Reddit | SnyperJay

17+ Terrible Stair Designs Destined To Cause An Accident

Amy Pilkington 9 Aug 2019

Stairs have been part of architecture forever and while styles and trends have come and gone, their basic stair-ness has remained constant.

We've found new materials to make them stylish and strong, but ultimately, we've settled on the right size, shape, and height of individual stairs that makes them efficient and safe.

The people who made the monstrosities below threw all of that out the window.

1. Hello, vertigo.

Reddit | buxx

Besides making the edges of each stair difficult to see, this choice of carpet is actually causing my stomach to churn a little bit.

If a pic does that, I can't imagine trying to walk down them.

Load Comments

2. Less nausea-inducing, but still so wrong.

Imgur | ThatJustWontWork

Sure, I don't go cross-eyed looking at this image, but that pattern makes it look like there's a trick to walking down those stairs.

Load Comments

3. This seems okay at first.

Reddit | Writerro

And then you realize that the stairs lead to the rest of the ramp and the ramp leads to a step up.

Load Comments

4. Form over... well, not even form, really.

Reddit | Peeped

Sometimes I get the aesthetic a questionable staircase is going for, but this doesn't even look nice. It's too all over the place design-wise.

Watch out for that not-a-step in the middle.

Load Comments

5. Watch your head.

Reddit | CapnRedbeard647

I'm only 5'1 and I doubt I could get to the opening before banging my head on that ceiling.

Load Comments

6. Floating stairs can be scary, but these take the cake.

Reddit | Cyreniac

Angling every other stair is just evil and every time someone comes around the corner, they're going to trip over that bottom step.

Load Comments

7. No, wait, I found a worse example.

Reddit | TeeMestoil

I see your wonky metal floating stairs and raise you transparent, glowing ones that match the decor even less.

Load Comments

8. Wheelchairs only.

Reddit | Planeguy58

It's super nice of them to put the accessible stairs right beside the reserved parking spaces, isn't it? They totally thought of everything.

Load Comments

9. Oh look, someone made a slide for squirrels.

Reddit | mariii95

I think the wheelchair ramp came after the rest of the curves stairs, but there had to be a nicer way to retrofit it.

Load Comments

10. "Hey boss, we added that new ground floor you asked for."

Reddit | SnyperJay

However, they didn't bother to update the blueprints to remove the stairs or doors that lead out to them.

Load Comments

11. Yes, there are stairs in this picture.

Reddit | scienceyeaux

I promise I'm not lying about that and that I'm entirely serious when I say I'd consider butt-sliding down them for my own safety.

Load Comments

12. We have come to trust that non-slip strips mark the edge of each step.

Reddit | Landash

Which is why everyone that comes down these stairs must make that awkward not-a-step movement at the bottom before they realize they're done.

Load Comments

13. This staircase makes you think you're done a step too soon.

Reddit | shortround10

I'm not sure which is worse, actually, but this one may have the edge simply because hardwood is slippery too.

Load Comments

14. Why does this staircase have a raised lip?

Reddit | kevo0088

I really don't want to think this, but how likely do you think it is that those missing tiles were knocked loose from people constantly tripping?

Load Comments

15. This reeks of bad DIY.

Reddit | JickityJackJJ

So we have shiny, slippery tile on stairs that aren't all the same height.

My favorite part is on the right, where the stair had to be chiselled down to fit under the protruding section of the wall, even though it seems to actually angle upward.

Load Comments

16. At least these ones have guards against slipping...?

Reddit | SlumberingParrot

I'm trying to find the silver lining here, since the Redditor that shared these said their sister has to carry a baby up and down these things.

Load Comments

17. Apparently, this is the only 'accessible' way to reach the cafeteria.

Reddit | _CaptainKirk

Narrow ramp, no guardrails, and according to the student who shared the pic, the turns on either end required his friend in a chair to pop a wheelie to turn.

Load Comments

18. These people have clearly forgotten what stairs look like.

Reddit | Lolammo

Besides the angles guaranteeing you'll miss a step (or seven), they're so steep that they are basically a bad ladder.

Hopefully, this is just a concept and not meant for real use.

Load Comments

19. "Hi, does your location have a bathroom that's wheelchair accessible?"

Reddit | SacredOrange

"Of course! It's just up those stairs!"

Not enough facepalms.

Load Comments

20. This pic has been making the rounds recently, and for good reason.

Reddit | TheLoneGinger9

It's more likely that this is a bathroom renovation gone wrong rather than failure designing the stairs, but it is so awful that it deserves to be called out again.

Load Comments

21. Handrails are often decorative, but they also have a very specific safety use.

Reddit | TheLoneGinger9

Which is why these are a failure. Nothing like slipping on the stairs only to impale your hand on the railing that's supposed to steady you.

Load Comments

22. What is it about accessibility that completely baffles people?

Reddit | 01aleksander

My favorite part of this one is the caution edging on the ramp. Like, be careful not to trip on the side of the ramp, but we're not going to warn you that there are stairs on the other side.

Load Comments

23. Believe it or not, I had to limit how many bad carpet choices I allowed into this list.

Reddit | M3strefi

It's incredible how often people make poor choices in this area. I feel drunk jut looking down those stairs.

Load Comments

24. Wheeeeeee!

Reddit | Just_some_n00b

I'm including a lot of ramps in here because while many of the bad stairs can be attributed to laziness or lack of common sense, accessibility is a serious issue and businesses, etc. really need to treat it that way.

The potted plant just adds insult here.

Load Comments

25. Where do I even start?

Reddit | susantheyremykidstoo

No handrails where they're obviously needed and it kind of looks like someone just chiseled the risers off the top to turn it into a slide.

