Masonry steps are created from using bricks, stone, hollow tiles or concrete. Typically, a building contractor uses mortar to bind elements for cohesiveness and sturdiness in each component. Aside from the technical description, masonry stairs and steps can blend with interior and exterior designs to create an attractive sight.
There are many advantages to having masonry steps instead of plywood to enter your home or pace of business. One of the most important benefits is the durability masonry brings to stairways. When steps are made with concrete, they have a greater chance of lasting for many years. This can also reduce the number of concrete repairs since the steps will last longer.
Another essential benefit to concrete stairs is easy maintenance care. Cleaning is fairly simple, which makes it easier to keep the steps in spotless condition. In many cases, applying a thin layer of sealant will help to prevent grime and dirt accumulation on the surface of the masonry.
Not only are concrete steps a practical solution, but there are many concrete designs that add a decorative element to an otherwise plain area. People may not notice stairs unless they are missing or need repair. However, people will notice stained or stamped concrete that coordinates with an overall decorative theme.
The versatility in designing concrete is a blank canvas for contractors and property owners. Generally, concrete steps can be covered with tile, painted or stained to blend with most decor. A new concrete project can combine a decorative walkway with masonry stairs to achieve a dramatic effect outdoors. For indoor projects, masonry can blend with concrete walls and fireplaces to bring unity to the new concrete design.
It is not uncommon to use new concrete to construct steps in different types of landscaping and building projects. Steps made with distinctive masonry are the most prominent characteristic at the entryway of a house. Some designs may even include concrete steps leading into a recessed bathtub or sunken living room.
With public buildings, concrete stairs are decorative and practical. These steps can create multi-tiered landscaping around an office building and be part of different levels within the same building. A good coat of protective sealant will protect the stairs from an unexpected concrete repair. This can also improve safety concerns and make the steps slip resistant due to high volumes of foot traffic.
Other safety considerations include design structure, handrails and lighting. Poorly designed masonry stairs are unsafe and can lead to slips and falls. A masonry contractor should be just as concerned with safety as they are with creating beautiful steps. Reducing the chances of injury involves making sure there is uniform structure with all treads and risers.
For example, treads should be between 10 and 13 inches; risers at least six inches are considered foot-friendly.
All stairways should be lit properly at night with either overhead lighting or light fixtures. Consistent light levels are also important considerations when designing stairs. Installing handrails may also reduce the number of falls in the home or at an office building.
Using a trusted masonry contractor and crew can help to ensure finished projects are in compliance with local building code standards.