Concrete Stairs: their advantages and main types
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You no longer have to put up with old-fashioned, single-color stairs that look dull and don’t contribute to the aesthetics of your house or place of business. Why not invest in decorative stamped concrete stairs that are not only easy on the eye but are also extremely durable and easy to maintain? Exterior stairs are among the first things your guests or clients will notice, so it only makes sense that they look appealing.
You can choose between various shapes, sizes, colors, and texture designs. In case having so many options is too overwhelming, West Mount Concrete experts can help you choose an appropriate design and create unique stairs that will perfectly fit within your property. Our designers can make you a presentation with computer-generated pictures so you can see exactly what your new stairs will look like.
Concrete Stairs and their advantages
Concrete Stairs has a number of positive qualities: reliability, strength and the ability to impart a structure of such material to almost any shape. U-shaped stairs are most common in construction.
When building a house using a concrete staircase for communication between floors, its weight must be taken into account. At the design stage, calculate the structural load on floors and walls. An error in such a calculation can be expensive. A concrete staircase, unlike a wooden one, can be laid at the construction stage. First you need to make the formwork and reinforced cage (longitudinal and transverse reinforcement), and then concreting.
Concrete Stairs reinforcement will provide resistance to static and dynamic loads, as well as prevent the formation of deep cracks. The frame of reinforcement will evenly distribute the load on the structure of the house.
After about a day, you can walk up the concrete stairs. In a week, concrete will strengthen by 80%, and in a month, its strength will be 100%.
In winter, Concrete Stairs can be poured at a temperature not lower than -5˚С.
Recently, interior design is very often used lighting stairs. In the concrete staircase, you can also install lamps to illuminate the steps. To do this, before pouring concrete, pipes for the cable are scattered and niches for decorative lamps are left.
For a concrete staircase located on the street, heating can be done to eliminate frost. For this purpose, electrical cable systems are used.
Concrete Stairs from order to concrete hardening can be made in 3-4 days. For the manufacture of stairs, homogeneous concrete of the M-300 brand is used.
Concrete stairs can have a different design, which means that the consumption of material for their manufacture varies. But on average, up to 1 cubic meter of concrete is spent on the manufacture of stairs of this type, which is about 2 tons of material.
These stairs can be faced with almost any material. For this, wood, natural stone, ceramic tiles, carpet and other materials are used. The choice depends on the surrounding interior and the location of the stairs. The concrete staircase located outside should be sheathed with material that is not afraid of temperature extremes and high humidity.
As a tree for facing Concrete Stairs, hardwood is used: beech, oak, ash or larch. Before sheathing the structure, it should stand for about 1.5-2 months after pouring concrete. So concrete will give up all excess moisture, which means that it will not be able to disturb the tree.
When sheathing a concrete staircase with wood, a gap must be left between the wooden plank and the wall adjacent to the structure, equal to 0.8-1.2 mm. This gap will not allow deformation of the wooden planks, which can change their size, due to temperature and humidity factors. The gap left is hidden by the baseboard.
The most effective is the following construction of a concrete staircase with a wooden coating. Moisture-resistant plywood 10-12 mm thick is mounted on concrete steps. Fasteners are carried out due to the expansion bolt shield nails. Then, wooden planks are attached to the plywood. To do this, use glue or screws. The staircase thus sheathed has a solid fixation of the steps.
The concrete staircase railing can be made of glass, forged elements or wood. Some companies use balusters made of the same material in the construction of concrete stairs.
Concrete Stairs has many advantages. Unlike a long-running wooden staircase, the concrete floor structure does not creak. In addition, insects do not harm it, and it is not subject to rot. The concrete staircase withstands high humidity and sudden changes in temperature. Fire resistance of concrete is much higher than that of wood.
Concrete stairs can be made seamlessly, which significantly increases the strength of this type of structure.
Concrete Stairs: implementation options and recommended materials
The stairs made of concrete is a fairly popular way of building inter-house interfloor stairs and steps of the porch of the entrance group. For any staircase construction, very specific practical requirements are presented. The steps must be strong and withstand high physical exertion.
Concrete is an ideal material for creating high-strength building elements. Modern combined blocks based on concrete mortar, while maintaining strength characteristics, make the construction process a little easier.
Design Concrete Stairs
In a situation where it is planned to arrange a flight of stairs using concrete, work should begin with careful calculations and design. During the construction of wooden or metal structures, in case of an error, the staircase can be dismantled, and most of the material will be quite suitable for secondary use.
Note! Concrete does not forgive mistakes. Despite the fact that it is, in fact, the most budgetary material for construction, an error in the project can lead to serious material costs. Not a single element of the wrong staircase can be used in the construction of a new design.
There are calculated building codes for stairs, which should be observed when installing step structures.
