The Wicked Yard

How To Choose And Install The Granite Step Style That’s Right For Your Home

Posted by Amanda Pittsley on Aug 9, 2017, 3:37:00 PM

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Your home's front door says a lot about you. It adds to the beauty and design of the exterior, impacts first impressions, and influences how people view your home.

And so do the steps leading to it.

The steps outside your home are constantly being seen and used by the members of your household, as well as guests, which is why you should take their appearance, performance, and durability into careful consideration.

Granite is strong, beautiful, and low maintenance, making it an ideal building material for entryway steps, and ultimately adding unmatched curb appeal to your home.

Granite steps outperform wood, brick and concrete in harsh elements. They won’t chip or degrade, they’re virtually maintenance free and last for generations. Naturally durable, granite will withstand the freeze-thaw cycle. Swenson’s granite steps are backed by our lifetime warranty, offering an affordable way to add lasting value to your home.

Available in stock and custom sizes, these steps and stone treads enhance both contemporary and traditional designs.

CHOOSING A FINISH

Whichever type of granite steps you choose for your home, you can rest assured that they’ve been created with precision and craftsmanship. Our craftsmen take blocks of granite from the quarry and saw slabs from the block to the right thickness. They are given a thermal top using a high pressure torch, in order to have a non-slip finish. The granite is split out to the appropriate size with a hydraulic splitter. Additional edge finishes are applied depending on what the customer is looking for.

At our seven Granite Works stores, we stock split face or rock face steps. Split face steps are created using a hydraulic splitter to provide a rough texture that blends well with natural wallstone and flagging.

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These split face steps are Woodbury Gray granite surrounded by New England style wallstone.

Rock face steps are split larger than they need to be, and then trimmed to size with a hammer and chisel. This leaved the edges bold and rocky. The edge will actually protrude beyond the top dimensions of the step.

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This rock face step is Woodbury Gray granite.

Swenson offers seven colors of granite for steps: Woodbury Gray, Concord Gray, Caledonia, Bethel White, Autumn Pink, Deer Isle, and Cambrian Black.

Edge finishing options include thermal, sandblast, sawn, polished and bush hammer. We can custom fabricate steps suitable for any application, including radius edges and angled edges.

The process for purchasing steps is fairly simple: visit your nearest Swenson Granite Works store, choose the steps, prepare the base, and have the steps installed.

CUSTOMIZE YOUR ENTRY WITH YOUR CHOICE OF STEP STYLE 

There are several different types of designs you can choose for your steps. Once you have your design in mind, we can guide you over the phone or at our location to do the measurements, or you can hire a contractor to work with you.

Here are some common designs to consider:

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The basic rectangular set of steps is a very common entrance to front and back doors. This is a standard set of Woodbury Gray thermal top, rock face steps. (This one also includes custom engraving.)

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Tiered step sets wrap around all three sides. They are designed by layering the steps on top of one another, decreasing in size as they go up. The steps resemble a tiered wedding cake. This is a set of split face Woodbury Gray granite steps.

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Radius steps are an aesthetically pleasing alternative to the rectangular set of steps. These semi-circular steps create a grand entrance to any outdoor area. This is a set of Woodbury Gray rock face steps. 

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Rounding the corners of steps can be both a decorative and safety feature. This is a set of custom Woodbury gray steps thermal top and face.

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Embankment steps are perfect for creating a safe, sturdy pathway from one level of your property to another. This is a set of Woodbury Gray rock face embankment steps.

WHETHER DIY OR PROFESSIONAL, BASE PREPARATION IS ESSENTIAL

Once you’ve chosen your steps, you need to prepare the base. A properly constructed base ensures your steps will remain solid for decades. You can create your own concrete or gravel pad with readily available tools and materials.Swenson’s Concrete Pad Prep Guide and Gravel Pad Prep Guide will assist you with this process.

Ask your Swenson Granite Works representative for the proper dimensions for your particular step configuration prior to starting your base preparation. For small sets of steps, a compacted gravel pad will work just fine. Very large sets of steps may require a concrete pad. The ultimate base, however, is a 6-inch-thick concrete pad on top of a properly prepared gravel pad. The gravel pad will stay compacted while allowing water to drain properly to guard against frost heaves. The concrete pad adds a solid, level area that makes setting the granite steps easier.

Depending on the existing soil conditions, it may be necessary to excavate deeper to ensure a well compacted, good draining base.

Swenson Granite Works personnel are trained to install granite steps on a prepared base only. If the base area is not prepared prior to the arrival of the delivery truck, the steps cannot be installed. If you are unable to prepare the base yourself, you can hire a local contractor. We can provide you with a list of contractors in your specific area. Just call your local store.

A GUIDE TO GRANITE STEP INSTALLATION

In this video, we highlight the process involved in installing a set of Swenson Granite steps.

 You’ve chosen your steps and prepared the base – here comes the fun part (and it doesn’t require you to work!) When the steps are ready to be installed, they are loaded onto our truck and brought to the job site to install layer by layer. We use a crane, along with heavy duty straps, to lift the stone steps off of the back of the truck and to maneuver them into place.

Steps can be installed any time of the year, as long as the ground is not too frozen and the pad is able to be prepared.

If you already have granite steps by Swenson Granite Works, here’s your chance to showcase them and also enter to win a prize that is sure to add curb appeal to your home. Submit photos of your set of Swenson Granite Works steps in our Enter New England’s Welcome Home Photo Contest and be entered to win a granite lamppost.

Click below to learn how you can win a granite lamppost.

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Topics: granite steps, steps, exterior, curb appeal

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