40+ Epic Stair Fails That Will Make Anyone Want To Take The Elevator - Traveler Door

40+ Epic Stair Fails That Will Make Anyone Want To Take The Elevator

Stairs, no matter how aesthetically pleasing, should always serve a function. As functional items, stairs should be able to take us both up and down multiple levels — and they should do so safely. Most staircases manage to fulfill this expectation — after all, how could you go wrong building such a simple structure? Apparently, as we’re about to see in the following article, there are tons of ways that stair designers can go – and have gone- completely wrong. From stairs with fuzzy coats to those that abruptly stop with no good reason, stair fails are surprisingly common. If you’ve never seen one, you’re in for a real treat. This article is a compilation of 40+ epic stair fails that we can’t quite wrap our heads around no matter how hard we try or how we squint our eyes “just the right way.”

Challenge Number One

When it comes to being slightly or very inebriated, there are a number of notable challenges, including battling the bed spins, finding a safe place to sleep before passing out, and not say anything stupid. But, if you’re someone who lives in this house, the first drunk challenge you face is brought to you courtesy of your home stairwell.

Image courtesy of dailymail.co.uk

The first challenge is making it up and down the stairs without falling and breaking your ankle or neck, or hurting your pride. We’ve been told that this design is used to save space, but, honestly, it seems like a terrible choice in terms of user safety.

Introducing The Tripper

There’s no better feeling than running up the stairs. You’re on a mission to escape from the invisible monster that’s chasing you up the basement stairs– your feet flying below you and the top of the staircase coming up fast. Nothing can ruin your streak now — except, maybe, The Tripper.

Image courtesy of DesertVol/Reddit

The Tripper, if you’re unfamiliar, is the additional layer of cement placed randomly at the top of this staircase. As you can imagine, The Tripper has earned its name fair and square, taking out unsuspecting staircase users left, right, and center for the entirety of its existence.

Budgeting Issues 101

You know how you can just look at something and see the big or small of a budget its creators had to work with? Well, that’s kind of what we can see here. In fact, that’s precisely what we see here — a low budget and cutting corners.

Image courtesy of Thund3erl1ps/Reddit

Surely whoever was charged with making this escalator ran into budgeting issues, right? Why else would the escalator be turned into a half stairs/half escalator combo when the one next to it is perfectly normal? We think that the designer needs a lesson in budgeting better.

Fuzzy Failure

Yikes. That’s the word that first comes to mind when we see this staircase. It’s probably safe to assume that the designer of this one was really into the ’70s, with its shag rugs and fuzzy everything, because this is definitely a throwback.

Image courtesy of analogHedgeHog/Reddit

Regardless of the nostalgia, we can also safely assume that you probably agree with our thoughts that this is a terrible specimen of a staircase. Stairs are not supposed to be fuzzy, and when they are, well, that’s when you know that they belong on this list.

Staircase of Horrors

There are certain everyday items that you just wouldn’t associate with anything related to horror — and staircases are generally one of them. After all, what’s so menacing about an inanimate structure that takes you from one level to another?

Image courtesy of Tom_Theunissen/Reddit

Oh, the blood stain-type pattern on these stairs, perhaps? Yep, looks like it. We’d definitely categorize these stairs into the horror genre because when we look at them, we immediately think of a dead body being dragged to the basement. Yikes.

Something’s Wrong Here

If this was our shower set up, we think we’d rather just take a bath because, let’s face it, there are multiple things wrong with this design. First and most obviously, why is there a staircase leading up to the shower? That’s definitely an accident waiting to happen.

Image courtesy of JLynx/Reddit

Secondly, why are these terrible stairs carpeted? The area around a shower is an area that should be free of carpet for mold and sanitation purposes. So, honestly, what was the designer of this bathroom thinking? It seems likely that they weren’t thinking at all.

In Case of Fire Use Stairs

Everyone knows that if a large fire starts while you’re in a large building or apartment, you’d best skip the elevator and take the stairs. That’s why there are stairs in almost all buildings around today. But what happens if you’re in this particular building when a fire breaks out?

Image courtesy of dylanLegit/Reddit

“In case of fire, take stairs,” they say. Well, we say, how am I supposed to take the stairs when they literally lead nowhere? If these are the only stairs available, we’d rather just brave it and take the elevator.

A Minor Miscalculation

If you’ve ever played Minecraft, you’re probably all too familiar with what happens when you’re slightly off with your calculations and positioning of your staircases. If you aren’t, then this is pretty much the best example you’re going to get of what we’re talking about.

