Building Wood Steps

Planning to replace wooden entry steps on my son's vintage house. Wood fits the design better than concrete. Has anyone had experience with exterior steps built with pressure treated lumber and designed to be faced on the treads and kick boards with something paintable, or that does not need paint but looks better and holds paint or stain better than pressure treated?
I expect pine properly painted should give good service, and when it wears or deteriorates, just the facing boards would need replacement while the underlying structure of pressure treated would remain sound.
Another idea was to face it with composite decking boards, but have had no experience with them.
Any comments or ideas would be appreciated.
Stoney
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On Mon, 27 Oct 2003 18:07:30 -0500, Stoney wrote:

Hmmm, I've never had a problem painting or staining PT, but . . .

I'd be careful with your selection here. Some composites are quite slippery, especially when wet. It is also quite probable that you would need to use extra stringers. Check with the manufacturers span recommendations.

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Thanks for the quick input.
To clarify, I thought we would build these with four 2 x 12 stringers for steps 69 inches wide. Then, each 12 inch tread would be two 2 x 6 PT with a little space between. The facing boards over the tread and as kick board would be added just to provide uniform appearance and be easily replaceable without rebulding the steps. There is only a landing and 3 steps, so can afford to make them rock solid so you are not aware you are walking on wood at all.
I definitely do not want anything slippery when wet!! Thanks for the warning on the composites.
thunder wrote:

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And here's another nail for the coffin for composites:
Read carefully, and you will learn that most brands require that the joists (or stringers in this case) need to be on 12" centers.
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There are a number of decking composites on the market today (trex springs to mind). They all take paint well compared to PT, and look good when painted. They won't have grain, but they do give a nice consistant surface. Most of them also have a certain amount of "toth" (read texture) so that they don't get too slippery when wet. You would use them instead of PT, so you wouldn't have to worry about putting a skin on the PT. You'll still need PT for the structura lparts of the stairs (stringers, supports etc).
-_JD

does
wears
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The Trex site provides a warning note that makes the decision in favor of real wood. If Trex could be installed tightly fitted for a landing, and preferably with 5/4 thickness tightly fitted over a subbase of 2 x 6 PT treads, it could be a suitable material for these front steps. They also have 2 x 6 and 2 x 8 that could serve for deck treads. Unfortunately, the site advises "Trex decking must always be installed properly gapped and directly on joists. Do not attach Trex decking to any solid surface or water tight system such as sheathing, waterproof membranes, concrete, roof systems, or patios." The gap is 1/4 to 3/8 depending on the temp at time of installation, and that would not be suitable for entry steps. It does sound good for decks, however.
Thanks for your input.
Stoney
jduprie wrote:

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