How Do You Make Bullnose Concrete Steps?
How Do You Make Bullnose Concrete Steps?
Bullnose edging on concrete steps gives a smooth rounded edge that softens the look of the steps while reducing the harsh angles that chip more easily than the more rounded bullnose edge.
A form liner with the bullnose’s molded shape is inserted into the concrete form to construct the bullnose.
The concrete poured into the form cures to the shape of the inserted liner mold once the form is joined. Here’s how you can go about it:
- Cut 1/2-inch plywood panels for the sides of your concrete step molds. Cut the sheets to the required step size, using the same angle for each tread and riser.
Add around 2 inches to the height of the lowest stair riser to allow for lowering the staircase foundation 2 inches below ground.
Cut one side of the plywood using a circular saw, then set that sheet over another sheet of plywood.
Trace the cut edges using a pencil onto the second sheet, then cut along the edges to make the form’s second side.
- Cut 2-by-6-inch planks to the length of the staircase plus 1 inch, then nail them to the front of the plywood sheets to make the stair riser forms. Nail a 2-by-6-inch plank to the plywood side forms at each riser level.
- Using a spade, dig a 2-inch deep foundation hole in the dirt near the stairwell. Tamp the earth to compress it, then level it with a scrap plank and a carpenter’s level.
- Insert the stair form into the foundation against the wall to which the steps will be attached.
- Drive 2-by-4-inch stakes into the ground along the form’s sides, then nail the stakes to the form to keep it sturdy and level.
- Using a trowel, apply a 1/2-inch coating of mastic to the side of the building the form is against to seal the connection and provide an expansion joint between the steps and the structure.
- Using the saw, cut a length of bullnose form liner to the same length as the stair risers. Attach the liners to the inner edge of the risers with 2-1/2-inch drywall screws pushed through the wood of the riser form and into the back of the liner with a screw set in a drill.
Set the screws roughly 12 inches apart throughout the riser’s length. Make sure the screw does not go through the liner front since this will harm the bullnose.
- Using a paintbrush, apply form oil to the interior surfaces of the forms to aid in removal once the concrete has set.
- Fill the forms to the rim of each riser level with concrete. To eliminate any air bubbles against the form front, tap it with a hammer along the front of the form.
To level, the concrete, use a sawing motion with a wooden float across the tops of the stairs, and then smooth the concrete surface with a darby.
Allow any water on the concrete’s surface to evaporate before smoothing the surface with a trowel.
- Allow the concrete to set for a few hours until firm, and then carefully pull away the form liners from the concrete surface to break the seal with the concrete. Remove the risers from the form’s front.
- Smooth down the surface of the junction between the riser and the step by running a hand float at the base of the risers over each step where it meets the riser.
Using a trowel, cut an expansion joint every 18 inches along the tread of the step from the riser to the step front.
- Allow seven days for the concrete to cure while keeping the surface wet with sprayed water. Allow another 21 days for the concrete to cure before removing the forms to expose the stairs with the bullnose edging.
What Kind Of Concrete Do You Use For Steps?
Steps made with QUIKRETE Concrete Mix or QUIKRETE 5000 High Early Strength Concrete Mix are beautiful and long-lasting and may give a good grip in rainy weather.
In most cases, they are 48″ broad, or at least as wide as the entrance and walk they service. A landing should be utilized to separate flights of more than 5′ high stairs.
Landings should be no less than 3′ deep, with the highest landing no more than 7 12″ below the threshold of the door. The stairs should dip forward with a slope of roughly 14″ per foot to provide optimum drainage.
The riser height and tread depth are critical considerations in ensuring optimal safety and convenience.
Can You Put Pavers Over Concrete Steps?
You can certainly put pavers over concrete steps, and many people do that. There are a few things to keep in mind, however.
First, the pavers will add some height to the steps, so be sure to take that into account when planning your project.
Second, you’ll need to ensure the pavers are properly sealed so that water doesn’t seep into the concrete or cause any damage. But other than that, putting pavers over concrete steps is a viable option.
Concrete stairs provide a long-lasting, useful surface to and from porches or elevated patios, but they can be unsightly. You may add flair to the stairs by putting pavers on the face and the surface.
It’s not difficult, but it does need mortar to keep them in place. Keep in mind that when the tread height increases, the top, and bottom steps will relate differently to existing landings, potentially resulting in discomfort and safety hazards.
Addressing fresh landings with the same pavers may be your best option.
Are Settings Pavers On Concrete Steps Dangerous?
Setting pavers on concrete steps is hazardous if they are not secured with mortar. Because the mortar must make a solid connection with your existing concrete, all debris must be removed.
If dirt is embedded in the surface, use a scrub brush and a hose or power washer to remove it. If required, rinse off all solutions with a light detergent or stain remover.
Dry-laying your pavers before mixing the cement is the best approach to ensure a flawless installation.
Fit them over the horizontal and vertical faces of the steps and indicate where they need to be trimmed to fit using chalk.