One question to ask yourself when buying a stairlift is ‘how much space does a stairlift take?’. Knowing if you have enough room to house your stairlift from the very beginning can save a lot of time and disappointment when you start shopping for a stairlift.
Stairlifts do take up a chunk of space at the bottom of your stairs or hallway, so it’s important to get measurements right. This will mean you can use your stairlift comfortably, and your new stairlift won’t cause an obstruction or create a tripping hazard once it’s installed.
So, How Much Space Does a Stairlift Take?
Stairlift sizes can vary depending on the make and model. The best way to figure out if a stairlift will fit on your staircase is to measure your stairs and contact Halton Stairlifts. Our expert team of stairlift engineers will be able to recommend a selection of stairlifts to meet your stairlift space requirements.
Even if you think your staircase is too narrow to take a stairlift, well-known UK stairlift brands will often make slimline versions of their most popular stairlift models.
What is the Minimum Width for a Stairlift?
If you’ve wondered ‘how wide do stairs have to be for a stairlift?’, here’s what you need to know. A minimum staircase width of about 750mm (29″) is recommended by most makes of stairlifts. This will allow people to access the stairs safely and also provide enough legroom for the stairlift user to journey in comfort.
Take a look at one of our straight stairlifts in action:
Slimline stairlifts are a fantastic option for narrow staircases. Take a look at the Slimline 130 T700 Stairlift or the reconditioned Slimline Stairlift for comfortable straight stairlifts that don’t take up too much room. They also come with the same standard range of features as a regular stairlift model. So, even though you’re downsizing your stairlift, you won’t lose out on quality or safety.
Slimline stairlifts also fold up compactly, so that it won’t take up too much space when it’s not in use.
Here is an example of a new slimline stairlift in operation after installation on a narrow staircase:
How do You Measure for a Stairlift?
Halton Stairlifts have put together a handy stairlift measuring guide to help you self-measure your stairs. Measuring your stairs can help to speed up the installation process, as we can provide a more accurate quote if you can share the measurements with us over the phone.
You’ll need to:
- Decide which side your stairlift will be installed next to. This is usually the main wall, but if your staircase has two walls, choose the side that will make it easiest to access the stairlift safely.
- Measure how long your staircase is. From the top stair tread, run your tape measure along the edge of every stair tread until it reaches the floor area at the bottom of the stairs (usually the hallway floor).
- Measure how wide your staircase is. Measure from the narrowest point, and don’t forget to measure from the skirting board and not the wall. It’s also worth making a note of any newel posts or hazards that might cause a problem for your stairlift.
- Measure the clearance at the bottom of the stairs. Measure from the kick plate of the bottom stair tread to the nearest obstacle. Obstacles can include doorways, radiators, walls, and cupboards.
I Have a Door at the Bottom of My Stairs. Will That Be a Problem?
If you have a clearance of fewer than 12 inches (300mm) from the bottom step to a doorway, you’ll need to opt for a stairlift with a hinged rail. A hinged rail can be elevated when the stairlift is not in use and will stop your stairlift rail from becoming a tripping hazard.
You’ll also need somewhere for your stairlift to stay when it reaches the bottom of the stairs. If you have an obstruction, like a radiator or a cupboard, at the bottom of your stairs, you’ll need at least 26 inches (650mm) between the bottom step and the item to give you enough ‘parking space’ to leave your stairlift.
If you’re still unsure if you have enough space to take a stairlift, our experienced engineers are more than happy to pay your home a visit to check the suitability for stairlift installation. Request a callback from a member of the Halton Stairlifts team and they’ll answer any questions you may have and give you any advice you need on finding the right stairlift.
Neil is the founder of Halton Stairlifts. He has years of experience installing stairlifts across the UK. With an eagerness to help those with mobility issues get up the stairs, Neil understands how important it is for a seamless and straightforward approach to installing stairlifts to help those in need quickly.