Various building materials including stone, brick, metal, and wood are available for you to use for your next building project, and choosing the material is just as important as the design. However, of all building materials, concrete is one of the most commonly used because it’s durable, accessible, and affordable.
When it comes to floors and step treads for staircases, concrete is a good go-to choice. But for other projects, you may be deciding whether to use concrete or another material; this list of concrete advantages can help you decide:
Concrete is universal, economic, and easy to maintain
Concrete is one of the cheapest and most widely-available building materials, unlike marble, wood, and stone which are not only more expensive upfront but to repair or replace them they would need to be acquired from their original source to maintain uniformity. Concrete, on the other hand, can be easily repaired and replaced. It also does not need regular polishing, cleaning, or maintenance – concrete stairs can simply be mopped and larger concrete areas may be pressure washed.
Concrete is durable and fire-resistant
Concrete is designed for safety, able to handle high impact and heavy loads over long periods, whereas the materials you would pay more for such as wood, marble, or stone are more likely to crack, bend, and break. Concrete can also retain heat, which can be beneficial for low heating costs through all seasons and climates. Its heat-retaining properties also make concrete fire-resistant, which is why it is so widely used for fire exit stairways. Another reason concrete is also widely used for hospital and school stairwells is that it can handle vibrations well, making it ideal for soundproofing. Finally, it does not splinter, warp, or expand like wood, or rust like metal and steel when exposed to moisture.
Concrete is easy to install and mold
Concrete is both versatile and convenient, because it is easy to use, mold, and doesn’t require specialized labor. Structures such as handrails can easily fit into concrete, and concrete can be reinforced with steel bars for enhanced durability and robustness.
Some companies offer precast concrete steps for a fast and easy installation of concrete stairs. This precast process is also helpful because it eliminates the concrete step-making where contractors must wait for concrete to harden and slow down construction if it rains. One other thing that concrete allows for is pipes being embedded within it.
Concrete is customizable
Often people think of concrete as a material that seems plain and dull, but it can actually be customized easily – molded, textured, and colored to fit any design need. Not only can concrete be covered with tiles, but it can be painted over as well. For a more aesthetic appeal, concrete stairs may be coated with epoxy, which also makes them more durable. Concrete can even be customized to look like marble and is relatively more customizable than marble itself, and wood. Often concrete is used as the durable base or foundation but can be used along with other materials if preferred.
For a building material that is durable, affordable, and versatile, there is no reason not to consider concrete for your next stair project.