Stone steps are an architecture and design classic, which has survived the test of time. They represent a sense of magnificence and traditionalism, which was inherited from the oldest of civilization. They are incredibly durable, which explains their continued popularity.
While they are more likely to be remembered for the big, outdoor staircases of both ancient and modern buildings and stunning mansions, stone steps can be quite versatile, and fashioned for a number of locations, from hillside landscaping to indoor staircases.
For instance, traditional European homes, which were at one time mainly built from stone, are likely to have polished stone flooring, which is thus complemented by a natural stone staircase, often somewhat embedded in the wall structure.
The small, embedded staircases of traditional homes can’t compare, though, to the grand staircases which are a main feature of opulent manors and mansions. A great example of this can be seen at the White House, where the famous Grand Staircase used for official ceremonies was rebuilt in the 50s, using an elegant mixture of cream and taupe marble steps, likely making it the most famous and inspiring natural stone staircase in the world.
On the other hand, the iconic Met Steps’, which are fashioned from natural granite, are just as popular an attraction as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which they lead to, providing a great destination for people to take a break from their day, or to enjoy the city view while on a tour of New York City.
These steps, which have stood the test of time thanks to the resistance which granite provides, even in the worst of weather conditions, have become famous thanks to TV shows such as Gossip Girl, which featured them prominently, and are certainly a solid inspiration for those looking to build their own natural stone staircase.
Natural stone steps are a beautiful feature to have in your garden, but there are a few considerations to be taken into account. The final appearance isn’t the only aspect you need to be concerned with when planning the installation of a flight of steps.
In fact, the main aspect to take into account when building stone steps is how practical the design you have in mind is. While they can be stunning, some designs simply won’t work with the environment you want to insert them in, fit in the available space, and worse yet, will be difficult to navigate, particularly for children and elderly people, which is most likely a deal breaker for most people.
You should also take into account the available materials and the weather conditions in your area when building a set of steps. Choosing a rare stone to build your steps with will cost you a lot more than using something which is readily available, and it is unlikely that it will match the rest of your home.
Opting for a stone which is beautiful but not very durable is not a good idea either, unless you live in an area where weather conditions are always perfect, as it will suffer from erosion, which will not only ruin the beautiful appearance of the steps, but also, once again, make them unsafe to climb.
This is why careful planning is the key to building perfect stone steps – because no one wants to have a beautiful house which no one ever visits because they can’t bother making the effort of climbing an impractical staircase. Taking accurate measurements and choosing the right materials is thus the key to building beautiful, yet functional, stone steps.