Wood flooring gives your staircase an elegant and classic look, but it requires regular care to keep it looking great over time. Once you know what you're doing, maintaining and cleaning your wooden staircase is a breeze.
If you're looking to improve the look of your home while also making it more durable, consider installing a wooden staircase. Wood's natural cosiness is lovely in any setting, and it works with both classic and contemporary decor.
Regular foot traffic will eventually show wear and tear on a staircase. Consequently, if you want to get the most out of its longevity and durability, you need to keep its parts (like the treads and risers) in good shape. The wooden stair parts in your home will last a long time if you take care of them as described in this article.
Advice Regarding Timber Balusters
Keep Them Clean By Cleaning Them Frequently.
As time passes, dust, dirt, and other debris can easily accumulate on the wooden stair parts. As a result, make sure to periodically sweep and vacuum the stairwell. The corners and areas near the railings, which are more difficult to reach, should not be ignored. Then, use a sponge dampened in oil soap to scrub away any remaining dirt and maintain the wood's pristine appearance.
Avoid Ignoring Any Spills.
If there is ever a spill on your hardwood staircase, be sure to clean it up immediately. Unattended liquids can discolour wood if left alone for long enough. These marks and imperfections are notoriously hard to remove.
Put some carpet down or maybe a runner rug.
Many homeowners, concerned about the safety of their stairwell, opt to cover the stairs with carpet or a rug runner. The extra coating protects the wood stair treads and risers from damage caused by moisture and stains. Selecting some of these elements can also give your home a more refined look. Make sure the carpet or rug you pick out complements the existing decor.
Bannisters should not be neglected.
Staircase railings made of wood are notoriously slippery and awkward to hold. When combined with dust, moisture, dirt and other particles can make for an unpleasant stickiness. Using a sponge and some oil soap, we scrubbed the fences from top to bottom.
It's Important To Watch Out For Stained Shoes
Water, mud, and other residues left by soiled shoes can damage the finish of a wooden staircase. This discoloration could become permanent if left untreated for an extended period of time. To avoid this issue, remove your shoes outside the door before coming inside. This is especially important if your shoes are dirty or wet. Get everyone who is visiting you to do the same.
Make sure to oil the wood.
Regularly applying preservative-rich oil to your wood stair parts will help them keep their lustrous appearance for longer. Polish the stairs once a month and the railings once every two weeks. Keep in mind that you need to wait for the oil to settle completely before proceeding. Applying wax and varnish on top of the oiled surface is the final step. Applying too much varnish could make the stairs dangerously slippery, so be careful.
Adding a sturdy and aesthetically pleasing wooden staircase to your home is a smart investment. The good news is that it gets heavily used on a regular basis, so it's subject to wear and tear. With the right care and maintenance, however, your wooden stair parts will last for decades while maintaining their integrity and beauty.
Quick and Easy Ways to Improve Your Stairs
Get the stairs ready and fixed up if they need it. Checking the paint's condition is essential before using it to give an old staircase a new look. If you find any damaged or missing pieces, replace them, and fill any dings or scratches. Whether the wood is unfinished or has already been painted, you can give it a fresh coat of paint. However, if the stairs are very old and have many layers of paint, you may want to strip them first.
This can be done by sanding, heating the area with a heat gun, or using a paint stripper; however, be careful because older paint may contain lead. Please refer to our guide to maintaining your stairwell for further guidance during the renovation. Once the repairs have been made, the surface can be sanded and the stairs can be given a good cleaning and dust removal.
Pick The Right Color To Paint Your Stairs
Wood can be painted with any paint, but the kind designed for floors will last the longest. The only way to see everything is to get a guided tour, of course. If you insist on painting the wood, go for a satin finish, as it will hide flaws better.
But remember that there are floor coatings out there that are designed to lessen the likelihood of you slipping and falling. Although glossy and satin finishes may look nice on the risers, they should not be used on the tread itself due to the potential slip and fall hazards they present.
Learn From Our Mistakes When Painting the Stairs
- To get a smooth finish, use a small roller, but don't forget to touch up the edges with a brush (see our pick of the best).
- It's best to get going right away, before the rest of the office arrives. In order to avoid stepping in wet spots, you should wait at least a few hours after application before walking on it. Your options may be limited if the only bathroom is upstairs.
