Choosing the Right Material For Outdoor Stairs


Any outdoor product is subject to extreme exposure to rain, snow, wind, heat, and, if the property is near the beach, salt. In addition, traffic patterns, liquid spills, stains, dirt, cracks, and foundation shifts all determine the life expectancy of outdoor stairs. Home, as well as commercial buildings such as apartment complexes, offices, condominiums, large industrial buildings, and more, all need to be outfitted with the correct product to ensure safety and longevity.

Concrete Stairs

While concrete stairs might seem like the right choice every time, there are many considerations other than durability. The heavy-duty strength of concrete does give it an upper hand but not always. Drawbacks are that it will need cleaning and can get stained if not sealed. Also, a broken piece of concrete is a dangerous situation and expensive to fix.

Iron-based Precast Stairs

Iron-based precast stairs are tough and require little maintenance. They are a great alternative to traditional staircases. These precast stairs are designed by blueprints and engineering plans that conform to UBC codes. Stair treads are a snap to replace.

Fiberglass Stairs

Another great alternative is fiberglass stairs. These durable staircases hold up well under heavy traffic and in every kind of weather. They provide a high-end, modern look that doubles as a safe, slip-resistant surface. In addition, fiberglass stairs require no maintenance and are long-lasting.

Wood Stairs

Wood stairs are featured in outside deck situations. Consumers need to be cautious with wood. While it is a warm look, wood can easily rot and attracts insects. Cedarwood is naturally insect- and rot-resistant but can be an expensive option. If wood is your choice of material, make certain you waterproof it and that it is treated wood to discourage pests. Installing treads on each step will prevent slipping, particularly if your stairs are used after the swimming pool.

Styles and Colors

When choosing the material you want for your outdoor stairs, keep in mind the style of stairs you want to install. You want to pick something that will go with the existing aesthetics of your property. If you want a more contemporary flair, an iron-based precast may be a good option. Looking for a more vintage feel? A fiberglass staircase may work better.


Whatever your stairway solution, safety should be a major concern. Look for non-slip materials and follow rigorous OSHA regulations for business staircases. While home stairways are not required to adhere to OSHA rules, it isn’t a bad idea to take these into consideration to supply a safe environment for your family and friends.