Staircases are complex pieces of joinery and are often made to last. However, they do sometimes have to be removed from a building: in the case of a deep renovation or in the event of demolition, for example. Some staircases can be reclaimed and made available for reuse. Many specialised suppliers have different sorts of staircases among their stock. Wooden flights of stairs are transported intact from their original building, while stone staircases are usually dismantled step by step. Both situations apply to metal staircases.
It is often preferable to adapt the architectural design around the reclaimed staircase to easily facilitate the reuse.
- wooden staircases, straight or angled
- metal staircases: for example, old fire escapes
- stone staircases (see also: Stone steps)
- metal or wooden spiral staircases
Note: antique spiral staircases (cast iron or wrought iron) are particularly sought after and replicated. If you want to be sure of finding a truly reclaimed product, ask for the origin of the item you plan to buy.
Reclaimed staircases are usually sold in the condition in which they were dismantled. Operations such as sanding or repainting can be carried out once the material has been installed.
Did you know?
Complete staircases are often a particular feature in the stock of reclamation dealers or when they are dismantled on a demolition site. This fascination is evident in a newspaper article from the late 19th century, which describes the demolition of the former Brussels Palais de Justice and the materials reclaimed from it:
“The courtyard is cluttered with a pile of assorted timbers, beams and scrap iron. A spiral staircase with worn wooden steps emerges from these materials like a giant snail embedded between hewn stones.”
(L’indépendance belge, 24 April 1892)