Many trends come and go when it comes to the home improvement scene. One type that has been around for quite some time is the use of concrete. It is among the top choices in driveways, pool surrounds, and now even with steps.
Concrete steps are the latest talk of the town. Despite having existed for several years, they are steadily gaining in popularity amongst homeowners and businesses. Precast concrete steps, in particular, are a preferred option where factory-moulded steps or stairs are installed in the vicinity.
Why Choose Concrete Steps
The steps are easy to install, convenient, and affordable. Traditional concrete that is poured in place may have its advantages and a few similarities with precast concrete. However, the latter offers more benefits.
Before we get to the top trends in concrete steps, you may want to know first about why you should pick this type of stairs. Then, you can choose which of the trends can be applied to your steps.
Precast steps are less labour-intensive, especially compared to traditional concrete stairs. The product and the installation service become affordable than the conventional way of installing concrete. Depending on the contractor, you can save about half to 1/3 of the cost of poured in place concrete stairs.
Precast, as the name suggests, is already moulded at the factory. Usually, they go through the procedure to create precast concrete in large quantities. With the required labour reduced in cost and time, the finished product also costs less.
Additionally, precast concrete is lightweight since they are hollow inside. Contractors can quickly transport the steps to your home. Making adjustments and even lifting the steps are also easy to accomplish.
Precast concrete does not need the sun to dry. It is why precast concrete steps are great for both outdoor and indoor applications. Unlike the traditional pour-in-place cement, you will have to wait for a sunny day to complete most of the tasks. Installation with precast concrete steps can be performed in any weather. Plus, it usually takes an hour or less to finish the job.
Finally, you can use precast almost immediately. Most of the time, the steps are installed in an area with heavy foot traffic. If you opt for the traditional way, it can cause temporary disruptions in the flow of traffic.
With precast steps, you can continue accessing the interior of your home or other parts of the building even as other construction takes place.
Ideas That Will Transform Your Concrete Steps
Precast concrete steps are incredibly durable. They also look great because they have been moulded and cured under ideal conditions in the factory. The seamless design gives them the ability to resist water damage because there are no cracks or gaps.
Whether you have poured-in-place or precast concrete, you do not have to limit their appearance to dull grey concrete. The good news is that your concrete steps can be decorated with designs and colours that match your surroundings.
Concrete steps are extremely versatile since you can use them for gardens and other outdoor spaces. They are also suitable for split-level houses and even commercial buildings, including restaurants, offices, and busy apartments. The steps are a good choice for swimming pools as well.
The possibilities are endless when creating concrete stairs. You can even achieve stunning visual effects by simply combining decorative concrete steps with concrete walkways. If you have not made up your mind yet about concrete steps because of the preconceived restrictions in appearance, the following will change your mind.
Here are the top trends that will make you want to switch to concrete steps right away:
The Natural Look
It is easy for concrete steps to have that natural look, especially if you choose the precast option. The moulds are often textured and can be combined with coloured concrete. The mixture allows the steps to have a natural look, which can easily trick you into thinking you have real granite steps. You can also opt for a look that resembles bricks or fieldstone.
The undeniable versatility of concrete makes the steps more interesting. There is no longer a misconception that the material can only have that monotonous grey appearance. With the endless number of options, you can use a design that can remind you of natural building materials without the high costs.
This style makes your home stand out as well. Many residents utilise concrete steps but they do not change the look. The unique natural-looking steps are typically shaped irregularly. This way, they have the appearance that allows them to fit in with the surroundings.
Multiple Width Steps
Concrete steps, although they are cast and moulded first, can take on different sizes. You can go for the standard width while customising the other steps. There may be limitations, but you can still select from the available measurements.
Using different sizes may be rare for stairs, especially indoors due to safety reasons. However, it has captured many homeowners’ attention because of the effect it creates. More often than not, the steps start wide at the bottom and go steeper as they go higher. It is not scarily steep, so you will not have an issue with safety. Nevertheless, it is a great style, especially for accessing rooms that are not as high up.
