Granite is the most popular natural stone for fabricating stairs. Granite stairs will be hard and durable. Granite is ideal in high traffic zones, as it is resistant to wear and tear. It is also tolerant to weather changes, and therefore suitable outdoors as well as indoors. Granite can come in amazing patterns and colours, but exclusive granite stairs will cost several times more than those made from the usual granite colour palette. Though economical, it is quite limited and a little boring. With their qualities matching those of granite, black and grey basalt as well as quartzite are also ideal for stairs. Luxurious and exclusive quartzite patterns are impressive, but so is the price. The budget dedicated for such staircase must be impressive too.
Another popular stone for stairs is marble, which is much softer and more brittle than granite, basalt and quartzite. Marble staircases are a luxury feature in the home, but they require much more care and maintenance. Marble stairs are more suited indoors than outdoors, and are better walked on wearing slippers rather than shoes. Marble stairs will be softer and more chippy than the stairs from granite. Marble is sensitive to any acidic liquids, which corrode its calcareous particles. Any spill or drop can change the marble colour and cause staining. Luxury onyx stairs will have similar properties to those of marble, but they will be even more fragile and softer. Two other types of natural stone used for stairs are travertine and sandstone. Both of them can come in different hardness. Travertine and sandstone are naturally slip-resistant and feel warm to touch. All natural stone stairs need to be impregnated regularly.
An excellent alternative to natural stone stairs is artificial stone. Artificial stone stairs do not need to be impregnated and will not take much time to clean and maintain. Stairs clad in sintered stone, engineered quartz, ceramic and porcelain will be lighter than those made of natural stone. This is because the slabs are thinner. Concrete steps clad with ultra-thin sheets of sintered stone and ceramics (6-10 mm thick) will look modern and elegant. The hardest and most durable material that tolerates maximum indoor and outdoor traffic is sintered stone. Stairs can be clad with sintered stone sheets as thin as 6 mm. Artificial stone is non-porous and does not absorb water. Liquids spilled on sintered stone, ceramic, porcelain steps will not be absorbed and can be easily wiped off. The thinness and lightness of such panels make them suitable for multi-storey buildings, they are easy to install in small spaces.