion, we collaborate with architects, builders, and engineers to provide a hassle-free experience for our customers.

Whether it’s a simple or intricate design, a metal staircase can become a focal point, seamlessly blending practicality with eye-catching style. Metal staircases offer excellent value for money in the long term. Tony Perry can guide you through every stage as a trusted partner for residential, commercial, and industrial metal staircase needs.

The Tony Perry Difference:

With a proven track record in manufacturing stairways and balustrade fabrications for diverse projects, we make it simple to get the results you’re looking for.  From scoping and planning to manufacturing, and installation, our team have it covered.

We have a simple three-step process:

1. Discuss your project

Share your project requirements with your own drawings and ideas and we’ll show you how we can bring your staircase designs to life. Utilising our experience and expertise we’ll scope your project, advise on the best solution for your needs, and provide an accurate best-value quote from the outset.

2. Precision Production and Manufacture

After a site survey and careful planning, we’ll produce bespoke metalwork to your exact needs. Our experienced in-house team will assemble your metal staircase components to the highest standard.

3.  Satisfaction guaranteed

You can collect your items from our workshop building near Stansted Airport in Essex or we can deliver to you across London, East Anglia, and the South East using our fleet of vehicles. Your bespoke metalwork order will be delivered on time, and we’ll even fit it for you too, if required, to ensure integration into your project is carried out to the highest quality standard.

If you’re looking for a metalwork partner you can depend on, call our team today.

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