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Step in floor to define an area

  • 14-12-2021 9:46pm
    Registered Users Posts: 12,411 ✭✭✭✭ mfceiling

    Lads I need some advice.

    Currently at drawings stage with house project. Downstairs is one large open plan area. Kitchen running into dining area running into lounge area.

    Architect has suggested a drop in the floor level to separate the dining area and the lounge/living space. Wife thinks this is a great idea. I'm thinking it's ridiculous...deliberate trip hazard as a design feature? Me arse!! I've suggested a dropped bulkhead detail in the ceiling to break up the areas but I'm getting out voted on this.

    Anyone else think a step in the floor is a ridiculous idea? I know for a fact someone will go arse over end on this.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,533 ✭✭✭ Dudda

    Think it's a great idea. Have two steps down the the living area myself. Nobody has ever fallen. Not even babies or toddlers. It actually helps as it slows them down. They can't pick up huge speed running around and as it's only two steps it gets them used to stairs in a safe way. Other half was on crutches for a bit a while back and they didn't cause issues either.

  • Registered Users Posts: 132 ✭✭ Daveq

    Not sure it'd be for me either, but if you do it go for at least 2 steps.

    1 step will be a trip hazard IMO

  • Registered Users Posts: 30,585 ✭✭✭✭ Penn

    I wouldn't be for a dropped ceiling bulkhead tbh. You're making the separation between the spaces feel smaller, rather than steps down making it feel bigger.

    It depends a lot on layout. Separation of spaces can be achieved easily by different floor finishes or other architectural features depending on layout. But personally I see nothing wrong with steps used to separate spaces (though once they go longer than 4m other options should be looked at as you're then potentially losing a lot of valuable floor space to accommodate them).

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 16,293 Mod ✭✭✭✭ DOCARCH

    Really all depends on the size of the overall area/room. If it's a relatively small space, a step can be ridiculous/dangerous, whereas in a larger space it can be useful tool to define areas within the space.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,411 ✭✭✭✭ mfceiling

    It's a big room!! It's something like 14 metres long incorporating kitchen, dining and living area.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 30,585 ✭✭✭✭ Penn

    Then I would say it's best to have something to split the areas. A step or steps could certainly be a good option.

  • Registered Users Posts: 408 ✭✭ ec_pc

    We have a similar sized space - it's 17.5 meters long x 7 wide and we have it broken into 3 distinct areas : Sitting room, lounge and kitchen area. Due to the older part of the house we needed RSJ's installed so we have 2 resulting dropped bulkhead breaks in the ceiling area which acted as a natural boundary to define the 3 areas. We had no choice as the RSJ's were essential but work well in our case. The drop is less than 6 inches as we have suspended ceilings to ensure they are level (70 year old timber work was slighty off the level).

    As an earlier poster suggested, the use of floor coverings can be used effectively. We did this with strategic placement of furniture to define the 3 key areas. We also went for a higher 10 foor ceiling in the new part which houses the kitchen. We painted everything white initially last year but painted the sitting room a different colour this year and it really plays a trick on they eye to make it appear as a completely separate space.

    Personally steps would not be for me. It creates a hard break that you are stuck with forever and in my experience, 1 or 2 steps become a right pain over time. Did you determine how much extra this will cost?

  • Registered Users Posts: 671 ✭✭✭ mrsWhippy

    I would vote against steps too. I would hate the idea of something that might restrict the layout of my rooms, and I think the risk is there for elderly visitors etc. It also makes the house less accessible (to people with disabilities or those who use wheelchairs or walkers). It would also annoy me having to go up and down, up and down while serving food from the kitchen or setting the table etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,966 ✭✭✭ NSAman

    In a word…NO!

    steps are a royal pain in the ass. In our last home we had a step down and honestly I cannot count the number of times I fell down it or tripped up it. Eventually we put a chair at the step to remind us it was there.

    seperation of areas can be done much more effectively with flooring, matts or furniture and more cheaply also.

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