Image courtesy of benxvarga/Reddit

Unfortunately, when this homeowner walks up and down this set of stairs, they have to duck halfway down for fear of being knocked unconscious by the roof. This is what we’d call a Class A Minecraft Failure of Epic Proportions. What do you think?

Totally Uneven

If you have the ever-so-exact urge in your head that makes you have to rearrange crooked pictures and only purchase two or four of an item – never in threes! – then, you may want to avoid looking at this set of stairs. Why? See for yourself if you dare.

Image courtesy of SlumberingParrot/Reddit

We told you it was bad! The first two steps at the bottom look okay, but as your eye wanders up, it just gets worse and worse until it’s pretty easy to wonder what on Earth the designer was thinking — and how they failed to fix those uneven steps.

Hello, Vertigo

We’re all for a gorgeous carpeted stairway or runner with an intricate pattern, but sometimes, patterns just go too far. Like this one, for example! It’s clearly taken things one step further than it should have (no pun intended!).

Image courtesy of pixalls.ru

These stairs are vertigo-inducing. Not only does the pattern make it hard to see where one step ends and another begins, but it’s also not easy on the eyes. We’d hate to have to walk down them every day if we didn’t have our glasses on or if we had bad balance.

A Whole Lot of Nope

There’s something to say about the sheer creativity of this incredibly flimsy and terrifying-looking staircase. But there’s even more to say about the technicalities of it, which, if we’re quite honest, seem to be lacking in both number and stability.

Image courtesy of TeeMestoil/Reddit

If we even thought that they could hold us up, which we don’t, then we’d move on to the next non-existent technicality — the fact that they’re totally unsafe. Without a railing and sticking out of the wall at various angles (the wall?!), they don’t look like something we’d want to trust.

More Nope

Honestly, the number of staircases that would fit in our “nope” category is pretty large, and this is the second one that’s wild enough to showcase on our list. It seems to us that creating stairs out of lightweight, rickety-looking material is becoming quite the trend.

Image courtesy of DawnDolphin12/Reddit

This staircase looks like it would be hard to navigate because they are huge. We’d be afraid that we would miss steps since they stagger and, if something crazy were to happen and we fell, then oh boy, would it be painful. Imagine hitting all the different levels on the way down! Nope.

StairMaster Beware

Just when you think you’ve found the workout regime to help you regain your bikini body on your ultra-expensive StairMaster…you find these 1-foot stairs — if you can call them stairs at all, that is. We’d rather call them “terrible”, “impossible”, and “stupid”.

Image courtesy of Paulcbel/Reddit

If you’re shorter than 7-feet tall, then these are not stairs; they’re a full-blown workout (torture) device. Trying to get up them would be the hurdle while getting down them being the even scarier part. We can’t help but wonder who the designer was building this house for…giants?

Tripping Hazard

Looking for a new way to fall going up the stairs? You’ve found it! If you ever stumble upon (pun not intended again!) this ominous staircase, you’re likely going to fall on your face on the way up — and no, it has nothing to do with your “two left feet.”

Image courtesy of kevo0088/Reddit

All the blame falls on the stairs themselves and the terrible, terrible raised ledge at the top. Sure, it isn’t the stairs’ fault that they have an unsightly edge, but we have to have someone to blame for the honing of our falling-up-the-stairs skills.

A Set of Jairs

What do you get when you cross everyday jeans with a set of stairs? Jairs! Jairs are a creative cross between these two common household items that we have to admit, is definitely a unique pairing. But is it a good pairing?

Image courtesy of Mr_PoodlePants

We feel like we don’t even have to answer that question, seeing as this set of jairs has made it onto this list and all. There’s something about them that makes us feel dirty. The fact that they would be incredibly hard to clean and proficient at trapping debris, maybe? Yuck.

Stairs to Nowhere

The beauty of stairs is that you know that they have to lead somewhere. Even if you don’t know where exactly, a long set of stairs leading up to another floor is going to spit you out someplace, you can guarantee that you’ll be let out in a different location than the one where you started.

Image courtesy of borabones/Reddit

Unless, of course, you go to this university where staircases are abundant, random, and known for leading to nowhere. It just doesn’t make sense to us. Why waste money creating a staircase that has no discernible function? The only way this set of stairs would make sense is if there was a secret door hidden at the top of them.

What Stairs?

From this vantage point, you wouldn’t even know that these stairs are, in fact, stairs. They almost look like a ramp of some sort, which we’re sure has caused more than a few broken ankles, cracked tailbones, and sore buttocks.

