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.
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
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
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).
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.
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