3 Benefits of Metal Stairs Vs Wood

If you are building a new home or remodeling then chances are you are going to need a set of stairs.

If so, then have you thought about using metal stairs instead of wood?

Many modern and contemporary homes these days are starting to use metal stairs instead of wood. Metal stairs have three main benefits to the homeowner:

  • Strength
  • Quietness
  • Versatility

Metal stairs are far more superior than wood staircases! Most staircases made of wood use a douglas fir 2×10 sidewall or stringer that is notched and the true strength is more like a 2×6 sitting vertically. This more than enough for most homes but compared to metal it is inferior. A metal staircase can easily support the weight of the entire home! You can literally drive a truck over them and they won’t budge. This makes them feel sturdy and safe because they are.

When it comes to wood staircases noise is an issue especially if you live in a dry climate. Wood contract and expands during different seasons and weather. In the winter time they shrink from the low humidity and they make a lot of noise when you walk on them. Just getting a glass of milk at midnight can wake up other people. This is unavoidable with wood stairs because the use shims and wedges to fasten the stair treads that expand and contract. In the summer time they can be quite but are very creaky during the winter. Metal stairs on the other hand are welded solid and make almost no noise.

Metal stairs are very versatile and can come in a variety of finishes and accent materials including wood steps and handrail caps. The growing trend these days is to use a metal core for your stairs and then cap them off with either wood, stone or glass. This creates a beautiful modern contemporary look that can be custom tailored to any home style. Not only do they look great their strength is superior to wood staircases. For example a glass stair tread that is 1.5 inches think will support 1800 lbs! That is enough strength to support a SUV driving up a set of glass stair treads. When a staircase uses metal as the supporting structure it also allows the designer or homeowner to choose any accent or combination of accents they may want. For example a home can use wood stair treads and then adding a marble handrail cap for a highly customised look and feel that is not only gorgeous but highly functional.

The biggest downside to adding metal stairs to you home is cost! They are more suited for high end homes that have a generous budget. Pricing can easily be 4 times the amount of a low end wood staircase.

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