Facing the staircase with different types of stone is an excellent solution for outdoor structures and large houses, which remind of palaces due to their size and luxury. Stone stairs are characterized by exceptional durability and resistant to the temperature and humidity changes. They are noble and majestic. The choice of stone for facing depends on your own wishes and financial capacity. However, different materials have different prices. If you can’t afford exquisite marble, granite steps will be an excellent decoration of the stairs and reliable support for their owners.
Granite as it is
Amazing beauty of granite is due to its complex composition: this is a polymineral rock that consists of three main elements – feldspar (more than 50%), quartz and dark-colored minerals. In addition, granite may contain other additives conditioning the main parameters of granite.
It should be noted that high levels of quartz in stone increases its strength. However, if it contains more than 10% of biotite, it may start crumbling within a few years.
Therefore, when choosing the granite steps for the porch, it would be useful to obtain information about the composition of material.
Granite steps have the following advantages:
- Don’t fade or deform.
- Easy to treat and care.
- Very eco-friendly and free from toxic substances.
- Original shades and textures.
- Stone composition allows you to build different edges, apply the pattern and relief.
Granite steps is an excellent option for those who want to give ceremonial look to the indoor staircase or outdoor porch and be sure of the safety of installation of all its elements. Despite the obvious benefits, granite steps have their disadvantages: for example, it is almost impossible to hide the seams and joints, while the high-quality installation of all components of the structure can be performed only by the highly qualified specialists.
Nevertheless, all these drawbacks are not essential: natural beauty of stone always attracts and fascinates, while the democratic price makes this luxury quite accessible.
Grains, layers and colors: choice of granite
Unlike marble, granite is characterized by incredible diversity of colors and textures. Therefore, when choosing the material, you should consider not only the compatibility of color with the environment, but also its texture.
Main characteristic of stone is grain size: granite steps for the street can be made only of the fine-grained material, as the mineral with larger fraction is vulnerable to abrasion and erosion. Indoor stairs may contain elements of medium-grained granite. However, it is mainly used for lining the facades.
One of the main characteristics of granite its heavy weight: the weight of в one-meter wide tread can reach 55 kg. Therefore, the structure must be properly calculated to withstand such load.
Next criteria for the choice of granite steps is the pattern. For public buildings, people usually use uniform material with smooth background, as the price of such granite steps is much lower. For private houses, you should choose layered or streak stone: unique stains will make the staircase design quite peculiar.
You can spend a lot of beautiful moments while choosing the right shade. The table below indicates the main design calculations.
|Aluminum||Small weight of product, reliability, resistance to corrosion and practicality; perfect for domestic use||Comparatively high price|
|Duralumin||Very durable material at an accessible price;||It is less strong than aluminum and steel||It is an aluminum alloy|
|Steel||High strength, safety; it is suitable for professional ladders||Exposure to corrosion; steel structures are heavier than aluminum ones||Bolt connection or welding is used for fastening the steps to the supports of metal structures|
|Wood||It is easier to process than metal. Wood is serviceable, and you can make such structure with your own hands.||Great weight of finished product, exposure to the effects of environment||When building the ladder, you should make sure that there are no knots in the wood; varnish coating is necessary for protection from external influences|
Besides, there are such exotic types as blue, green and lilac stone, but in this case, granite steps will be costly. Moreover, it’s quite difficult to find the minerals of these shades.
Types of steps
There are following types of granite steps:
These models are carved from monolithic stone blocks. Such granite plates for the steps look solid and monumental. However, they are very difficult to install.
They represent thin plates for facing the tread and riser. In this case, granite steps are much lighter and serve as a great solution for the decoration of metal and concrete structures.
Application of anti-slip strip to the step. This type of steps is especially suitable for external stairs, as it is the safest option.
Easy step: treatment and installation of steps
During polishing, stone layer becomes glossy, smooth and obtains a mirror shine. This looks very attractive, but it is not suitable for the outdoor granite steps: on this surface, you can slip and get a heavy injury. Therefore, granite steps, albeit to the disadvantage of their appearance, are subjected to certain treatment during or after installation.
There are following ways to make a stone rougher and safer:
- thermal treatment (heating granite at a certain temperature);
- bush hammering (the surface is processed with an instrument with star-shaped blades);
- insertion of thin plastic plates into the special grooves;
- pasting special abrasive strips with the surface that reminds of sandpaper;
- cross-section of the upper part of element with cutter; in this, only the part of tread becomes rough (usually, the cross-section is made before the installation of granite steps);
- application of shallow notches (the price of granite steps, treated in this way, is high, but the anti-slip effect is not always visible);
- specific treatment “under olden time” (heating with the maximum maintenance of texture and gloss).
Installation of stone plates must be performed only by the competent specialists. Weight of material, need for professional instruments and complexity of works are the main reasons why you should entrust the facing of the stairs to the master. It is not the thing you should skimp on, as the price for the construction of such an irresistible staircase is not so high.
Today, marble and granite steps decorate the porch and internal stairs of many respectable buildings. Marble stairs and similar structures not only provide safe movement but also make the house exterior and interior look very elegant. We hope that you find this article useful and informative. We are waiting for your feedbacks!