- Don't risk getting stuck in the attic; instead, start at the top and make your way down.
Choose a striking hue for your stairwells.
One of the simplest ways to draw attention to your hallway is to paint the stairs a daring colour that stands out against the flooring. This is perfect if you've decided on a minimalistic decor scheme with neutral wall colors. Take a chance and be bold. Can you describe the color, please? It stands to reason that they would. Hot pink? Super-heated, super-heated, super-heated. Teal? So, you're actually interacting with us now.
Use a Two-Toned Paint Scheme
Simply by painting the treads and risers of a staircase a different color, you can create a visually striking colour block effect. Some creative options include painting every other step a different color, or dividing the staircase into two equal parts of contrasting colour either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. Whatever the case may be, the options are boundless.
Make Your Staircase Look Like an Ombré Painting With Some Paint
Stairwells are a perfect canvas for the ombré painting trend. Use a darker colour at the base of your design and gradually transition to a lighter one for the best visual effect. Sponging the two adjacent colours together in the middle is the next step.
Apply Stencils to Your Steps
Consider using a stencil instead of trying to freehand a design onto the stairwell wall if you're not confident in your drawing abilities. Countless stencils mean that any design you can imagine is within reach. Counting your way up the apples and pears would be much easier if the risers were numbered. If you prefer, you can let your stairs do the talking by purchasing a set of letter stencils.
Spruce Up Your Staircase with Some Character
Paint the stairwell however your enthusiasm motivates you to. Fans of literature are sure to appreciate the following decoration idea for book spines, but music lovers and nature lovers alike may prefer a pattern consisting of repeated images of their favourite flowers.
Use Wallpaper on a Painted Staircase
The steps themselves should be painted before any wallpaper is applied to the risers to add visual interest. If you decide to paper the stairs to match the wallpaper in your hallway, keep in mind that they will need to be varnished with a coat of durable clear varnish to protect their new look.
Use Paint To Imitate A Stair Runner
It's easy to make it look like there's a stair runner by painting along the outer edges of each step. The treads and risers on this staircase have only been painted with yellow highlights, leaving the centre tread and riser unfinished. That was a brilliant design decision on their part. The epitome of dexterity.
Steps That Don't Bend
The Definition of Straight Stairs
In contrast to curved staircases, straight staircases don't have any sharp turns or twists. One of the most common types of stairways in both homes and commercial buildings, spiral staircases are a common sight. Here are several pictures of straight, floating stairs made with various stringer designs, handrail options, and wood species.
What do you mean by "central landing" straight stairs?
A landing is typically placed in the middle of a lengthy set of stairs. For buildings with more than 12 feet of height, this is mandated by law. Platforms are commonly installed at the midpoint of straight staircases, especially in commercial buildings.
Pros of a Staircase with a Straight Run:
- There's a saying in the building industry that goes something like "straight stairs are the easiest to go descend and ascend or down and up."
- They typically call for the least amount of work to build. While this may be the case, it depends heavily on how meticulously the design was executed.
- Vertical stairways can be made with just the joining of the top and bottom landings.
- These dwellings lend themselves beautifully to minimalist design due to their inherent simplicity.
- Thinner treads, thin metal stringers and open risers can make straight stairs more see-through than other types of stairs. There will be less of an obstruction to the sight line beyond the rectilinear set of stairs.
- If the total vertical height of the structure is less than 13 feet, or if the risers do not exceed 16 feet in height, a landing is not necessary.
- Building handrails and guardrails for a flight of straight stairs is a breeze.
- As opposed to curved or spiral staircases, straight staircases have railings that can be measured with relative ease.
Consequences of Using Only Straight Stairs:
- Before beginning the design process, you must consider the amount of straight-along space that is needed for the stairs.
- Separating the floors of your home can be difficult if you don't have a suitable stairway. Straight stairs don't provide the same degree of seclusion.
- A stairwell that is 12 feet in height requires a landing to break up the length. These stairs are rarely used in residential construction because the addition of a landing necessitates a large amount of extra space. Keep an eye out for these, as you're more likely to see them in large corporate structures.
L Shaped Stairs
Can You Explain L-Shaped Stairs to Us?
The L-shaped stair, derived from the straight stair, deviates from the straight stair by having a bend in the middle of each step. To make this turn, a landing is usually built in at the point where the two paths diverge.