Image courtesy of DurkleR/Reddit

It’s fun to ponder how this cinema could have possibly thought that this type of flooring was a good choice for a staircase. Either the managers who gave the OK were expressing their over-creative sides or just thought it would be fun to count how many people stumbled down the stairs like a newborn baby giraffe each day.

A Slippery Disaster

If you have any experience with the dealings of cold winters, you know something about what it’s like to battle the ice and snow that takes hold of outdoor staircases. This being said, can you imagine the challenge that would be trying not to break an ankle on icy, tile steps?

Image courtesy of donut_ghostie/Reddit

We can — but we’d really rather not! However, whoever designed this staircase clearly doesn’t know a thing about what goes on during the winter and how slippery things get. If they did, surely they would have thought twice about what they chose to make their stairs out of.

45-Degree Nonsense

What. Is. This. After a solid 5 minutes of looking at this monstrosity of a staircase, we still can’t figure it out. It seems to serve its purpose as a staircase well enough, but why is it so lopsided? That’s what we’d really like to know.

Image courtesy of swol1972/Reddit

Of course, we know that we’ll probably never find out why it was built like this, and so, we’re going just to agree to live our lives in awe of this terrible, terrible, nonsensical staircase. Good riddance, we say! Don’t you think?

The Right Side…The Wrong Side?

It’s probably a good thing that we don’t live in this house. Why you may ask? Just take a look at the location of this staircase, and you’ll have your answer — a very, very valid answer if we do say so ourselves.

Image courtesy of Akash Bhadu/Pinterest

The fact that the stairs don’t align with the doorframe properly is probably a good indicator of how the rest of the house is built. So, if that’s true, we’ll just be happy that we’ve never had to carefully step down onto this staircase at 2 AM without taking a tumble.


There are some DIY projects that just shouldn’t be DIY’d, and, unfortunately for this homeowner, stairs are proving to be one of them. It can’t be said for sure whether the homeowner built them or whether a ‘professional’ did, but either way, it’s safe to say that these stairs look like a DIY project from a Pinterest fail board.

Image courtesy of thebad_bigwolf/Reddit

Honestly, though, the stairs are kind of cool looking (if not a tad bit unsafe), but we still wouldn’t trust them, especially since they look like they might be polished and slippery. Not to mention that their width isn’t consistent, and you’d have to be very careful where you stepped.

Headache Waiting to Happen

Looking at the position of this staircase, we’re really beginning to wonder why the designer hates the human race so much. After all, no one with a love of people would put a big cement column right in the middle of a staircase, right? The situation is a literal headache waiting to happen!

Image courtesy of Magic_Dojo/Reddit

We can just see it happening — someone walking absentmindedly up the stairs, probably on their phone or something, and then SMACK! They run right into the large column that jumped out in front of them from nowhere—what a great way to give yourself a concussion.

Stairs 1, Cupboards 0

Ah yes, the classic battle of stairs versus storage space. If you’ve never heard of this battle, it’s likely because you’re fortunate enough to live in a home that was designed by someone who knew what they were doing instead of someone who just wanted a paycheck.

Image courtesy of PoorFitPoncho/Reddit

In this house, it seems that the stairs are winning and that the poor cupboard, which is blocked haphazardly, will never see the light of day. The homeowner who discovered this had to be absolutely gutted when they realized that they were being robbed of precious storage space.

This Designer Should Be Benched

In sports, if a player does something outlandish or performs poorly, he or she is put on the bench, which is known as being “benched.” In our humble opinion, the designer of this staircase should be put on the bench for creating such an awful design.

Image courtesy of FallenAster/Reddit

Thanks to the way the bench has been both built into the wall and attached to the staircase, whoever lives here is going to forever have to jump from the bottom of the staircase onto the floor. Hopefully, the person who moves in is young enough to handle that much unnecessary exercise.

Stairs to Nothing

Here we have another case of mysterious stairs that lead to nowhere. Standing out from other staircases, this one is relatively small and compact, kind of like the designer didn’t want to waste too much time but still figured that he should put some effort into creating this useless means of ascension.

Image courtesy of derekmckinnon/Reddit

Instead of these, there could be a perfectly good storage closet there. Or maybe a shelf. Perhaps even a small table with a coffee maker or something — anything but nothing! What would you use this teeny tiny space for? Surely anything is better than what’s there.

Trapped With No Exit

This setup looks more like a cage than a set of stairs. Obviously, one side of the stairs performs as it should, but the other…well, we don’t exactly know what went wrong there. The cage created by this handrail looks more and more menacing the more you look at it, which is pretty unsettling.

