Natural Stone Steps vs. Concrete Steps
If your landscape, porch, or walkway has a considerable slope, one or more flights of steps may be a smart addition. Professionals and DIYers alike often install natural stone or concrete steps in situations like this, but stone is usually the preferred choice of homeowners. Read on for a comparison between stone and concrete steps for help on your own project!
Types of Landscaping Steps
Landscaping steps help to effortlessly connect different levels of outdoor spaces while adding a distinctive aesthetic appeal. There are various types of landscape steps that serve to complement different styles and requirements, resulting in a pleasing and functional outdoor space. Steps made of either concrete or natural stone are two of the most popular options.
Concrete steps are made from a blend of cement, aggregates, and water for practical application and consistency. They are man-made and are usually a more cost-effective choice and provide a clean, modern aesthetic. They can be finished in multiple ways, with colors and textures to match any design preference.
Natural stone steps, on the other hand, are sourced directly from quarries and provide a sense of timeless elegance and functionality that’s hard to match. As a leading supplier of natural stone products, The Rock Garden is proud to offer an extensive range of stunning natural stone steps that are durable, functional, and aesthetically appealing. These steps not only provide a practical solution for outdoor and indoor stairways, but they also significantly enhance the visual interest and sophistication of your space.
Natural Stone vs. Concrete Steps: Which is Right For You?
Landscaping is an art that combines functionality with aesthetics to create beautiful outdoor spaces, and landscape steps play a crucial role in achieving that harmony. If you’re trying to decide between concrete and natural stone steps, it’s important to consider the following:
Aesthetics (material, shape, size, types)
One of the primary considerations when deciding between natural stone steps and concrete steps is the aesthetic appeal.
Stone has, of course, been used as a building material for thousands of years. Even so, it hasn’t lost its style and will undoubtedly bring a timeless appeal and sense of class to any outdoor space. Stone will look more natural and it comes in more styles and textures than concrete – more styles means more flexibility to match your stone steps to a specific design aesthetic.
Stone steps also come in a variety of sizes and their natural cleft cut means that their height can vary slightly from step to step in a way that only natural stone can.
While concrete steps are often more uniform in shape, they also have their own touch of flexibility. For example, concrete steps can be poured or precast, which essentially allows you to make any shape you desire (though this will show in the price tag). High-quality concrete steps can also mimic the appearance of stone steps but in most cases fail to convincingly represent the natural variance that makes natural stone so beautiful.
Durability and maintenance is another major consideration before choosing natural stone or concrete steps.
Natural stone tends to have an edge in both of these variables. Not only does it have an extremely long lifespan, holding up incredibly well with the highly variable Colorado temperature and weather, but it is also very easy to maintain. If natural stone does get damaged, it is quite easy and inexpensive to replace individual stones where needed.
Concrete, on the other hand, tends to crack over time with the constant freezing and thawing and intense sun that we experience. Furthermore, badly damaged concrete steps need to be completely removed and repoured which will raise future expenses.
Installation and Affordability
Installation and affordability between these two types of steps tend to go hand in hand.
Due to its quality and aesthetic appeal, natural stone can be a more expensive material than concrete. Conversely, concrete tends to be more expensive to install than natural stone. Concrete is much more meticulous to prepare and install, is more time-consuming, and it requires careful attention to detail with far less room for error.
In the end, when you compare material costs, concrete may be more budget-friendly. However, it can be more difficult to install (increasing labor costs) and it will likely not last as long as highly durable natural stone.
Want More Helpful Advice? Talk to the Experts at The Rock Garden!
If you’re planning to install landscaping steps in your yard but are in need of help or inspiration, stop by The Rock Garden. Our landscaping experts will be happy to explain the pros and cons of your options and provide you with a variety of ideas to consider. Give us a call or visit our natural stone store today!