Comparing Commercial Step Materials: Metal vs. Wood vs. Precast Concrete

When it comes to installing steps at a commercial facility or business, there are many material options to choose from, but which choice is right for you? Let's take a closer look at some of the most popular options and how they compare:

Metal Stairs

Pros. Metal stairs are a common option for commercial stairs--they can be designed with lots of options for customization, from shape, size, and color. Many textures can be applied to increase slip resistance.

Cons. Similar to wood stairs, metal stairs can deteriorate over time; however, the deterioration is due to rust and corrosion. These issues can be fixed, but must be considered as part of the overall investment for the project. Acoustics must also be considered, because in most circumstances, metal stairs can be loud and echo throughout a facility

Wood Stairs

Pros. Wood stairs are very economical and readily available, making them a popular choice for commercial stairs. They also provide a natural, clean look and are made from a material that's widely available. In industrial spaces, these stairs are easy and relatively fast to install.

Cons. While the installation of wood stairs are a lower investment compared to other options, long-term maintenance can make the overall cost of this option higher than it might appear at first glance. Over time, wood can warp, splinter, or rot, and will need to be replaced regularly, and more often if your facility is damp, hot, or poorly ventilated.

Precast Concrete Stairs

Pros. Precast concrete stairs are perhaps the most expensive of the commercial options, but it's important to keep in mind that most of the cost comes in the initial investment. Precast concrete is maintenance-free, only requiring power washing as needed. Concrete also offers more options from an aesthetic standpoint, from slip-resistant textures to colors and styles that match surroundings. Another bonus? Precast concrete can be used immediately after installation, since curing takes place at the manufacturing site.

Cons. Outside of initial investment, the biggest disadvantage of precast concrete is the weight of the product. As you can imagine, a concrete stairway can become quite heavy - specialized equipment may be needed to install the stairs, and it may be difficult to install in restrictive spaces. Shipping costs may be prohibitive over long distances. However, the product's weight becomes an advantage after installation, because these solid stairs will not shift or deteriorate over time.

Leesburg Concrete is proud to offer many options of precast concrete steps for commercial application. Have more questions? Drop us a line and let us help you find the best solution for you and your business.

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