A planter is a separate type of casting bolted to the concrete steps. There is a prerequisite size for the steps so that they can accommodate the planters. When executed properly, the planter can complement the overall look of the stairs while also going well with the landscape.
This style is often installed in gardens or yards for easy use of the plants. Typically, shaded plants are the best options.
Concrete steps with planters are ideal everywhere, including the outdoor area that receives plenty of foot traffic. The material has always been known for its durability. Even if they chip over time, regular maintenance can prevent such a problem.
This trend is perhaps the most popular right now. It has a modern look and fits many homes in Australia. Floating steps are mostly added to a Japanese-style garden. However, they can also be suitable indoors, since they can easily accent a contemporary aesthetic design.
The methods of using floating steps differ based on their location. For a garden, these concrete steps should look like they float above grass or gravel. Therefore, they are excellent for those with a grassy slope because they look like an organic part of the surroundings.
Meanwhile, if you plan to install the steps indoors, you should think about how they would complement your interior design. Floating steps are monolithic with sheer and geometrically aligned surfaces.
One more cool thing about floating concrete steps is that they can be designed however you want. They can be stained, stamped, stencilled, or polished concrete. Many of the fashionable looks today involve an austere grey colour (or sometimes white), but you can still choose the one that matches your preferences.
If you do add a splash of colour to your floating steps, you may want to go for exposed aggregate. It helps give that extra layer of organic texture to the overall design. Therefore, you have a more natural look. Also, another reason why these floating steps are popular these days is that they can be in different shapes, including squares and circles.
The floating concrete steps truly allow homeowners to let their real aesthetic shine.
Leading to Your Home
Concrete steps can be wide that they look like raised pieces of land. It is common to see wide stairs starting from the garden walkway all the way to the front door. If wide steps are not your thing, you can go for the style that you believe will fit your landscape better.
Often, this design is best for those with elevated homes, although it can still work for those on flat land. The stairs, just like the other trends, can have different styles and colours. Most of the time, however, they resemble stone for a great effect.
Steps with Rails
Even though the stairs are made of five or even fewer steps, railings are an excellent addition. Aside from the concrete steps having different looks, you can also customise the railings. This way, you have a fully personalised spot. It looks fantastic, especially for yard steps.
There are numerous choices from wrought iron to wood to glass. Some are painted, while others are left alone in their natural colour. The beauty of this method is that you get to choose what you want your stairs to look.
When your steps are attractive, you do not want to hide them from view. However, there are some instances when your home’s design may call for inconspicuous stairs.
Construction does not have to be rocket science. All it takes is planning, which is an essential step in creating a hidden set of stairs that work correctly. The main goal is to have functional stairs, still. For instance, they can be under-stairs, which allow you to hide the stairs unit. Many homeowners have turned the stairs into a multi-purpose area where they would incorporate a sliding cupboard with clothes rails and hooks.
Concrete steps, together with railings made of steel or even any material, opens many opportunities for details. For instance, it can look like a spiral staircase with linear motifs. Together, the result can be quite mesmerising, especially from afar.
Most of the time, homeowners would incorporate the stairs in areas where they need to remove the attention towards a particular spot. It can also complement other parts of the house, such as a minimalist living room with a huge window. Just make sure it does not block the view.
A planter with a stairway that connects the outdoor space to the basement is incredibly intriguing. The idea is to have layers of concrete for the steps and incorporate them with the planters. It works great for those with gardens or even a small backyard.
Eco-Friendly Concrete Steps
With many advocates of the planet, people are constantly looking for ways to help the environment. If you plan to install concrete steps in your home, you can choose eco-friendly materials. It means these materials utilise less energy in the production process. Plus, they do not produce as much carbon dioxide as other materials, including standard concrete.
High greenhouse emissions have always been an issue in the cement industry. Thankfully, it is now possible to lower the greenhouse footprint of creating concrete with the use of better tools.
Concrete stairs are customisable, which creates a significant opportunity in generating more trends in the future. For now, the abovementioned styles make up the most sought-after looks in concrete steps. Contact Concrete Crib today to get your concrete stairway to heaven.