Confused Between Concrete And Steel? Here Is What You Should Know About The Right Staircase Material

Stairs make for an aesthetic feature in any multi-story structure, including industrial, residential and commercial buildings. Not only is the staircase design important, but the choice of materials also matters. Before you decide to opt for steel stairs construction in Canada, it is wise to know the difference between steel and concrete beforehand.  

While stairs can be constructed using other materials such as wood and stone, steel and concrete are the most widely used construction materials today.

Understanding the difference between concrete and steel stairs

Steel and concrete have different costs and benefits depending on various applications. Steel stairs are lighter, stronger, and more flexible when it comes to design, unlike concrete stairs.

  • Steel¬†is comprised of iron, carbon and other materials. Steel staircases are often galvanized with a long-lasting zinc coating to keep corrosive substances from reaching the steel beneath. Sometimes, stainless steel, naturally resistant to corrosion, is used for stair construction.
  • Concrete comprises three components, including water, rock, sand, or gravel and powdered cement.
  • Steel staircases are more prevalent in indoor settings. Steel can also be used to construct outdoor stairs, especially galvanized or stainless steel.
  • Concrete staircases are famous for outdoor applications but can also be used as the base of stairs in commercial and residential buildings. Concrete is usually used for straight stairs or L-shaped stairs.

Concrete versus steel stairs strength and durability

Both concrete and steel stairs are strong and durable. However, every type of staircase has its advantages and flaws depending on the environment in which they are used.

Steel is considered the sturdiest material, hence, ideal for staircases. Steel stairs possess high tensile strength, which means they are resistant to splitting under tension. Galvanized steel increases its durability in outdoor environments with harsh weather elements. In addition, steel is five times stronger than concrete and can bear excessive weight. Therefore, a staircase made out of steel is stronger than one made of concrete.

On the other hand, concrete does not have a tensile strength similar to steel. Due to this, concrete staircases are sometimes built with hidden metal reinforcing bars to make them more durable.

Moreover, concrete is fire-resistant and is often used for fire exit stairwells. Since concrete can absorb vibrations, it is effective in soundproofing, which makes it an ideal choice for hospital or school staircases.

Aesthetics and staircase design

When it comes to aesthetics and design, steel is the obvious winner over concrete. Not only is steel durable and strong, but it is also a flexible and adaptable material that can be shaped into various designs, including spiral and circular staircases. These days, especially in homes and offices, steel stairs are built. Wood, stone or tile can be used for other parts of steel stairs, such as handrails, balustrades and stringers to create a customized and unique look.

Concrete stairs are more functional than aesthetic. While they serve their purpose if located outdoors, such as a garage or basement, you will not see them in living areas. Furthermore, concrete staircases are a tad challenging to shape with great accuracy.

Iron Span Canada is a leading steel manufacturing and construction company offering customized and unique solutions to clients at an affordable price. Please visit our website if you are willing to know more about steel stair construction.

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