Ready Mix Concrete Steps vs Precast Concrete Stairs - Sanderson Concrete

Save Time and Money – Cement Steps with Precast Concrete Stair Treads

Both of the photos above represent one day of on-site work. On the left, the contractor built a set of forms for the concrete stairs, poured the ready mix concrete into the stair forms and finished or troweled the concrete to the desired finish. On the right is a set of Sanderson Concrete’s precast concrete stair treads cast with a charcoal pigment and broom finished for an anti-slip surface. The contractor who used precast concrete is done. The other contractor? Wait for the concrete to cure, strip the forms, clean the site – and possibly patch if the concrete requires it.

Stair Stringers can be precast concrete or wood

The concrete stringers were also precast concrete, however, wood stringers for precast concrete stair treads are very common and often easier to install – in particular for smaller crews or do-it-yourself homeowners.

5 foot wide exposed aggregate stair treads installed with cedar stringers







Try doing this with Ready Mixed Concrete on Site

Carborundum nosing is often specified for commercial and institutional projects. Tactile warning strips can be cast into the concrete treads or a nosing detail can be troweled in. Treads are made at our plant and stored until the site is ready. Installation and clean up in just a couple of hours – not days!

Ready Mix concrete (Cast-In-Place) stairs take at least a week

To build a set of concrete stairs using ready mix concrete, forms must be built, reinforcing needs to be placed and concrete will need to be poured. Concrete will need to either be mixed on site using bagged concrete mix or a concrete ready mix company can deliver the concrete. If the steps are higher than 4 risers, you can expect to use a ramp for the wheelbarrow, or possibly even a pump truck (or you can use the old fashioned bucket brigade)

Once the concrete has been poured and finished, the forms will need to stay in place for at least a week before stripping. Once the forms are stripped, the concrete may require sacking or patching on the risers – or the face of the concrete behind the forms.

If you’re confident in your reinforcing, you can walk on your stairs after the first week – if you’re not sure, you may want to wait a full 4 weeks (use an engineer for your reinforcing!)

Precast Concrete stair treads mean you can walk up your steps on day 1

Using cedar or concrete stringers and precast stair treads, a set of precast concrete steps can walked on the day you install them – and there is a lot less mess to clean up when you are done.

Stringers – whether wood or concrete – need to be properly anchored to your building. Best practices include steel angle brackets and bolts rather than screws. Always consult an engineer to make sure your stairs are safe!

Precast Concrete stair treads are less expensive than Cast In Place

Building a set of concrete stairs for the front of your house using ready mix concrete involves a carpenter, ready mix company (possibly a pump truck) and concrete finisher. If you are only making one set of concrete steps, costs will run between $2,000 and $4,000 depending on the finish and width of your stairs.

Using precast concrete stair treads from Sanderson Concrete, the average Do-It-Yourselfer can build a set of stairs with concrete stringers for around $750 to $1500. Cedar stringers will be comparable in price depending on whether you use two outside stringers or four. A contractor will be able to install a set of 4 or 5 stair treads in less than half a day on a jobsite. Allow for a full day if you are hiring a contractor – and be aware that travelling time, material sourcing and other factors will come into play if you are hiring a contractor.

Multiple finishes and colours available

Ready mix concrete stairs are typically confined to two finishes – grey concrete with a broom finish for slip resistance and exposed aggregate (which also offers great slip resistance)

Precast concrete stair treads are available from Sanderson Concrete in exposed aggregate, broom finish, light and medium sandblast, stone textured and multiple colours.


See our stair tread page for more details.

Custom sizes, lengths and shapes and cast-in hardware

Precast concrete stair treads are cast in a plant or factory. As such, stair treads can be customized to your length and requirements. Sanderson Concrete manufactures our standard stair treads up to 8′-0 in length and can make treads up to virtually any length – 12′-0 long treads? No problem! Cast in inserts for bolting railings or mounting brackets can easily be cast into your treads as well.

Email us or call us today  at 604-580-4108 for a quote

stair case precast concrete roman stepsRoman steps – precast concrete landscape treads that can be stacked in multiple configurations to create a beautiful entryway or landscape stairway. Roman steps are available up to 8′-0 in length and can be installed in a day. Stringers are not required for Roman steps – but they are heavy and require at least a dally and two people to install. For installation instructions see our Roman steps installation post here.