Cantilever staircases are made to appear as though the stair treads are floating in the air. Stone versions of these sweeping, often spiralling staircases were first built by stone masons in 17th century France.
They quickly came to the UK and the first cantilever staircase in England is said to have been built at Queen’s House in Greenwich in 1629. They gained popularity in the 18th century across England and Europe as a mark of elegance and wealth. Next time you visit a National Trust or similar property, look out for a cantilever staircase.
Cantilever staircases are still popular today and we have built many in homes across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Creating these graceful staircases is one of our passion projects at Coulon Stone as it involves a huge amount of skill and craftsmanship. Each staircase is completely bespoke. The treads are cut from blocks of stone using our CNC machine and then hand finished by our stone masons.
A traditional cantilever staircase works similarly to an arch, with each tread sat on the others shoulder with the weight moving down. Around 150mm of one end of each tread is bricked in to the wall to maximise support.
Some customers opt for a modern version of the traditional cantilever look which involves a steel frame running through the staircase or a concrete frame, both of which are then clad in stone. Whilst not traditionally cantilevered they still look incredibly impressive.
Hard natural stones work best. We enjoy working with hard limestones, like those from Egypt which closely resemble marble, or hard Italian marbles. It’s important when choosing the stone we look for vents, or small cracks as these stones won’t work. For obvious reasons when creating a staircase we need a strong, durable material.
Staircase projects, particularly traditional
cantilevered ones take around two months for us to complete. Most home owners we’ve worked with have a structural engineer working on the project and we’re happy to work alongside them.
For more information about how to go about your cantilever staircase project please get in touch via
call: 01494 484333