Spiral Staircase FAQs

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General spiral staircase questions

Are spiral staircases safe?

Yes, spiral staircases are just as safe as straight staircases. Iron Shop stairs are fabricated with full penetration welds, high quality materials and hardware. We offer code compliant designs and provide downloadable engineered drawings if required by your local building inspector. View drawings here.

Your design consultant can also recommend non-skid options for treads and lighting kits if you’re interested in taking extra precautions or planning an exterior installation.

What is the weight limit on a spiral staircases?

According to international building code requirements, each stair step must be able to bear at least 300 lbs of concentrated weight (the “live load”).

Is there a height limit for spiral staircases?

There is no maximum height for spiral staircases but a landing is required every 12′ of vertical stairway rise.

I paid for a powder coated finish, what does that mean?

Powder coating is a dry coating process. Powder coating is applied as dry powder through an electrostatic process, then cured with heat. It is well known for providing high-quality finishes in terms of both functionality and overall look.

All stair components are powder coated i.e. treads, landing, spindles, IBS cups, and spindle heads.

We do not powder coat hardware for the staircase during assembly the paint will chip and break off, so all the hardware is delivered in a mill finish.

What types of tread coverings are available?

We offer 7 wood species for interior tread and landing covers:

  1. American Cherry
  2. Hickory
  3. Mahogany
  4. Maple
  5. Red Oak
  6. Walnut
  7. White Oak

Exterior tread and landing covers are available in:

  1. Ipe (Brazilian Walnut)
  2. Mahogany
  3. Red Cedar

The Iron Shop also partners with Trex® engineered wood products on a range of tread and landing covers. Ask your design consultant for details.

Can a spiral staircase kit be used for both new construction or a renovation?


Can I visit your showroom to see examples of spiral staircases in person?

Our showroom is open to visitors during business hours:

M-F: 8:30a-4:30p

Sat: 8:30a-12:00p

We do recommend scheduling an appointment with a design consultant.

Do outdoor stairs have to be painted?

Exterior steel stairs should be painted to help inhibit rust and to preserve your investment. You can choose a powder coat finish in a range of colors, or specify a primed finish if you prefer to paint your stairs yourself.

If you want an industrial look, aluminum is non-rusting, no paint is necessary. Let your design consultant know you want mill finish.

What is the order cancellation, return, and exchange policy?

Custom orders may not be returned or exchanged. Cancellation of a custom stair order may be approved at the discretion of The Iron Shop up to 10 business days from the original order date and is subject to a minimum 10% cancellation fee; additional fees may apply depending on the process stage upon receipt of the cancellation request.

Stock Stair Kits may be returned in their original, uninstalled condition within 90 days of receipt only upon written communication and The Iron Shop authorization. All freight charges on exchanges or returns are the responsibility of the customer. All exchanges and returns are subject to a 15% restocking fee. All refunds will be calculated and determined upon inspection of the returned or exchanged order and may be subject to further reductions at the discretion of The Iron Shop. Cancellation of a stock order is subject to a minimum 10% cancellation fee; additional fees may apply depending on the process stage upon receipt of the cancellation request. This may include but is not limited to an additional 15% restocking fee.

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Shipping and Delivery

How does shipping work?

Iron Shop stair kits are shipped by common carriers. Rates are calculated based on delivery location and package weight. We provide shipping updates and tracking information. Please make sure to let your design consultant know if you need lift gate service.

Driver is not responsible for transferring pallets inside your house.

How long will delivery take and can I pick up my stair?

Most metal spiral staircase kits can be picked up at our Broomall, PA workshop. Customer pick up is scheduled; You’ll be contacted 7 days in advance by a fulfillment team member to confirm your appointment.

Of course, The Iron Shop can ship your spiral staircase kit directly to your door.

Delivery times vary depending on the type of spiral you order:

Basic metal kits: Two weeks from payment

Basic oak kits: Four weeks from payment

Oak stair kits with solid oak handrail: Six to eight weeks from payment

Victorian kits: Eight to ten weeks from payment 

Are there any special spiral staircase kit ordering considerations I should make for children and pets?

For small children and pets, The Iron Shop recommends that you order and install in-between spindles.

Our CODE stair kits come standard with in-between spindles, which provide less than a 4″ spacing between verticals.

You may want to use a gate at the top of the stair.

A sales consultant can recommendation nonskid tread surfaces.


You should never leave small children unattended on or near a staircase.

Installation and Assembly

How long does assembly take and will I need a contractor to help me install my spiral staircase kit?

Installing a stair kit from The Iron Shop is a two-person job for typical do-it-yourselfers stairs can be installed without help of contractor installing.

We do recommend that everyone (experienced or not) consult a qualified contractor for cutting and framing the opening. The contractor will help identify whether any additional structural support will be required, and he or she can reroute pipes and electric lines.

For two do-it-yourselfers, the typical Metal and Victorian kits can be assembled in about one full day.

All Oak and CODE Metal stair kits take slightly more time to assemble — we estimate two days for complete assembly.

For all stair kits from The Iron Shop, all you will need are basic hand tools and an electric drill.

Before installing your spiral staircase kit, we strongly recommend that you read through the entire installation manual, and for the metal kits and oak kits, watch our video.

Refer to the manual and the video during setup to help you visualize the entire process and identify potential trouble spots.

We’re here for you. Call us at 888-816-0550 for help preparing for your installation, or during the assembly if you’re stuck.

What tools will I need to install my spiral staircase kit?

