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concrete stair well


  • Are concrete stairs appropriate for exterior applications?
    Concrete is actually the ideal material for exterior stairs as it is durable in all weather conditions and can stand up well to freeze-thaw conditions.
  • Will polished stair treads be slippery?
    When covered in water or oil, yes, they will be slippery. However, this is not usually the case for interior stairs. Polished concrete in an exterior application is not advised.
  • What are the building codes regarding stair dimensions?
    They vary slightly, but generally commercial stairs have a maximum riser height of 7” and minimum tread depth of 11” (residential applications are often more tolerant at 7-¾ x 10”, respectively). There also cannot be variation of greater than ⅜” within a given run of stairs. Landings must occur for any run greater than 10’ in elevation change.
  • How are the stair treads connected?
    It depends on the structure of the stairs. For fully supported steel plate stairs, the most common way is with an adhesive, either polyurethane or epoxy. For unsupported stairs, the most common method is with steel hardware, often threaded studs protrude from the tread and are connected with nuts and washers.
  • Do I have to do anything special to prepare substrate for concrete stairs?
    With a steel substrate, the surface must be cleaned and scuffed up, providing a surface for the adhesive to grip to.
  • Can the treads be attached directly to stringers, leaving an open gap between them?
    Certainly, this is known as an “open-riser”, and building code typically allows this as long as the gap between the stairs is smaller than 4”. In these cases, the treads are typically supplied with threaded studs protruding from the bottom, to fit into matching brackets welded to the stringers.
  • What are the options for the finish of the stair treads?
    The most common options are polished and acid washed, but terrazzo and sandblasted are also options, as is textured with specialty forms.
  • Could polished treads be made with abrasive nosing to give some grip to people walking on them?
    Certainly, we most often use stair nosings by Nystrom and Balco, but are willing to incorporate other products as specified.
  • How thin can you make concrete stair treads?
    We can safely make stair treads as thin as 1” (2.5cm) as long as they are properly supported.
  • Can you also make concrete risers?
    Absolutely, these can either be made as part of the tread, also known as “closed-riser”, or as a separate piece, for a more classic look.

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