Stairlifts for Narrow Stairs

The ideal staircase for fitting a stair lift would be straight, wide, not too steep with no twists or turns. However, since many of us live in older properties where a staircase can be tight, most reputable manufacturers produce stairlifts for narrow stairs.

What is Considered a Narrow or Tight Staircase?

The usual minimum tread width for fitting a standard stair lift is seventy-three centimetres, or twenty-nine inches. Stairs with treads narrower than this might pose a safety risk if a stair lift were to be fitted. For the stairlift user there would be a risk of bumping against the bannister or wall, while for other members of the household there would be very little room to walk on the stairs without banging against the stairlift or being in danger of a trip or fall.

Straight Stairlifts for Narrow Stairs

Many British properties have narrow staircases and these can cause issues for a stairlift installation. In these space limited areas, we often recommend a standing or perch stair lift

The advantage of these two options is that it leaves a far wider clearance on the stair tread than a conventional stair lift with a seat. The perch seat will also fold out of the way when not in use.

However, these types of stairlift rely on the ability of the user to be able to stand or perch safely whilst the lift is operation. The individual must also be able to get onto and off the stair lift safely and without difficulty. In some cases, a curved stair lift which runs onto the landing can be fitted to a narrow staircase, however, an on-site assessment would be required to check that this option was suitable for your home.

Stairlifts for a Spiral Staircase

In houses where the stairs are curved or spiralled then a straight stair lift is not an option. A curved stair lift adapted to the shape of the stairs is the only solution, however, the major disadvantage of this type of lift is cost, it is significantly more expensive to install than a straight one. Perch or standing stair lifts are generally not used on spiral staircases for obvious safety reasons.

An additional challenge of spiral staircases is that they are often especially narrow and may even be slimmer than the seventy-three centimetres (twenty-nine inches) normally considered to be the minimum for fitting a stair lift.

Fortunately, however, some manufacturers produce curved stairlifts for narrower stairs which have a bend or curvature . There are, however, some properties where the spiral of the staircase is so great that it precludes installing any kind of stair lift. Any reputable supplier will happily make an on-site assessment if you are unsure.

For users with a wider curved staircase the choice of stair lifts available is far greater and the cost of installing one is less than that of those designed for narrower stairs.

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