Common material for outdoor stairs

Wednesday April 25 2018

Fitting tiles on your concrete stairs

Fitting tiles on your concrete stairs will enhance their look. Photo by Racheal Mabala 

By REGINA NALUJJA

Stairs are an important element in decorating your garden or your house. Outdoor stairs can give a great look, and are very practical. You can use them to access the ground floor, deck or get to the patio.

Henry Kizito, an exterior designer, says no matter the design you choose, you cannot change the technical look of the stairs because they will become unsafe. You must use the appropriate measurements in width, length and height depending on the kind of stairs and the surface at hand.

You can use stone, wood or concrete for your project. You can also install metal railings because they provide safety and look very nice.

Concrete stairs
Concrete is the most durable and popular material used to build outdoor stairs. Besides the fact that concrete stairs require little maintenance, they are very good looking. Many homeowners prefer concrete to other materials for their staircases.

Concrete stairs are long lasting, they do not require special maintenance and can stand any weather change. Besides, you can build concrete stairs in a multitude of designs such as round, straight, and spiral. They can also be given marvelous finishes and decorations.

Installing tiles on the stairs is another great idea, which enhances the look because tiles come in different designs. Floorings can also be used since they are available in various designs and usually made of granites, ceramics or mosaics.

Metallic stairs
Due to the metal resistance to extreme temperature changes and humidity fluctuations, a metal staircase can be ideal outside. The most beneficial metal staircase is made with either aluminum or steel. These two types of metals are the finest quality metals and provide the most durability and versatility among the rest.
Metal staircase is a favourite to many homeowners. The design possibilities for a metal stair case are endless according to Kizito.

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He adds that highly flexible metal makes staircase installation extremely easy. This helps to keep construction costs low. The ease of staircase installation also becomes cost-effective in the construction process. Metal stairs are known to be low maintenance and highly functional.

Sealant, varnish, or paint is not necessary to maintain the staircase appearance, hence saving time and energy. However, metals are a bit expensive to purchase and since some are iron or bronze made, they could change colour over time which may be unpleasant. However, Kizito says metals can be waxed and coated with patina to preserve their appearance.
Stone Stairs
Stones are the most durable as far as materials used for exterior stairs are concerned. Stone stairs can last for thousands of years. Stones look good depending on the design one chooses. Some stones are coloured whereas others are cut into very nice shape to boost their appearance. These are fitted on the surface just like tiles. Stones look extremely great in gardens. A combination of flowers, grasses and stones gives a more paradise look.

Stones can also be beautifully glued together to make terraces at the extreme ends of ones’ home just to mark boundaries. Unlike wood, stones are simpler to construct good in places with a hilly and stone terrain.

Wooden
Wood is a unique material that gives your home a new, fresh, and stylish look that can also enhance the ambiance of your exterior. Installing a wooden staircase adds more value and elegance to your property, as it is a natural and beautiful material. Your wooden staircase can definitely become the center of attraction.

Wood is available in various types such as maple, polar, cherry, and oak. You can easily select one based on your personal taste and financial preferences.
Wood is considered one of the safest materials compared to other available materials for stairs. It is more secure than other types of stairs, especially if you have children or older people living in the house.

If you treat your wood with the appropriate stain, you run less risk of having your stairs becoming a hazard. Also, paint chips and flakes after heavy use. When you use a stain there will see less damage to the wood stairs. However, wood can be easily damaged by high humidity and extreme temperatures.

It also needs to be treated for pests. Although wooden stairs may be less expensive, installing a wooden spiral staircase will cost you more than installing a metal staircase.

rnalujja@ug.nationmedia.com

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