As a rule, the bend is at a right angle to the horizontal. But that doesn't have to be the case. This staircase design, which is also known as a long L stair or a quarter turn stair, gets its name from the proximity of the landing to the beginning or end of the stairwell.
L-shaped stairs have many benefits.
- Sometimes an L-shaped stairwell is more visually pleasing.
- The increased privacy they provide is due in part to their function as a visual barrier between levels.
- The amount of noise transmitted between stories can be mitigated if the L-shaped stairwell is enclosed by walls.
- Some people may feel more secure on stairwells with a central landing because there are fewer possible tripping points than on a flight of stairs with a more traditional layout.
- In the midst of the ascent, the landing is a welcome spot to rest and recharge.
- You can put them wherever you like in the room, but if you want to make a specific layout choice, try putting them in a particular corner.
The Drawbacks of an L-Shaped Staircase:
- There are some extra difficulties involved in constructing an L-shaped set of stairs.
- The landing of an L-shaped stairway usually requires some sort of supplementary structural support. A common practise is to build this into the walls on all sides, so that it is concealed from view. However, in modern homes, it is prefered to show off the stair framework for the sake of aesthetics and to give the impression that the house has more open space. With the strength of steel, slim supporting components can be built in these situations, reducing the overall visual impact of the supporting structure. The building's overall bulkiness will be reduced thanks to this. Using careful engineering, it is possible to eliminate the need for the landing support.
- Curved stair railings are more complex and time-consuming to build than their straight-stair counterparts for the same reason.
- In colder regions where basements are used, it is common practise to stack staircases in order to maximise limited square footage. Since basements are typically used for storing purposes, bringing heavy items down there and back up again can be a challenge.
U Shaped Stairs
The U-shaped steps provide a walk line at an angle of 180 degrees, the result of joining two parallel flights of straight stairs at the top with a landing.
U-shaped stairs have many benefits.
- U-shaped stairways are often more convenient to work into building designs.
- Simply from an architectural perspective, they're captivating.
- While making your way up the stairs, the landing is a great spot to take a break (or landings).
U-shaped stairwells have their drawbacks.
- These stairs are a little trickier to build than other types of steps because of their unique design.
Similar to an L-shaped stair, but with pie-shaped or triangular steps instead of a flat landing at the corner transition, these are known as winder stairs.
Pros Of Winder Stairs:
- The space savings compared to other types of stairs is one of the main advantages of winder stairs. You'll most often find them in older homes, where they serve as an alternative route to the upper floors. Such examples include homes that feature a grand staircase in the entryway. The winder stair is frequently used in such cases as a shortcut to the kitchen.
- As opposed to other stair designs, they are more appealing to the eye. Turning corners can look less abrupt on winder stairs because of their design. That's why you see them in so many modern homes today. Their compact form factor has also made them a favourite in green home plans.
Cons Of Winder Stairs:
- There is a slight learning curve when ascending and descending winder stairs as opposed to L stairs.
- It may be more challenging to instal a handrail on these stairs than on other types.
- Installation of a support in the centre of an L-shaped staircase is standard.
Spiral stairways always travel in a helical arc. Treads are typically arranged in a radiating pattern around a central pole, and the overall layout is usually quite compact.
Pros Of Spiral Stairs:
- One of the greatest advantages of a spiral staircase is the amount of space it saves. They are frequently seen on terraces with a small footprint that overlook the beach. That's why you'll often see them in modern loft developments.
- There are a wide variety of stair railing styles to choose from, and their design can have a major impact on the stair's aesthetic value. The aesthetic value of spiral stairways is not to be underestimated.
- The landing and the central pole provide much of the structural support for the stairs, so comparatively few supplementary support structures are needed; this makes the installation of these stairs much easier than that of many others.
Cons Of Spiral Stairs:
- Spiral stairways are more difficult to negotiate than other types of stairs. As a result, codes prohibit their use as the sole means of access to an entire second-story apartment or house. If you have the space for it, expanding the perimeter could improve the area's suitability as a pedestrian thoroughfare. We recommend going with a diameter of five feet if at all possible.
- It's not a picnic to lug heavy loads up a winding set of stairs.
- It's impossible for two people to use the stairs in opposite directions at the same time.