But is that skinny pole underneath load-bearing? Please tell me it's not load-bearing!

Load Comments

26. What could possibly go wrong?

Reddit | Vjaa

Presumably this is the result of renovations, but also presumably the person doing the reno skipped the classes on building safety and regulations.

Load Comments

27. Here's another example of the same bit of stupidity.

Reddit | dinomarie123

But this gets extra points docked for having the door open outward to block the stairs. I suppose it could slow or stop your fall...painfully?

Load Comments

28. A beautiful basement staircase with one small problem.

Imgur

That's not some cheap, plywood staircase and yet somehow they managed to make the basement door completely inaccessible. Judging by the wainscotting, the wall with the door came after the stairs, so why didn't they just push the wall back when planning?

Load Comments

29. In narrow homes, these staggered steps are considered a good alternative.

Reddit | Elmaaro

I just see myself leading with the wrong foot and tumbling all the way down.

Load Comments

30. That should hold.

Reddit | Ernomouse

Faced with a wobbly top step, a handyman faced a dilemma: fix the staris properly, or just use a piece of whatever to wedge the top step in place. Let's just hope it stays.

Load Comments

31. Stairs are stairs.

Reddit | Conluigi22

You know, a staircase can be simple or fancy, but so long as it consists of steps that help you get up, or down, it's still a staircase.

All I'm trying to say is that, yes, this is technically a staircase.

Load Comments

32. I thought this was about stairs?

Reddit | Br_u_u_u_ce

Yes, stairs aficionado, you're still in the right article. And yes, this is a picture of a staircase, or at least something that used to be a staircase, that's apparently (somehow) still used as a staircase.

Load Comments

33. Catch a wave.

Reddit | FaeTheWolf

I understand that people want to get creative with boring, straight stairs. Thing is, there's a reason why the lip of each step is typically straight: because if it wasn't, everyone would bail on it.

Load Comments

34. What does inefficiency look like?

Reddit | ScorpionPC

If I'm understanding things correctly, going downstairs from this room consists of going upstairs, pulling a 180, then going downstairs. Was this all done so there'd be a little landing for that window?

Load Comments

35. Good lord.

Reddit | demetri47

So yeah, by definition, this is, in fact, a staircase. That doesn't mean I'd ever trust this monstrosity, which appears to be made entirely of driftwood and chipped bricks.

Load Comments

36. Huh.

Reddit | alvinsland2

I don't know the proper term for these stairs that have a right angle and open up to two areas. I guess they have their place, but that place shouldn't include a wall that people will walk into.

Load Comments

37. For that rustic, dangerous look.

Reddit | DogWhistlersMother

Back to another example of why stair lips should be straight. Like, the best-case scenario here is falling down and badly scraping your shins. The worst case? Death, probably.

Load Comments

38. Somebody call OSHA.

Reddit | DonkeyKongDrumSolo

Yeah, these rotted-out stairs are super dangerous. Yeah, these rotted-out stairs are pretty crucial, leading from one rooftop to another. I can imagine many, many ways in which things could go wrong here.

Load Comments

39. We're getting very abstract.

Reddit | shehzad

As an art piece, this staircase is, I dunno, fine. I'm not really an artistic type, so who knows. But as a writer of articles about stairs, I can say definitively that these do not work as stairs.

Load Comments

40. Stairception.

Reddit | latteboy50

This looks like a pretty nice house, so there's no excuse for weird stairs. I wonder if an architect let their toddler draw up the blueprints for this one.

Load Comments

41. Seems legit.

Reddit | Ptakos

I'll give them marks for clearly marking the wheelchair ramp. Those are the only marks I'll give, however, for this absolute death trap of a ramp.

Load Comments

42. Designed for stubbed toes.

Reddit | Andy2802

Whoever designed these stairs meant well. They even included lighting to help people find their way. But in practice, that lighting effectively blinds everyone, making it impossible to see where each step is.

Load Comments

43. Twist ending: this store has no second floor.

Reddit | IMadeYouReadThis__

So you're in the zone, finding an awesome new wardrobe. You see stairs and the promise of a second floor of even more great clothes. You bonk your head and wake up in hospital.

Load Comments

44. That seems necessary.

Reddit | tommynessxd

Daredevils might brave the four-inch drop from pavement to grass, but safety is also important. That's why this tiny staircase, complete with heavy duty railings, probably exists.

Load Comments

45. Kill it with fire.

Reddit | GoGators2

A clear DIY job, this staircase doesn't look that bad at first glance. Then you look at it a little longer, and eventually it's hard to tell what's right anymore.

Load Comments

46. I have many questions.

Reddit | Mr_PoodlePants

Putting aside the obvious questions of making a staircase out of old jeans, let's think about how this would actually play out. It would be like walking down a staircase covered in wrinkly tripping hazards.

Load Comments

47. Stay off most of these stairs.

Reddit | marytheuseless

Ahh, a nice, wide urban staircase designed to accommodate a large number of people. It used to be that way, at least. Nowadays, stair climbers are only allowed to use a small part of the staircase.

Load Comments

48. Some escalators don't measure up.

Reddit | Thund3rl1ps

Did someone just order the wrong size of escalator here or what? Otherwise I can't think of a plausible reason to have an escalator that makes it most of the way to the ground.

Load Comments

49. This railing is for sadists.

Reddit | JeffKaplanFromOW

How on earth did anyone sign off on this railing? If you fell down and reached out for the railing, you'd probably gouge out most of your palm on one of the little ouchy devices.

Load Comments

50. List Item #39

Load Comments
Next Article