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How to Install a Spiral Staircase

Installing a spiral staircase is a simple job within the reach of DIYers with modest skills. Kits of the staircases are readily available and installation is uncomplicated.

More in Floors

installing spiral staircase is simple job with kit
  • Time

    Several Weekends

  • Price Range

    $1,000 - $2,500

  • Difficulty

    Moderate

Highlights:

Step 1: Order a Spiral Stair Kit

Check local building codes before beginning this project to make sure this type of stairway is allowed. Order a standard stairway kit or a fully assembled stairway that arrives ready to install. Ready to install versions will need large doors to accommodate how big they are. Kits come in a variety of materials and are typically available in heights up to 114". If ordering a standard spiral stairway kit, measure from floor to floor and decide what diameter is best. When the kit arrives, check all the pieces and assembly instructions to ensure all parts have arrived and to become familiar with the assembly process.

check all pieces and assembly instructions for kit

Step 2: Remove the Existing Stairway

Stake the existing stair apart little by little starting with the balusters. Should you need to, use a reciprocating saw to cut through parts of the stairs so that you can remove them. Be cautious when removing the stringers, they are the biggest and heaviest parts of the stairway.

Step 3: Repair the Wall

There is no way to remove the stairs without damaging the wall to some extent. Repair the wall using drywall, mesh tape and mudding compound for serious damage and using spackle for minor damage.

repair wall using drywall,mesh tape and mud

Step 4: Paint the Wall

Now is the time to paint the wall while everything is out of the way. Paint the entire wall so that the color is consistent.

Step 5: Move Any Support Posts

If the design of your spiral staircase requires it you can move supporting posts to accommodate the design of the spiral staircase. Use a temporary jack to support the platform (image 1) until you get the beam removed from the corner of the loft. Use a reciprocating saw to cut the toenails of the support post (image 2), and then jack up the loft. You can now move the support post to where you want it. Patch the post hole in the floor if necessary. Take out the temporary jack.

Step 6: Assemble the Stairway

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for stairway assembly. Most manufacturers suggest sliding the upper landing and steps on to the center support post and then tipping the post up and into position. Attach the upper landing and then anchor the bottom of the support post. Each step is installed one by one starting at the top and working down. It is very important to make sure all steps are level and the support post and balusters are plumb.

Step 7: Attach the Railing

Pre-drill holes (if it is an aluminum rail) and attach it with panhead screws (image 1). Install the upper railing at the top of the stairs (image 2). Trim any excess of the curved railing smooth the end with an abrasive pad and plug it with an endcap.

Step 8: Install the Treads

The treads typically come unfinished. Stain and finish the treads to the desired look to complement the decor of the room. Each coat of polyurethane takes approximately eight hours to dry, so paint them ahead of time. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for tread installation.

stain and finish treads

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