Image courtesy of andrewisxyz/Reddit

It wouldn’t take much for a child to get trapped inside the cage and not be able to get out despite the fact that they could probably duck underneath or a skateboarder trying to do a new trick to get wiped out. Overall, this design just looks like it would cause more trouble than it’s worth.

Missed A Step

You know the feeling of missing a step on your way down the stairs. Well, what if it wasn’t just a feeling and you were, quite literally, missing a step? Or two or three…maybe four? With this staircase, there’s an overwhelming possibility that someone has most certainly missed a number of steps.

Image courtesy of penguin_popp3r/Reddit

When we say this, we aren’t talking about the people who use this staircase (even though someone has probably fallen down the stairs at some point). Nope — we’re talking about the designer! They have clearly missed the mark in more ways than one with this design.

Another Nope.

If you have a problem with OCD or OCD-like tendencies that make crooked pictures intolerable, you may want to scroll right on past this stair fail. We don’t generally have problems with things being out of place or crooked, but this one still manages to grind our gears.

Image courtesy of Jazzy Cummings/Pinterest

There’s so much wrong here, starting with the wall. Who designs a wall to be shaped like that? And then, on top of it, who builds the stairs to match that level of terribleness?! But to top it off, the railing has to be the icing on the cake. Absolutely terrible.

Do Not Enter

Behind every bad staircase is a story worthy of being whispered around break room tables — and this one is like all the others. It’s a classic case of someone trying to fix a problem but actually making it worse by creating a brand new obstacle for the next generation to overcome.

Image courtesy of arethereanymorecookies/Blogspot

The person who put this railing staircase combination here was attempting to replace a haphazardly placed stack of cinder blocks that the employees used as steps. Unfortunately, this design doesn’t seem to work out very well, as the railing quite effectively blocks employees from using the brand new staircase. Fail.

Rooftop Access

What a cute little shed! Surely there’s nothing about this building that we could pick apart, right? We won’t find any silly, useless doors or pointless staircases….this is a sensible building! Or is it? That’s the question we have as we take in this photo.

Image courtesy of FacePalm/Fail King

Yep…never mind. We’ve found a ridiculous staircase that seems to go nowhere. The only thing we could see it being useful for is burglarizing or, maybe, cleaning the roof? It might also be handy if there was a ball stuck on the roof or something, but all in all, it looks a bit pointless.

Unfinished Business

There’s a lot going on here. But we’re going to focus not on the incredibly dangerous platform sans guardrail but on the staircase that stretches up to meet it. Why? Because it’s a truly awful example of all the ways that modern construction can go wrong.

Image courtesy of Ubani Obinna/structville.com

By the looks of things, whoever was in charge of building this staircase ran out of steam at the 3/4 mark and chose just to leave the stairs as is, unfinished and menacing looking. To be fair, though, if they realized that it would be pointless to complete the stairs because of the random platform, we could understand why they might call it quits.

Balancing Act

When you get up in the morning and stumble to the bathroom for your morning bladder relief, you probably don’t actually stumble getting to the toilet. But if you live in this house and have this staircase to contend with, you just might.

Image courtesy of Chris B/Pinterest

As if trying to get to the toilet wasn’t treacherous enough, trying to balance enough to use it sure would be. Where would your right leg go? Your feet? The stairs aren’t even the same size to give you any stability! The designer of them -and the entire bathroom – should be fired. Seriously.

Staircase of Horrors

Some interior designs are so bad that looking at them brings tears to our eyes. This is, unfortunately, one of those times, and, once again, the subject of the brings-tears-to-your-eyes design is a bad staircase. Quite funny how often that seems to be the case, huh?

Image courtesy of twitter.com/baghwallah

This terrible staircase, though, is probably a bit more likely to bring actual tears to people’s eyes, seeing as how easy it would be to fall down the stairs while shaving. We’d hate to be the poor person who has to explain to the doctor how they broke their ankle brushing their teeth.

Stairs? Where?

Nothing ruins a perfectly good staircase, quite like a bad carpet pattern. This pattern is a prime example of what we mean — not only is it an ugly pattern, but it’s also super dangerous! It makes it impossible to distinguish where the stairs even are.

Image courtesy of scienceyeaux/Reddit

If faced with this staircase, we’d be tempted to drop to the ground and butt slide to the bottom for fear of missing a step and falling. After all, it’s much better to be safe than sorry, right? Even if this mantra reduces a grown man to butt-sliding like a toddler.

Staircase Ladder

Besides its various angles nearly guaranteeing that you’ll miss a step (or six!), this staircase is so steep that it almost looks like some sort of ladder. It practically goes straight up, forcing whoever is walking on it to use their upper body strength to reach the top.

