Concrete Steps 101

Most of us have concrete steps in the front or back of our home. However, how many of us have steps that say “Wow!” when someone comes to call? There is no reason to settle for drab when it comes to the steps leading to your front door or back patio. With these design tips, your concrete steps will give your home the grand entrance it deserves.

A Few Basics

Before we get into the “Wow!” factor, let’s talk a few brass tacks. The size and depth of your steps is an important consideration for safety reasons. The general rule for steps of any kind is to go no higher than seven inches in the riser and at least 11 inches deep on the tread. You can also go with an even deeper tread and a shorter riser for a quicker sprint to and from your door. Just make sure that risers are at least four inches high for an easy gait and aesthetic value.

If your flight of stairs is going to be higher than five feet, break up the steps with a landing in the middle. Landings right outside the door should be no lower than 7 ½ inches below the bottom of the door. You also want to make sure your steps are not too slippery by giving them a broom finish or another sort of texture that will maintain sound footing. By following these basic guidelines, you can rest assured that your concrete steps are as safe as they are beautiful. Now, let’s get to the fun stuff.

Design Options

Concrete step design is only limited by your sense of style and your imagination. The biggest advantage to concrete today is that it can take on almost any look you want it to. For example, you can change the color of your concrete steps to a beautiful beige, brick red or sandy green hue. You can go with an acid stain for a mottled appearance or a dye for a solid sprint of color. Choose a hue to coordinate with the exterior of your home or match it to the existing color of your concrete patio or walkway.

Another fun option in concrete steps is to add pattern to the surface. This can be done through the stamping technique, which is particularly effective when applied to steps. You can create the look of faux stone, tile or brick without worrying about stability or durability. You can also use exposed aggregate to add color and texture to the surface. For a really nice finish to your concrete steps, consider the addition of step liners that will provide a decorative edging to your stairs. These noses and liners also come in an array of styles and colors so you can match them to your current design.

Concrete steps have come a long way in the world of decorative concrete and outdoor design. Choose a style and color for your concrete steps that will make the entrance of your home say, “Wow!” to all who visit.