Deciding the design and layout of the staircase is vital in planning one’s house, but what’s just as important (though often disregarded) is deciding the material to be used. Although one could simply consult an architect or a stair specialist to help in deciding which one is best one for your home staircase, one should still be aware of the common materials used.
A major consideration would be to match the home’s motif: having metal stairs in a mostly-hardwood house may not fit as well with the home’s theme and may seem out of place. So, here are the different materials used for staircases, and what to keep in mind when picking the right one:
Concrete is one of the most common and cheapest materials used for stairs, and can conveniently be moulded and fit to any shape you desire. It is also arguably one of the toughest and most durable material to be used and would be best if heavy foot traffic (or transporting heavy appliance or furniture) as they would support weight better than most materials. The downside of concrete is that it’s plain, and one could argue that by choosing concrete, you’re sacrificing style over utility. However, if designed correctly with the right house design (such as contemporary or minimalist designs), concrete could be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Any chipping can easily be patched up, as well.
Stone is also commonly used for building staircases. Stone can also be easily carved into different shapes. Although relatively less tough than concrete, stone staircases are much more stylistic and there are different types of stones one could use. Marble and granite usually come to mind when planning stone staircases. Damaged or chipped stone treads could be hard to repair, and may even warrant having the entire tread replaced with a new slab.
Metal staircases are durable and can give a rustic feel to your home, but they are susceptible to corrosion and are better suited indoors to avoid rust. Metal is often used in spiral or curved staircases and is quite flexible and easy to install. Metal also is safer than other materials as it does not get as slippery as other materials when wet.
Wood is perhaps one of the most stylish and rustic of materials to be used and is quite versatile and compatible with most home motifs. Wood is easy to install and is relatively cheap (though hardwood could fetch a higher price). However, it is not as strong as concrete and would be best used with houses having wooden interiors.
Glass is luxurious and contemporary. Although glass used for stairs are quite tough, they are not as durable as the other materials mentioned and need regular maintenance.
There are numerous options in designing your home staircase. Choosing which staircase material to go with your home does not only contribute to its aesthetic design but also its structural integrity, function, and design limitations. But if you’re ever in doubt of which material would be best, you can always call a stair specialist to help you out.