You will need:

  1. Ladder
  2. Drill
  3. Philips head screwdriver
  4. Hack saw
  5. Level
  6. Masking tape
  7. Metal file
  8. Rubber mallet
  9. Zip ties (to help set the handrail)

I want to paint my spiral staircase, should I paint it before or after assembly and should I use any special paint or finish?

We recommend that you paint your spiral staircase after assembly to prevent scratches that could occur when you are installing and positioning the treads.

Metal and Victorian stairs need an oil-based enamel paint. Do not use a latex paint.

Consider the application of the stair when choosing your paint. For example, outdoor stairs should be painted with an oil-based enamel paint with rust-inhibiting additive.

Primed stairs should be painted after assembly.

Oak kits require two coats of polyurethane finish within a week of installing your stair to protect the wood from damage.

What if something goes wrong with my installation?

If you run into a problem, simply call our helpline 888-816-0550. We’re here to help!

Our kits are all quality-checked before shipping to ensure that you get all of the right components. What’s more, all of our stair kits are guaranteed for one year from the date of purchase.

If you ever have a problem with your spiral staircase kit from The Iron Shop, EVER, call us and we will work with you to remedy the problem. It’s why we’re the leading manufacturer of spiral stair kits.

What if I lose my installation manual?

Our installation manuals are available for downloading as PDFs on our HELP page which you can view on-screen and print as a hard copy.

Code Compliance and Measurements

Are there any special building code requirements to consider when installing a spiral staircase kit?

We recommend that you contact your local Building Inspector to find out what code applies to your area and how that code is interpreted. The Iron Shop has spiral staircase kits to meet all building code requirements and our Sales Team can help walk you through the ordering process to ensure your stair will meet these requirements.

Municipalities may have different building code requirements. Some follow the International Building Code (IBC) for commercial buildings and the International Residential Code (IRC) for residential buildings, or variations of these model building codes. Other areas do not follow any building code relevant to spiral staircases.

I plan to attach the spiral staircase to a loft, are there any special measurements needed for this application?

When using a spiral staircase for a loft application the “well opening” measurements are not applicable because the stair is installed in open space. However, you should still make sure that you have enough room for the entire stair diameter at the installation location. An easy way to confirm that you have sufficient space is to mark off an area on the floor with masking tape that has the same diameter of the stair.

What measurements do I need to order a spiral staircase kit?

Depending on where you plan to install your spiral staircase, there are two critical measurements for ordering:

First, you need to measure finished-floor to finished-floor height. For the base of the stair, that’s easy — for the top of the stair, you can’t just measure to the ceiling height. If you’ve already cut your well opening, simply measure to the top of the opening, including finished floor. If you have not yet cut your well opening, you must factor in the height of your rafters, subfloor (usually 3/4″ plywood) and the thickness of your finished floor (wood, tile, carpeting, or other).

Second, you need to measure your proposed well opening for standard, square “through-the-floor” installations. Your finished well opening must be 2″ larger overall than the diameter of the stair you plan to install.

Remember – this is a finished measurement, so be sure to factor in the width of any wood, drywall, or other finishing you plan to use to complete your well opening.

I plan on installing my spiral staircase outside from a deck, are there any special considerations?

The Iron Shop spiral stair kits are ideal for decks and outdoor applications. In most environments, our metal can be installed outdoors by replacing our standard hardware with stainless steel hardware.

  • The stair should receive two coats of rust-inhibitive, oil-based enamel.
  • For ocean, lake, and other waterfront environments, and for any ocean-area setting, we recommend all-aluminum stair kits.
  • Our Victorian kit is ideal for outdoor applications with its cast aluminum construction and stainless steel hardware.
  • Our oak spiral staircase kits are not suitable for outdoor use.

Can I have a round well opening?

Yes. The same 2″ rule applies as with the standard square opening.

You will need to order a special round landing; call us at 800-523-7427 to review your options.

What if my building department or inspector asked for an ICBO number?

There are no stair companies, to our knowledge, that have ICBO numbers on their staircases.

The Iron Shop, while building stairs for code in California for over 25 years, has the following available:

LA City Standard Plans for spirals:

Std Plan 111 City of Los Angeles for UBC Metal Spirals 5′-0″ Diam (Requires LARGER finished opening and footing) to 7′-0″ Dia

Std Plan 111 has also been adopted for City of San Diego California.

Std Plan 125 City of Los Angeles for UBC Oak Spirals 5′-5″ and 6′-0″ Diameters (Requires LARGER finished opening and footing)

Std Plan 139 for 5′-0″ and 6′-0″ Victorian Spirals (Requires LARGER finished opening and footing)

The Iron Shop is proud to be:

City of Los Angeles Licensed Steel Fabricator #1150

City of Los Angeles conducts random inspections on our fabrication plant in Broomall PA. 
County of San Bernardino Licensed Fabricator

Limited Lifetime Warranty

What is The Iron Shop’s Spiral Staircase warranty?

We have a limited lifetime warranty. This limited lifetime warranty covers the original purchaser or recipient only. This limited lifetime warranty covers any defects in the material or workmanship of our products under normal use. TIS will repair, at no charge, products or part of the product that prove materially defective because of improper material or workmanship under normal use and maintenance. Normal wear and tear in not warrantied.

Our warranty is simple: If we screwed up we will fix it! Any manufacturing defects are covered for life. We expect no less from any product we purchase. Thank you for your support and interest in our products.

Allen Cohen President

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