8 Different Types of Stair Treads and Their Pros and Cons

8 Different Types of Stair Treads and Their Pros and Cons 2

Worried about slips and falls on your stairs? When it comes to stair treads, most people think of one thing: safety. And for a good reason! A well-maintained set of stairs is essential for preventing accidents and injuries in the apartment. But did you know that there are other benefits to installing stair treads?

While stair treads may seem minor, they are important for your apartment. Stair treads are a simple way to add warmth, aesthetics, and style to your apartment.

Worried about slips and falls on your stairs? There are a lot of ways to get hurt on stairs. That’s why it’s important to consider ways to reduce the risk of falls. It can be tough to figure out which stair tread is best for your apartment in terms of safety and beauty. With so many options available on the market, it can be hard to know where to start.

In this article, we will focus on two areas of stairs – treads and noses – explaining what these terms mean, discussing the different types of treads and noses, and illustrating their advantages and disadvantages.

What is a Stair Tread?

A tread is a horizontal surface of the stair that someone steps on. Another word for it is run, but most people call them steps because that’s what they are called when you talk about how many steps are on a staircase.

What is a Stair Tread Nose?

The nose of a stair is the part that projects beyond the edge of the tread. The nose of the tread is very important because that is where most people will put their foot when they walk up or down the stairs. A sharp nose can cause people to lose their balance, while a blunt nose can make it difficult to start up the stairs. They can be of different shapes:

  • Pencil round
  • Square
  • Half-round
  • Full round
  • No overhang

Different Types of Stair Treads

When building a new apartment or renovating an old one, you need to consider what type of staircase will fit your needs. You also need to choose the right tread style and material to match the design of your apartment. There are many different options to choose from, so you are sure to find something that suits your needs—some types of stair treads are based on the materials given below.

1. Concrete

Concrete is one of the materials used for stair tread construction. It is a combination of water, aggregates (sand. Rock, gravel), and cement. We know cement acts as a bonding agent. When cement is mixed with water and aggregates, it hardens to form concrete.

Uses of concrete stair treads

The most common material used to construct outdoor staircases is concrete, which has a long lifespan and is durable and affordable. Metal pan treads with poured concrete are quite popular for commercial egress stairs. Pre-cast concrete stair treads are popular for apartments and domestic outdoor and indoor stairs.

  • Concrete is readily moldable; you can create straight, curved, or spiral concrete steps in various designs.
  • Concrete stair treads are long-lasting and require little maintenance.
  • It isn’t easy to clean and does not look as good as other materials.
  • Concrete stair treads are dull and provide an ordinary look to your apartment.
  • It may crack easily, especially when constructed outside.
  • It can be messy and costly.

2. Glass

Glass is an in-demand material for stair treads because it is available in many colors, patterns, textures, and finishes. A glass stair tread with a steel floating stair stringer system will add a beautiful architectural element to your apartment. This allows for a unique look that can enhance the appearance of any staircase.

Uses of Glass Stair Treads
  • Glass treads are incorporated into your apartment to give aesthetic features and a feeling of openness to your building.
  • The light may pass through glass treads, making the staircase more attractive during daylight. LED lights can also be utilized to provide a dramatic illumination ambiance.
  • Glass treads are resistant to water as they can’t absorb and will not rot like wooden treads, and they are less expensive to maintain than wood.
  • Treads of poor-quality glass are susceptible to easy damage, but fabricated glass can withstand heavy weights.
  • Glass has a slippery surface, so there are chances of an accident occurring.
  • Dropping objects can easily harm glass, so glass stair treads are regularly checked for any minor cracks.

3. Steel

Steel is a composite of iron, carbon, and other elements. Steel treads may be primed and painted to match the structure’s design, have a powder coat finish, or be galvanized with durable zinc covering that prevents corrosive chemicals from reaching the steel below for staircases. Steel treads are extremely strong and fire resistant, making them an excellent long-term option for many applications. The only drawback is that steel stair treads become slippery when wet.

4. Wood Treads

It’s critical to think about whether your project is for the inside or outside of your house when using wood. Because many wood species don’t endure harsh outdoor weather conditions, picking the right sort of wood should be carefully considered. It’s also crucial to consider the wood grain, how it was sawn, and how the stair tread is built.

For your project, you may pick from several kinds of wood for the interior staircases to offer various aesthetics to your décor. Some of the most popular choices include

  • White Oak
  • Brazillian Cherry
  • Red Oak
  • Hard Maple
  • Ironwoods
  • Walnut
  • Distressed Woods
  • It is an affordable type of tread material.
  • It can add value and elegance to your apartment with a natural look.
  • Wood is considered one of the most secure materials for stair treads, and it offers apartments greater safety when children or older people live there.

Wood treads need special care; otherwise, they will be easily damaged by elements such as extreme temperatures and pests such as termites. They are painted regularly for extra protection against these elements.

5. Tile Treads

Stair treads made of tiles can be more attractive and long-lasting than wood. These are mostly utilized in businesses and private apartments, similar to glass. Tile is frequently used in stairwells leading into a vestibule to make a strong statement.

  • Tile is a long-lasting material that can endure a lot of foot traffic due to its scratch-stain- and fire resistance.
  • Tile stair treads are low maintenance; they are water resistant and resistant to deterioration and insects.
  • Tile stair treads are typically less expensive than hardwood.
  • They are quite cold in winter and hot in summer.
  • They can be slippery, so the chances of accidents are there.

6. Aluminum

The thirteenth element on the periodic table, aluminum, is a silvery-white metal that makes up 8% of the earth’s core mass. Aluminum is naturally corrosion resistant and does not need any additional treatment. Aluminum is lighter than steel, weighing approximately 50 percent less per unit volume.

Uses of Aluminum Stair Treads

Fire escapes, machinery stair treads, and mezzanine access stairs are all aluminum. Because of its lightweight and corrosion resistance, aluminum is frequently used in roof steps, ship staircases on boats, other marine applications, and chemical environments.

  • Aluminum is a durable metal that may endure for more than 30 years.
  • They are often a smart choice when weight is an issue, such as with roof stairs or steps that need to be relocated from time to time.
  • Aluminum might be preferable for treads in some situations, such as food processing, due to its antibiotic qualities.
  • Although aluminum treads are quite durable, they aren’t as weather resistant as steel treads with a galvanized finish.
  • They are more expensive than steel treads.
  • They are more prone to scratches and dents.

7. Stainless Steel Treads

Stainless steel treads are the Rolls-Royce of stair treads. Stainless steel is a metallurgical combination containing chromium and nickel to help prevent corrosion, rust, and heat resistance. Stainless steel is utilized in high-heat settings like cooking equipment because of its features. Other metals are more difficult to clean than stainless steel, making it an ideal material for food applications.

8. Stone Treads

Stair treads are available in a range of colors and styles. The most popular stone tread is bluish sliver bluestone, Scottish granite. Limestone, which has an off-white tint, is also widely utilized. Travertine Stone Treads are durable and have a natural non-slip textured surface, making them an excellent choice for stair treads.

  • They are extremely durable and can have a life of thousand years.
  • Stone treads look wonderful in combination with the natural landscape next to them when used outside.
  • They require no maintenance.
  • Stones treads are very difficult to handle during construction due to their heavy weight.
  • Because the stone treads have an uneven surface, they may be more dangerous than other types of treads as a tripping hazard.


Valet Works offers a wide range of services for renovating and restoring apartments, from masonry work to carpentry work. Valet Works is the best bet for you if you want to renovate your staircase with the best variety of stair treads and noses. With many years of expertise, we have the finest craftsmen in the United States on our team. Feel free to contact us for any consultation.

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