Different designs of steps for a front door

Written by jamie witt
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Different designs of steps for a front door
Stamped concrete mimics the look of slate tile. (steps 3 image by Joe Houghton from Fotolia.com)

The steps leading up to your front door should complement the entire home, using materials and tones that bring warmth to your doorway. Different materials bring very different qualities, and there are some considerations to keep in mind when choosing between concrete, brick and wood for your front step design.

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Concrete

When you think of concrete, you probably imagine a basic, smooth grey surface that may appear cold and institutional. You may be surprised to find, however, that some of the most detailed and warm walkway and front step designs are concrete made to appear as a different, more expensive material. Stamped concrete, also called patterned or imprinted concrete, utilises a large stamp on top of the wet concrete surface to mimic slate tiles, cobblestone and planks of pine, among other designs. You can also stain concrete to achieve a look much different than the grey standard.

Combine decorative concrete elements such as stamping and staining, and add rounded edges to create an elegant entryway to the front of you home. Opt for a terra cotta stain to bring warm tones to your home. When pouring steps, ConcreteNetwork.com suggests using a deeper tread with a shorter riser height to accommodate a more natural human stride.

Brick

Brick walkways and steps provide a classic entry to the home. One serious consideration to keep in mind is the home's building materials. You don't want to create a brick set of steps leading up to a home of patterned limestone. Match brick with colonial style architecture and brick homes of the same colour brick you will use for the front steps. It's important to match brick for front steps, as they will meet the bricks used in construction of the home; mismatches will be glaring.

Create a classic look by laying bricks horizontally throughout the steps' surface area, and create a border by laying a single line of bricks vertically on the edge. Create half-moon steps by laying bricks vertically and curving the edge of each step in a half-moon shape.

Wood

You will get a more straightforward shape with wood in front step design because it cannot be moulded and shaped like concrete and brick. Wood can, however, provide an impressive entryway with the use of paint and by installing boards on the riser instead of leaving it exposed. HGTV suggests giving new wood time to age and grey before painting.

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