Like a set of spiral stairs, a set of curved stairs will wind around in a circle. On the other hand, they rarely form a perfect circle and typically have a much larger radius. The addition of a curved staircase to any structure, be it residential or commercial, adds a touch of class. This is why you'll typically find them near the front door, where they can make the best first impression.
Pros Of Curved Stairs:
- Although curved staircases are typically associated with the elegance of older buildings, their design is easily adaptable to accommodate the needs of more contemporary structures.
- It's not too difficult to walk up them if their radii are large enough.
There are a few drawbacks to installing a curved stairwell.
- Building a curved staircase presents the greatest difficulty compared to building any other type of staircase. For those who make their living building and fabricating stairs, nothing beats the satisfaction of completing a complex project involving a curved design. This is why they have the highest construction costs overall.
Cantilever stairs give the impression that the treads are not attached to the wall or floor below them. The staircase's stringer, which may be hidden or exposed, will be attached to the final tread. A cantilever staircase creates a sense of openness and curiosity in a space.
Pros Of Cantilever Stairs:
- When compared to other forms of stairs, cantilever stairs offer a greater degree of visual interest and are more distinctive.
- In most cases, the stringer is situated to one side or concealed behind the wall in order to provide additional headroom.
- Cantilever steps provide the impression that the room is more open and vast than it actually is.
Cons Of Cantilever Stairs:
- In order for the cantilever stairs to be supported, the design of the structure itself needs to be taken into consideration.
- The tread supports have to be constructed so that they can withstand the weight as well as any potential torque.
- Due to the additional structural requirements, the cost of installing cantilever stairs is more than the cost of installing a mono-stringer stair.
Split Staircase (Bifurcated)
Split Stairs, which can also be referred to as bifurcated steps, are normally comprised of an extensive set of stairs that begin at the base of the flight and terminate at a landing located around halfway up the flight. At the landing, the flight of stairs divides into two separate, more compact sets of stairs that head in opposite directions.
Pros Of Split Staircases:
- The use of split stairs enables a single staircase to perform the functions of two separate staircases by heading up to various building parts. This facilitates easy access to both ends of the higher level.
- They provide a significant contribution to the building's already stunning architectural design statement.
- The term "Grand Entry" refers to the use of these doors in large residential or business structures. They may be used in either an indoor or outdoor setting without issue.
Cons Of Split Staircases:
- The amount of room need for split staircases might be rather substantial. The design of the structure will need to take into consideration the necessity of this amount of space.
- The majority of stairs are less expensive than split staircases, though.
- cable railing in the manner of the centre entry and divided staircases
Similar to stairs, ladders can be used to gain access to higher levels. However, building codes do not permit the use of ladders as the primary means of entry in any circumstance. However, Studios is able to construct bespoke ladders for use in a variety of settings, including libraries, lofts, and docks.
Pros Of Ladders:
- Using ladders to ascend from one floor to the next is the most space-efficient method.
- Because of their uncomplicated structure, they offer excellent value for the money.
- It is possible for ladders to be outfitted with wheels or to fold up so that they can be moved out of the way when they are not in use or so that they can block access.
- They can be utilised to get access to shelves that, under normal circumstances, would be out of reach.
Cons Of Ladders:
- While compared to stairs, ladders are by far the most challenging to negotiate, particularly when going down.
- It is not possible to utilise ladders as the primary stairway in a building.
Wooden stairways are timeless and classic, but they need regular maintenance to stay that way. Wooden stairways are low-maintenance and simple to clean once you know what you're doing. If you maintain the wooden components of your stairs, they will last for many years. Wooden staircases can last for decades while looking like new with regular care and maintenance. The railings should be polished every two weeks, and the stairs once a month.
The final step is to apply wax and varnish on top of the oiled surface. The ombré painting style looks great on stairwell walls. Painting the treads and risers of a staircase in contrasting colours creates a striking colour block effect. If you want to paint a design on the wall of the stairwell, use stencils instead of trying to freehand it. If the building's vertical height is less than 13 feet, or if the risers do not exceed 16 feet in height, a landing is unnecessary.
The L-shaped stair is an offshoot of the straight stair but differs in that each step is angled slightly. There needs to be a strong foundation for the landing of an L-shaped stairway. Careful engineering can do away with this prop entirely. On the other hand, winder stairs have triangular or pie-shaped steps instead of a flat landing at the corner. Curved stairs wind around in a circle, while spiral staircases are made to move in a helical arc.
