Can stairlifts be fitted to any stairs? Find all about it here!

Written by Stannah

The answer is Yes. Even if your staircase has unique characteristics, it is possible to find a stairlift that can fit your stairs.

The challenge is not impossible to overcome. Find out why in today’s article.

Can stairlifts be installed on any staircase?

Yes. In most cases, stairlifts are designed to fit different types of stairs.

No matter how your staircase is designed, whether it has more or less landing space, there is a straight, curved or outdoor stairlift that can meet your mobility needs and the shape of your stairs.

At Stannah, stairlifts are custom made, and because of that, they can be easily adapted to different spaces and stairs.

Why can a stairlift be installed in any staircase?

The genius behind a stairlift’s design lies in its adaptability: stairlift models can be highly customisable – the height and width of the stairlift can be adjusted, as well as its rail.

The rail on which the chair moves is also made-to-measure to fit into the space you want without compromising its ability to suit the needs of those with reduced mobility.

Let’s look at some stairlifts’ components more closely and understand how they can influence the ability of a stairlift to fit a staircase.

The different types of stairlifts

The different types of stairlifts

To better fit different spaces, there are three types of stairlifts:

  • Straight stairlifts – They are designed for straight staircases;
  • Curved stairlifts – They are designed to fit the stairs’ bends and the landing space so the stairlift is positioned correctly;
  • Outdoor stairlifts – They are manufactured with materials capable of resisting different weather conditions while maintaining the same quality and efficiency.

Types of rails for different stairlifts

Rails can be straight, curved or modular. Choosing one rail over another will always depend on the design of your staircase.

That is why the rail must be custom-made to fit perfectly on the staircase, ensuring that the journey up and down the stairs is as comfortable and smooth as possible.

The dimensions of stairlifts

Stairlifts can have different dimensions to suit the space where they will be installed.

A curved stairlift will have different dimensions than a straight or outdoor stairlift because the staircase it will be installed in will necessarily have a different design; for example, a curved stairlift may have intermediate landings.

Are stairlifts made to measure?

Yes. In most cases, stairlifts are custom-made. At Stannah, our mobility experts are fully prepared to help you find the stairlift with the right dimensions to fit your needs and, in particular, your home. The incredible work behind Stannah stairlifts is a testament to our commitment to quality and precision. That is why it is crucial to have your stairs measured and assessed by a professional when you decide to buy a stairlift.

Our mobility expert will measure your stairs and carry out a photometric study of your staircase. This study will ensure that your stairlift and its rail are manufactured to the exact measurements of your staircase.

Afterwards, our team of engineers will design and manufacture a stairlift that will fit perfectly into your home and help you feel safer when using the stairs.

Can stairlifts go around corners?

Yes. Stairlifts are prepared to go around corners at landings and, if necessary, at the top or bottom of the stairs.

The main goal is to ensure you feel safe and comfortable sitting down and getting up from the chair.

Depending on the staircase’s shape and corners, the rail will be placed slightly away from the wall (approximately 15 cm).

That leaves enough space for anyone else to use the stairs when the stairlift is not in use.

In addition to going around corners, stairlifts have other features that offer added comfort and safety, such as a retractable rail that folds up and clears the space at the bottom of the stairs.

Can a stairlift rail be shortened?

Yes. However, that will depend on the circumstances and reasons you decide to do so.

If your stairlift is custom-made, the rail’s dimension should already be perfectly adjusted to your stairs.

Shortening a stairlift rail is a decision that should be left to the engineering team that will manufacture your stairlift.

Together with the measurements provided by the mobility expert during the stair survey, the engineers will know what is the best
decision to make.

If you are considering buying a second-hand stairlift and find that the rail needs shortening, you should never do it without the advice of a technical team that specialises in stairlifts.

As stairlifts are usually bespoke, when installing a second-hand stairlift, you must ensure that all safety procedures have been followed and that the rail and other stairlift components are properly installed.

What are the requirements for installing a stairlift?

One essential requirement when installing a stairlift is to choose a reliable company that will give you full support from the first contact until after the stairlift has been installed.

Our mobility experts at Stannah thoroughly assess the space where you wish to install the stairlift to ensure that it meets all the necessary requirements.

Some of these requirements include:

Access to an electrical outlet

Stairlifts are battery operated. Because of that, they should always be connected to an outlet to ensure the batteries are properly charged.

In the event of a power failure, the stairlift will rely on its batteries to continue travelling and ensure you’ll never be left stranded in the middle of the stairs or on one floor of the house.

Minimum staircase width

The minimum staircase width to install a stairlift varies between 66.8 cm and 67.9 cm. However, these numbers may change depending on the stairs’ shape, i.e. whether your stairs are curved or straight, inside or outside.

These measurements also ensure that your stairlift will have the minimum space required to travel upstairs in complete safety.

Headroom at the top of stairs

There is no standard measurement for the headroom at the top of the stairs.

However, during your stair survey, Stannah’s mobility experts will confirm that there is enough space at the top of the stairs for you to exit and enter the chair safely.


Stairlifts can be installed on almost any type of staircase.

That said, installing a stairlift also requires prior assessment by a mobility specialist to guarantee that the solution you’ve chosen is the one that best serves your needs and the space’s requirements.

At Stannah, whatever the shape of your staircase we design bespoke solutions for each customer, including personalised options ranging from chair features to the rail chosen for your stairlift.

Our goal is to help you regain your independence and freedom of movement in the home you love. That way, you’ll be able to use your stairs again and access all the rooms in your home safely and independently.

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