Concrete Stair Treads
If I was going to build an exterior stairway, I would definitely plan on using concrete stair treads, over any other building material available. These stair steps will last a long time, if they're maintained properly and if they were built correctly. That's right, every once in a while you are going to come across a concrete stair tread that wasn't built correctly, and this could create big problems for anyone using them.
Concrete Stair Tread Advice
1. I don't recommend using solid concrete stair treads for the interior
of a single residence home or even multi-residence homes. However, if
you're looking for additional fire protection and noise reduction, it
should be considered.
The main reason for this suggestion is the cost. Wood staircases that are built out of construction standard building materials are usually about half the price, to build.
2. I recommend using concrete stair treads on the exterior of buildings with high traffic and stairway use. It's worth it to spend the extra money, for a few reasons.
3. Concrete stair treads usually last much longer than wood stair treads, in high traffic areas, if maintained properly.
4. Concrete stair treads will also drastically reduce the amount of noise. Most architects and experienced building designers, use concrete to reduce noise in hotels, apartments and commercial buildings.
I need to leave you with this one last piece of wisdom. If I was building an exterior stairway on a building that was going to have more than 100 people use it each day, concrete stair treads would be the only way to go.
It wouldn't have anything to do with the wear and tear on the stairway, but everything to do with the noise. One time I lived in an apartment building, near a wood framed staircase that was right next to an elevator.
If I wasn't listening to the elevator, go up and down all night, I was listening to people climbing up and down the stairs.
Stair Construction Tip: If you work in the construction industry, do yourself a favor and learn as much as you possibly can about stairs and safety. I'm still learning, but surprised at some of the stuff I've seen built in the past.