Spiral stairways are incredibly beautiful and should not be undervalued for this reason. Curved stairs are a classy addition to any building, whether it be a home or a business. The treads of cantilever stairs appear to float above the wall or floor below them. With a split staircase, you can combine the functions of two staircases into one. A "Grand Entry" is a stairway with two separate sets of treads.
However, most staircases can be built for significantly less money than a split stairwell. Ladders are not allowed to be used as the main means of entry per building codes. Studios can build unique stairwells for a wide range of locations, including study rooms, attics, and docks.
- Wooden stairways are low-maintenance and simple to clean once you know what you're doing. Installing a wooden staircase is a great way to increase the value of your home and give it a more classic look.
- Thus, its longevity and durability depend on the condition of its components (such as the treads and risers).
- If you maintain the wooden stair components in your home as described here, they will last for many years. Over time, the wooden stair parts are likely to collect a layer of dust, dirt, and other debris.
- Because of this, the stairwell should be swept and vacuumed on a regular basis. Be sure to quickly wipe up any spills on your hardwood staircase.
- Cover the floor with carpet or at least a runner. Carpeting or a rug runner is a common choice for stairways because it increases grip and reduces the risk of slipping and falling.
- Stair treads and risers made of wood are shielded from water and stain damage by the additional coating. The carpet or rug you choose should not detract from the aesthetic of the room.
- To avoid this problem, please remove your shoes at the door. If your shoes are wet or dirty, this is of paramount importance.
- The wood needs to be oiled. Stair parts made of wood can be preserved by regularly applying oil that contains preservatives.
- The railings should be polished every two weeks, and the stairs once a month. The final step is to apply wax and varnish on top of the oiled surface.
- Investing in a beautiful and functional wooden staircase is a great way to add value to your home. However, if you take the time to properly care for and maintain your wooden stair parts, they will last for decades without losing any of their structural integrity or aesthetic appeal.
- Effortless and Fast Steps to Better Stairs In the event that the stairs require maintenance, prepare them now. If you want to give an old staircase a new look, you should check the condition of the paint first.
- You can paint over previously painted or unfinished wood with equal success. However, you may need to strip the stairs first if they are very old and have many layers of paint.
- After the damage has been fixed, the stairs can be sanded and given a thorough cleaning and dust removal. Use a vibrant colour to draw attention to your stairwells.
- A simple way to make a statement in a hallway is to paint the stairs a vibrant shade that stands out against the wood or tile.
- Make use of a contrasting colour scheme One way to achieve this striking colour block effect is to paint the treads and risers of a staircase a contrasting color.
- You can paint your staircase to look like an ombré painting. The ombré painting style looks great on stairwell walls.
- The next step is to sponge the two adjacent colours together in the middle. You can let your stairs do the talking if you want them to by investing in a letter stencil set.
- Add Personality to Your Staircase You can decorate the stairwell in any way that sparks your imagination.
- Put Wallpaper on a Freshly Painted Staircase Before applying wallpaper to the risers, you should paint the stairs themselves to give them a more interesting appearance.
- You should remember to varnish the stairs with a coat of strong clear varnish to preserve their new look if you decide to paper them to match the wallpaper in your hallway.
- The use of paint to imitate a stair runner Simply by painting along the outside edges of each step, you can make it look like there is a stair runner.
- Many Different Types of Staircases Straight Stairs Stairs That Meet the Technical Definition Instead of sharp turns and twists, as you'd find on a curved staircase, straight staircases are precisely that: straight.
- Spiral staircases are one of the most frequently seen stairway designs in both residential and commercial settings. In the middle of a flight of many steps is where you'll find the landing.
- Staircases with a straight run typically have a platform installed at the halfway point, especially in public buildings.
- In favour of a straight-running staircase: There's a saying in construction that goes something like, "straight stairs are the easiest to go down and up or left and right."
- In most cases, they require the least amount of effort to construct. When the risers' combined height is less than 16 feet or the building's overall vertical height is less than 13 feet, a landing is unnecessary.
- It is simple to construct handrails and guardrails for a set of straight stairs. The Drawbacks of Taking Elevators Instead of Stairs: The amount of straight-along space required for the stairwell must be determined before any other design work can begin.
