Is a Flight of Stairs the Same as a Floor?

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Understanding the meaning and definition of some words or phrases can be confusing. Like associating the term flight of stairs with the floor. For the record, is a flight of stairs the same as a floor?

The term flight of stairs is not the same as a floor. Flight of stairs refers to a series of continuous steps between floors or landings. A floor refers to the whole level of the building. Other terms used interchangeably for a flight of stairs are stairway, staircase, stairwell, or just stairs.

The question may confuse a floor from a part of a staircase called a landing or a platform. A landing or platform is a part of a staircase that breaks the continuation of stair steps. Its purpose is to create the appropriate staircase design based on the needs of the space or to follow a specific design.

For comparison, a floor is the level of a surface or a building. It refers to the actual whole level of any building. The floor is usually bigger than a staircase landing or a platform. Since a platform is a part of the staircase, it means it is not part of any of the floors or floor level.

Flight of stairs is a phrase used to refer to a set of steps between 2 floors or levels. It is a fancier term to use. It gives a clearer description when used in a sentence.

Using this elaborate phrase adds more context to a sentence or a situation to prove or describe a point. A phrase that novelists or fiction writers might enjoy more than the regular nouns. 

If you are wondering about the origins of the phrase. The term flight of stairs dates back to the start of the 18th century from the French phrase “volee d’escalier.”(means a flight of stairs).

Flight refers to the basic words fly or flee. Flight by definition is a journey through the air for a given distance. Going from one floor to another(climbing stairs) in an ascending(or descending) manner seems to resemble flying.

Hence, the use of the metaphor for flight.

What Do You Consider A Flight Of Stairs?

There are different types of staircases existing today. It can be a single flight, double flight, or more.

A single flight staircase connects two levels of the building vertically. Without any interruption in direction or in design. It means a whole staircase with a consecutive series of steps without any gaps.

You can see examples of single-flight staircases on most simple houses and buildings.

A double (or more) flight staircase connects two levels with a change and interruption in direction of a flight through a landing. Modern staircases feature a design that often showcases double flight types or more. Large houses, residential buildings, condominiums,  or office buildings often have double flight staircases.

There might be a debate about what a flight of stairs is. Different industries use the term in their own ways. Depending on purpose and reason.

In the construction industry, a flight of stairs should have no gaps between steps. If split into two by a landing space it means that it is already 2 flights of stairs.

Their interpretation of the definition of ‘flight of stairs” can be technical as well as straightforward. It creates a clear understanding of what a flight of stairs is. For professional and clear communication among each other. 

Moving Industries or any other related industries might have a different way of looking into this. They often consider a flight of stairs as any type of staircase that connects two floors from each other. Whether it leads to a landing or not.

This reason holds a practical approach to the phrase. For simplifying terms within their trade of work. It can also be to not get confused when it comes to building levels.

Various industries may have different working interpretations of this phrase. Depending on the special needs of any type of industry. The interpretation of what defines a flight of stairs depends on the context or a situation.

How Many Steps In A Flight?

Another confusing aspect of understanding the phrase flight of stairs is how many steps it consists of. There is no exact number of steps a flight of stairs must have. There is however an estimate of the number of steps it might have.

Most flights of stairs have an average of 12-13 steps. But it still depends on the actual height of the staircase and the stair height regulations in other countries. It also depends on the intention of the staircase.

Again based on interpretation, a staircase can have two levels, having two flights of stairs instead of one. You can divide the steps of the stairs in two. Or it can have fewer steps on the lower base and more on the top-level part of the angled staircase.

It goes down to what type of staircase design a flight of stairs has. 

In large buildings evident in hotel lobbies, straight grand staircases can also have a landing in the middle. It may be necessary to reduce the number of steps per flight if the steps are too many. A platform between flights of stairs provides instant relief and may be part of a design the building wants to achieve.  

There is no set rule about the exact number of stairs a flight of steps might have. It all depends on the design it has, the purpose, and the needs of the space itself. A house that has a low ceiling does not need as many steps on its staircase compared to a house that has a high ceiling.

There are no least required steps in a flight of stairs. It depends solely on the purpose of the staircase. The phrase flight of stairs can ultimately mean different things for different people. It is not however considered a floor or a part of the floor level of any house or building.