Instructions for the design of the span, regardless of whether you are building a staircase in the house or building the steps of the porch, involves determining the initial dimensions:
Span width. Taking into account the needs of all residents of the future home, it is necessary to proceed from the fact that this size should exceed 90 cm. This distance is comfortable for one person to move. If the size of the room allows, then you can expand the flight of stairs to 130-140 cm, so that two can go up on the steps.
Concrete Stairs step size. This indicator includes 2 elements: tread and risers. The height of the step or riser should be within 13 -20 cm. The tread (horizontal plane) is made at least 26 cm. The size of the overhang, which should not exceed 3 cm, is taken into account.
The number of steps. It has been experimentally determined that for the greatest comfort, the movement of the stairs should begin and end with one leg. That is why the number of steps in the march should be odd.
Slope Concrete Stairs. Here a lot depends on the dimensions of the room itself. Ideally, the span should be at an angle of 25 to 400. The steeper the stairs, the more difficult it will be to use the structure. This is especially true for children and the elderly.
For entrance group
All of the above indicators are valid for the steps of the porch. But in the case of designing an input group, it is also necessary to clarify 2 points:
Height Concrete Stairs. This value is from the foundation to the top of the site, including the thickness of the device of the finishing material. This size will allow you to correctly form the slope. It should be borne in mind that the upper platform should be 4 – 5 cm below the door threshold. Such a gap is made in order to ensure unimpeded opening of the door leaf, even in conditions of seasonal precipitation.
Dimensions of the upper platform. This distance should allow a person to be on the site with the door open. Given the standard canvas size of 80 – 90 cm, the size of the site should not be less than 120-130 cm.
After all indicators have been calculated and a concrete staircase project has been drawn up, you can proceed with the construction of the structure.
We examined 2 ways:
- Monolithic casting into the formwork, and
- Installation of steps using cellular concrete blocks.
Monolithic Concrete Stairs
Concrete is excellent for creating building elements that are subject to increased strength requirements. A monolithic staircase made of concrete with your own hands – a time-consuming design, but simple to implement.
At the same time, pouring concrete into the formwork provides some advantages over other construction methods:
The concrete staircase is not subject to loosening, does not creak and does not bend.
Concreting the staircase in the formwork makes it possible to create interesting patterns.
The stability of the steps allows the use of any decorative material in the design.
Concrete is absolutely fireproof.
Typically, a concrete mixture of low grade M200 grade B15 grade is used to pour concrete stairs.
Such a solution is mixed using cement having the following properties:
- quick hardening
- sulfate resistance
The manufacture of the solution does not imply the presence of any mineral additives; it is kneaded from standard components. Concrete for stairs is traditionally composed of cement, crushed stone, sand and water.
The following proportions are used to obtain the correct M200 solution:
- cement – 1 share
- fine aggregate – 2.8 shares
- coarse aggregate – 3.8 shares
- water – 0.7 shares
To reinforce the design, metal reinforcing rods of the grade A 500C or A III are used. The difference between these rods is that, depending on the class, the connection nodes are attached by bonding or welding.
Important! Armature A III is not suitable for the device of the frame by welding, and is fixed only by bonding.
The device of the flight of stairs by casting can be divided into 3 main stages:
- Reinforcing metal frame device,
- Installation of formwork panels, and
- Concrete pouring directly.
All steps must be carried out in strict accordance with the technology.
Reinforcing bars are laid over the entire area of the stairwell. It is better if the vertical and horizontal rods are intact, without a gap.
On a note! The nodes of the intersection of the rods should be fastened with a bundle, rather than welding. This will provide greater ability to bend, while maintaining the strength of the monolithic structure in compression.
Concrete Stairs formwork is an important and rather time-consuming process. Guard boards must be placed strictly vertically. At the same time, the fastening of the shields must withstand the pressure of the solution.
Formwork is made of materials that do not absorb moisture to avoid leakage of milk from concrete. If the construction of a structure with a complex form of steps is planned for the device, then the installation of the formwork is best entrusted to professionals.
Some tips from experts
Those who decide to fill the stairs with concrete with their own hands should take into account a few simple points:
Prepare a sufficient amount of mortar to fill the entire structure at a time.
The solution is poured into the formwork, starting from the upper stage.
If a staircase to the second floor is made of concrete, immediately remove the excess solution from the upper tread, otherwise you will not be able to get close to them.
It is not difficult to build Concrete Stairs. This device method is currently the most budgetary, with high strength characteristics of the finished structure. Despite the conditional ease of construction, it is very important to correctly design the stairs from concrete.
Design errors will be very difficult to fix, and this is taking into account the serious secondary costs. If you are not sure of your own knowledge, you should entrust the work to professionals, at least at the stage of drawing up the plan and calculating the necessary strength.
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