Inspirations Menu

If you’ve gone through all the trouble of deciding upon a manufacturer, choosing a style and material, and preparing a spot, you want the spiral stair you’ve just invested a significant level of cash in to be as headache free as possible when it arrives.

If you’re not working with a contractor that desire for the stair to be headache free primarily means two things.

1. You want the stair to be damage free after shipment
2. And this one is very important: you want that spiral stair to be simple to install.

Your project, whether it’s outside or in, a remodel or new build, for your home or for a space you lease—whatever it is—is on a timetable. You don’t need that timetable to be interrupted by any unexpected or unnecessary slowdowns.

Level of Ease
So how easy should installing a spiral stair be to be considered “easy enough”? Keep in mind that that you don’t want the stair to be cheaply made if you put in a sizable investment. That means that the components should be solid and the overall structure should have a lot of thought and engineering behind the design.

But at the same time, it shouldn’t be as though you’re about to work on a car or take on a task requiring a degree in architecture.

Think of it this way, if the kit is designed with homeowners in mind, homeowners able to carry out a small renovation or installation project, then the kit should be something that can also be built by homeowners. Any average adult homeowners, armed with the most rudimentary of household tools, should be able to install the spiral stair with the help of one other person.

That’s about the level of ease you should expect from a quality spiral stair. Something designed for homeowners that know how to use simple tools like a hammer and screw driver (and know the difference between a flat head and a Phillips screwdriver).

Tools Required
Besides the basic household tools like a Phillips screwdriver, your kit should arrive with all other tools included. One thing your kit certainly should not require is the use of specialty tools. Such a built-in requirement would defeat the purpose of the stair being designed for the average homeowner.

Your kit might have the option of using power tools, which obviously you should use for the sake of speed of you own them. Why not use a power drill with a screw bit instead of a screwdriver if you own one? But manual hand tools should be all that are required to do the job and do it right.

Typical tools you should expect to use include:

* Allen wrench
* Power drill
* Screwdriver
* Plum bob (optional)
* Level (optional)

And that’s it. The list is pretty simple. Just what it takes to secure a few nuts, bolts, screws, and washers. Basic hardware. If the list goes much beyond that then you’re likely looking at too complicated a design for what you want to deal with.

The Parts
As your kit should be simple and well designed, the individual parts should be simple and well designed. Typically, you should expect your spiral stair kit to include:

* A base plate for your center column
* Your center column
* Spindles
* Treads-Steps
* Handrails
* Platform
* Railing
* Hardware

Other components may be specific to the manufacturer you choose, and there may be some additional parts and accessories according to the style you select, but these parts at least should be part of your kit. You may have tread covers or column caps, but that varies from stair to stair.

Salter includes such components as filler hubs to go between the step/tread collars of the center column. This setup and design helps the stair have a smooth, seamless look with a continual line for the column.

Method of Assembly
This is also something that will vary by manufacturer. Still, like the parts and tools, the method of assembly should be simple. As with any structure, you should start from the ground up. This means securing your base plate and you column—your central structural support.

Salter’s step/tread collars slide right over the column. The spindles/balusters connect directly to the treads using basic hardware and the handrail will follow in kind.

Basically, the installation steps for your Salter spiral stair, as they should be for any quality design, are very intuitive. Once you and your one helper have a rhythm down, everything should flow cleanly.

Available Instructions
Clearly your spiral stair should arrive with comprehensive instructions attached. The layout of these instructions should be intuitive both in terms of needed tools, included parts, and step-by-step assembly process.

But what if you take a break from your installation project, come back, and find you’ve (or your helper has) misplaced the instructions. True, the assembly process is best with intuitive, but it still gives you peace of mind to be able to reference those instructions whenever you wish.

Your chosen stair manufacturer should be able to provide you with another copy post-haste. And not through snail mail—this isn’t the 20th century anymore. No, if you’re chosen stair manufacturer believes in quality customer service, they’ll keep instructions for every one of their stair lines readily downloadable through their website.

So as you shop around for a stair manufacturer, see who is offering such simple yet vital necessities through their website. Those that do are taking the extra step to keep their customer’s satisfied, and that’s whom you should do business with.

Comparable Projects
It’s hard to come up with DIY home projects that may be comparable as far as difficulty goes to something like a spiral staircase. That’s only because a spiral staircase is so unique, yet still so practical.

It’s also difficult to think of something in terms of scale—there likely aren’t many home DIY projects you’ve undergone in terms of scale that are directly comparable to a spiral stair—at least not projects that involve assembling a pre-made item.

Still, a reference point is useful as far as knowing what level of effort and capabilities can be expected.

One comparable activity you may have undergone in the course of your home ownership, or apartment rentership, lifetime is assembling a large entertainment center. The level of tools required and the effort you may have put in is around there. You have the hand tools, the hardware, and the step-by-step instructions showing with vivid pictures just where all the pieces go. So long as you pay attention and follow the process outline, the experience should go smoothly. There will be a few points that involve more effort than others, but you’ll get there.

Time Invested
Obviously there isn’t a definitive amount of time a spiral stair installation project will take. There are too many variables—how big is the stair? How easy is your space to work in? Is your installation interruption free? You get it.

The above aside, though, it is possible to get a rough estimate for an average. Just think of the comparable projects example—about how long would something like that take you and a helper? If we’re talking a complete, full-scale, media entertainment piece of furniture—how long? You might be able to bang it out in a single day over a weekend.

Odds are, though—especially if you’re in the middle of other things as people often are when they’ve got one home project going—that you might give yourself a stopping point by the end of the first day and come back to it either the next day or another day. So really you’re probably looking at two days.

Customer Service
Lastly, with whatever stair manufacturer you select, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. There should be a customer support team the ready, able, and willing to assist you with any questions you may have. It would be particularly handy if your chosen manufacturer also had a specifically dedicated member that knew your project and stair. This way the over-the-phone assistance process would be a lot cleaner and more beneficial. Salter is ready with the support you need. Just get started by calling (800) 368-8280.

So shop around in that regard and see what different manufacturers offer in terms of post-sale help with regards to your stair. Though you may not encounter any issues, especially if the installation design is one of quality, it again shows the level of care a manufacturer puts into their customer if the post-sale assistance is stellar.

Taking all of these factors under consideration will allow you a much more pleasant installation experience. If you know the time and effort needed to invest, what past experiences to which you may compare this new one, what tools you should have handy, and what components you’re dealing with, there should be little that surprises you once the big installation day comes.

Speak to one of our consultative designers

19 Rooftop Decks for Every Lifestyle

Rooftop decks can fit into any lifestyle, whether it's in the city or suburbs.

Best of the Web

4 Tips for Successful Row Home Renovations

These row home renovation ideas are the perfect jump start to planning your new home!

Impressive Projects

Three Story Spiral Stairs

See how a three story spiral stair can solve your multi-level egress needs.

Expert Advice