Log stairs are perfect for any homeowner that wants something unique in his interior. This type of staircase is practical and has been handcrafted to combine functionality, durability, and strength, not to mention the unique beauty that the woodwork has. As with other types of staircases, a log staircase can be built straight, winding, or spiral. There are even designs that use logs only as stringers while the treads are made of traditional boards. The widths come in two standards, which are thirty-six and forty-two inches, but you can have one customized to fit your particular situation. There are virtually no limits on the dimension.
1. Straight Half Log Stairs
Half-log staircases that are built in the traditional straight construction have an inherent simplicity in them. Nonetheless, with a little creativity and know-how, they can be transformed into works of art that would be the envy of all those that enter your home. Half log treads can be mortised between two similar half log stringers or between timber stringers. Half logs can also be cut into a dimensional square timber with a barky natural leading edge as a tread.
2. Half Log Spiral Stairs for a Change
If you want to break away from the traditional, you can choose to have your half-log stairs in a spiral instead. The design will fit perfectly in areas of the house where a normal straight construction will not fit. However, you need to have strong structural support, like spiral stairs made entirely of logs can be quite a load. Hence, the center post should be cut from an extra-wide diameter log, which would allow it to support the weight of the stairs and of the people that will be standing on it.
Basically, spiral half log stairs have three essential parts: the center post, the log treads, and the handrail, which is also made of logs. Handrails can be customized to fit the interior of your home or to have a more unique look. If you have a log home, it can be constructed like the rest of your log handrails, although the area between posts is less.
3. Using Logs as Stringers
If you want to incorporate the beauty of log stairs with that of conventional stairs, you can just use the logs as stringers while the steps are made of traditional boards. To make the logs more visible, even from the sides, you can build them in a mortise and tenon construction. This is done by cutting space or a hole in the log stringers, which is the mortise, and inserting a part of the board tread into it, which is the tenon. The mortise is made to conform to the tenon, assuring a perfect fit.
4. Design Consideration for Log Stairs
Some basic things need to be considered to make your staircase more secure. The layout of the construction is essential. Half and quarter-turn increase hallway space, while sweeping, curved, or straight designs are imposing. If you want to incorporate turns in your staircase, you have to allow enough room for bulky and heavy items to be carried through them.