Why Do Spiral Staircases Go Up to the Right?

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Spiral staircases are a cool architectural feature in a lot of houses. They save space, and they look cool. But have you ever wondered why most spiral staircases go up to the right? Let’s talk about the historical, practical, and cultural reasons why.

About 75% of spiral staircases go up to the left (right hand on the handrail as you go up), maybe because most people are right-handed and it would be more natural for them.

What’s the Rule for Spiral Staircases?

For normal use, an industrial spiral staircase needs to have steps that are at least 11 inches wide from the center of the tread to the outside and must be 6 inches deep in the middle. These dimensions make it safe and comfortable to use the staircase, whether you’re using it in a house or an industrial setting.

What’s the Downside of a Spiral Staircase?

While spiral staircases are cool because they save space, that’s also a problem. The angle of the steps is steeper, which makes it harder for some people, especially older people, to use them. Also, if you ever have to move big stuff like furniture up and down a spiral staircase, it’s a pain because the steps are narrow and curved.

What is a Reverse Spiral Staircase?

In our right-handed world, most spiral staircases go up to the right as you go up. That’s because most people are right-handed, and it’s easier to hold onto the handrail. A reverse spiral staircase goes up to the left, which is not as common and usually custom-made for specific needs or preferences.


Spiral staircases go up to the right mostly because of history and practicality, and because most people are right-handed. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but it gives you some insight into architecture and people.

If you want to put a spiral staircase in your house, now you know. You can reach out to us at GRT STAIR for more information on custom, high-quality spiral staircases that fit your needs. Email Glenn at glenn@grtstair.com or visit our website at www.grtstair.com.


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