A guide to steel staircase fabrication

It might not seem like it, but steel staircases are an extremely important feature of many building projects. This is because it often needs to combine aesthetics, function, and most importantly safety depending on the specific requirements. Whether you need an eye-catching indoor staircase or a staircase that prioritises function, the team at FEM can help. With that in mind we’ve put together this guide detailing the key parts of steel staircase fabrication.


What’s the benefit of steel staircases?

Steel fabricated staircases have become very popular with steel being the go-to metal for this type of project. Not only is it incredibly strong, durable, and long-lasting, but it is also very cost-effective, versatile, and practical, which is great for modern staircase fabrication. Other useful benefits of steel staircases include:

  • It can be flexibly designed to meet any specification and requirements.
  • It is around 5 times stronger than other materials like timber or concrete.
  • Installing fabricated staircases can be done quickly and easily.
  • It has a clean and modern look that keeps in line with many architectural and structural projects.

Common types of steel fabricated staircases

External staircases

An external steel staircase such as a fire escape or hoop ladder often requires additional features like a handrail and treads. This is to ensure the safety of everyone going up and down the stairs, especially if there is a fire and a lot of people will be using the stairs at the same time. These types of staircases have strict health and safety guidelines and regulations they need to adhere to, which is why high-quality fabrication is so important. Also, given their outdoor location, corrosion-resistant finishes like powder coatings, galvanised zinc, or protective paints are essential for maintaining their high level of performance and aesthetics.

Indoor commercial staircases

Intended for heavy use in retail, warehouses, and factories etc, functionality is a key priority with these types of staircases. They can be fairly complicated to fabricate because of the number of parts that need to come together for the final assembly. We’ve already mentioned handrails and treads, but those are just two examples.

There could also be balustrades, newel posts, stringers, winders, a bullnose, and trim. It demands a high level of precision during the engineering process to ensure the staircase will fit perfectly into place during installation and meet the load-bearing requirements for its intended use.

Steel staircase regulations

The most obvious hazard a staircases demonstrates is the risk of falling from a significant height. So, as you’d expect, the relevant regulations go through the technical elements of staircase fabrication in a lot of detail. This is in accordance with Building Regulations Part K, Part M, BS 6399-1, and BS 5950-1. Section K1 offers guidance on the geometry of stairs, fixed ladders, special stairs, and handrails for guarding stairs.

Section K3 covers guidance on protection from falling. It states, “you can meet requirement K3 by ensuring that the steepness, rise and going, handrails, headroom, length and width of any stairs… are appropriate to afford reasonable safety to people gaining access to, and moving about, buildings”.

The UK follows two EU regulations BS 5950-1 and BS 6399-1 to ensure safety when building with structural and architectural steelwork. BS 5950-1 outlines how to design, roll, and weld steel parts to be used in the staircase construction. While BS 6399-1 provides instructions on loading for buildings and guidelines for dead and imposed loads. Steel staircases are considered part of architectural fabrications, yet they should still abide by the safety standards set by structural steel regulations.

Why choose FEM for your steel staircase fabrication?

Our team have extensive experience in creating bespoke steel staircases to suit various industries and requirements including:

  • Retail
  • Industrial
  • Commercial
  • Fire escapes

We fabricate staircases that are built to last with a hot-dipped galvanised finish that will be weather-resistant for more than 20 years. No matter how simple or complex your staircase requirements, whether they’re spiral or straight staircases.

We strive to create the highest standard of metal staircases that fit with our clients’ budget and timescale. Whilst also adhering to the building regulations discussed above. We can supply them as flat pack items or fully built and installed, whatever works easier for you and the needs of your business.

If aesthetics is important to you, don’t worry we can use a polyester powder coated finish that comes in a wide range of RAL colours and offers a smooth modern finish. Contact us today to discuss your steel staircase requirements and see how our designed and fabricated products can benefit you.