- When the rise of a stairwell exceeds 12 feet, a landing is necessary to create visual interest and safety. An alternative to the traditional straight stair, the L-shaped stair has a bend in the middle of each step.
- The many advantages of an L-shaped stairwell. An L-shaped stairwell can be more aesthetically pleasing in some situations. If the L-shaped stairwell is enclosed by walls, the amount of noise transmitted between floors can be reduced.
- Building an L-shaped staircase presents some unique challenges. Typically, the landing of an L-shaped stairway will need additional structural support.
- With some ingenuity, we can do away with the landing support. U-shaped stairways are advantageous in many ways.
- Staircases in the shape of a U can be more easily integrated into limited space. There are some issues with U-shaped stairwells.
- Winding Stairs These stairs resemble an L-shaped stair but have triangular or pie-shaped steps instead of a flat landing at the corner transition; they are called winder stairs.
- The Benefits of Winder Stairs One of the primary benefits of winder stairs is the space they save in comparison to other stair designs.
- The disadvantage of winder stairs is that there is a slight learning curve involved in using them.
- Installation of a support in the centre of an L-shaped staircase is standard. Staircases that wind around in a helix are called spiral stairways.
- One of the major benefits of a spiral staircase is the amount of room it can save.
- The aesthetic value of a set of stairs can be greatly affected by the choice of stair railings, which come in a wide variety of designs.
- Spiral stairways are incredibly beautiful and should not be undervalued for this reason.
- Negative Aspects of Spiral Stairs: Spiral stairways are more challenging to navigate than straight stairways. To make the area more suitable as a pedestrian thoroughfare, you may wish to consider enlarging the perimeter, if there is enough room to do so.
- The Winding Stairs Curved stairs, like spiral stairs, will go in a circle. The addition of a curved staircase to any structure, be it residential or commercial, adds a touch of class.
- However, there are some drawbacks to putting in a curved stairwell. Building a curved staircase presents the greatest difficulty compared to building any other type of staircase.
- Cantilever stairs give a building an air of mystery and intrigue.
- Cantilever Stairs' Drawbacks: Cantilever stairways require careful planning to ensure they are adequately supported.
- Installing cantilever stairs is more expensive than installing a mono-stringer stair due to the structural requirements.
- Split stairways have many benefits. A single set of stairs can serve the same purpose as two by leading to different floors or wings of a building thanks to the use of split stairs.
- The need for this much space must be factored into the building's layout. However, most staircases can be built for significantly less money than a split stairwell.
- Cable railing resembling that of the symmetrical main entrance and the symmetrical stairwells Ladders Ladders provide an alternative way of reaching upper stories, much like stairways. However, ladders are never allowed to be used as the primary means of entry due to strict regulations set forth by building codes.
- Studios, however, can build specialised stairways for any location, including study nooks, lofts, and even harbors. Advantages of Ladders: Ladders provide the most compact means of moving between stories.
- As a result of their low production costs and user-friendly design, they are a great buy. Downsides of Using Ladders: Ladders are much more difficult to navigate than stairs, especially when going down.
- Ladders can't be the primary means of egress in a building.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wooden Stairs
You can also use dish soap diluted in water, a relatively mild cleaner. Don't use harsh or abrasive cleaners, as this can damage the finish on your wood, making it look dull and lifeless. If your stairs are unfinished or have a protective seal, you'll need a liquid or paste wax as well.
Regularly Clean Them
Sweep and vacuum the staircase regularly. Don't forget the hard-to-reach areas such as the corners and around the railings. Afterwards, use a sponge and oil soap to scrub away any remaining dirt and keep the wood looking fresh
- Remove all clutter from the steps.
- Sweep the steps.
- Vacuum the steps (if you have carpet treads)
- Apply carpet cleaner.
- Allow the carpet to dry.
- Mop the steps.
- Polish the steps.
Read on to learn the best methods to make your wooden stairs less slippery.
- Apply an Anti-Slip Floor Finish.
- Coat in Anti-Slip Paint.
- Use Anti-Skid Additives for Sealers.
- Spray With Non-Slip Paint Aerosols.
- Apply Anti-Slip Stair Tape.
- Use Non-Slip Carpet Treads.
- Put Down Clear Anti-Slip Stair Strips.
You can expect exterior wood stairs and steps to last 15 to 35 years, with an average of 25 years.