Image courtesy of Lolammo/Reddit

If this were our house, we’d have a chair lift installed. There’s no way that we’d be able to get up and down these things a million times a day! On the bright side, though, whoever lives here probably has a killer set of pecs.

Terrifying Tub

In all honesty, we’re not sure whether this was a case of stair failure or of a home renovation gone horribly wrong. Either way, though, we feel like it deserves a spot on our list due to its sheer silliness. Seriously, what was whoever did this thinking?

Image courtesy of The LoneGinger9/Reddit

This would be one adventure that we’d be more than happy to pass up. In fact, we wouldn’t need more than a second to make the decision. There’s no bath – no matter how bubbly and warm – that’s worth falling down the stairs.

Red Brick Failure

Does this count as a staircase? In all technical senses of the word, yes, it does, unfortunately. That doesn’t mean that we’d ever trust this thing to carry us safely towards and away from the ground, though. That would be sheer madness.

Image courtesy of demetri47/Reddit

We have to give this designer credit, though…they’ve definitely tapped into a part of their brain that not many of us use on a daily basis. Now, whether that’s a good thing or not is a whole other question that we, for the sake of time, won’t be diving into.

Toilet Lid Stairs

These stairs are a piece of art, a masterpiece, a work of creativity for the ages. Literally — it’s said that they’re an art project. Regardless, they’re still semi-function able, theoretical – and terrible-stairs, so they’ve found their way onto our list without a second thought.

Image courtesy of shehzad/Reddit

To us, these stairs look more like toilet seats than they do reliable stairs. They look nearly as slippery as a toilet seat would be, too! If these ever get installed anywhere, we hope that the homeowners don’t attempt to scale them with wet feet…yikes.

Caution: Do Not Walk

For whatever reason, this staircase has something that reminds us of “do not walk here” caution tape. Why? Who knows, honestly. This staircase doesn’t look particularly hazardous, does it? Nope! Not even if you squint your eyes and tilt your head.

Image courtesy of ptakos/Reddit

So, what’s up with this then? There has to be a reason that this staircase was built like this…unless, of course, the designer allowed his teenage son to draw up the design plans, and he did so in the fashion of a skateboard park. We could definitely see a skateboard flying down these built-in ramps…

Final Twist

Imagine this: you’re at a bougie boutique that you’ve never been to before. You’re walking around the first floor, gathering all the items in your size, when suddenly, you look up and notice a grand staircase leading to a second floor.

Iage coirtesy of MadeYouReadThis/Reddit

With a new sense of excitement, you rush up the staircase…only to smack your head on the roof! What a tragic story, huh? Unfortunately, that’s exactly what would happen if someone tried to ascend to the second floor using this set of stairs.


For stairs that don’t quite look like they’ve been done by a professional with years of experience and technical know-how, these stairs are pretty well done. Unfortunately, like all the other staircases on our list, they have a major flaw — or two (or three?).

Image courtesy of Elmaaro/Reddit

They kind of look like they’ve been fashioned out of serving trays or cheese platters or something else that comes from the kitchen and is used for serving food. In addition, they also seem to have quite a bit of space between them, which is definitely an ankle-twisting hazard.

A Little to the Left

Tilting your head to the left, to the right, or hanging upside down won’t help you see these stairs straight because, well…they’re not straight! It’s not just a trick of the eye; it’s a legitimate and highly dangerous built-in design flaw.

Image courtesy of True_Duke_Of_Spooks/Reddit

The builder tasked with putting these in order had one job at which, as you can see, he failed miserably. These stairs are so bad that we can’t even think of an excuse for the shoddy workmanship. Was he drunk? The steps certainly look like they are…

Tummy Tuck

If there were ever an obvious to reinstate that old gym membership and painstakingly count calories, it would be the fact that someone’s home is equipped with this horrible staircase. The poor homeowner must be slim as a board to make it past that railing!

Image courtesy of D_Diddy/Reddit

If they moved in with a bit of a tummy, they’d have had plenty of reason to start a fad diet. That’s why we’re glad that we don’t live here — we like food way too much to give it up for the sake of poorly positioned stairs.

Recipe for Broken Ankles

Have you ever wondered how you’d make your basement stairs as dangerous as possible? Well, if you have, we have a real treat for you! Here’s the recipe for creating a devastatingly dangerous set of stairs! Enjoy (and you’re welcome!).

Image courtesy of BlackJPI

First, you make sure that the stairs are as uneven as humanly possible. Secondly, ensure that there is a sudden sharp turn, and then, to top it all off, don’t forget the ugly blue and white checkers! You never know when you might need to have a picnic on the basement stairs.