Choosing Between Straight and Curved StairliftsPosted by: The Stairlift Company · on 26th May 2016
When purchasing or renting a stairlift from us, one of our experienced team members will be on hand to assess your needs and answer any of your questions. This guide to straight and curved stairlifts should give you a good idea of what you will require, although additional factors may make certain staircases unsuitable for the options as discussed below. Whatever your situation, a member of our team will advise you on the best solution to suit your home.
Staircase types are generally broken into three categories: straight, straight with a partial landing, or curved. Take a look at the images below to identify which stairlift will suit your needs.
If your staircase is completely straight without any turns, then a single straight stairlift should suit your needs. Straight systems generally cost less than custom ones, as a standard track can be used and does not need to be custom made. This also means that they are quicker to install.
Straight stairlifts tend to stop level with the top step rather than travelling onto the landing. As they run on a single track, they offer a smooth, seamless ride and are well-suited to narrow stairs.
For staircases with a partial landing, there are two options, the first of which is to fit two straight stairlifts on either side of the partial landing. This option is only suitable if the user is able to transfer between the two stations and will be capable of doing so for the foreseeable future. For users with less mobility, a single curved track traveling the length of the stairs would be the best option.
Both of these options have pros and cons which must be weighed up to determine the best solution for your needs. While straight stairlifts are generally cheaper than curved ones, the additional space taken up by two systems must be taken into consideration. Fitting two straight tracks would also not be suitable for users who cannot safely or confidently transfer between the two. A curved track may be the best option for users with less mobility, although the higher cost and longer manufacture and installation period may not be suitable for some.
If your staircase contains fan corners or bends, you will need a curved stairlift, which are able to travel around corners and even onto the landing. This option is often more costly than a straight stairlift, as the curved rail is generally custom made to fit your staircase’s requirements.
Some styles of curved rails can be made up of a range of various individual pieces which fit together in a track system, allowing the stairlift to be installed without the need for made-to-measure parts. Due to the more complicated nature of curved stairlifts, they take longer to manufacture and install.