Typically fabricated from metals such as aluminum or steel, although fiberglass grating or plastic grating can also be used, stair treads are available in a wide range of sizes, nosing options and construction methods.
Stair treads can be made from bar grating or plate grating with diamond, slotted, large or small round hole perforations, serrated teeth and textured surfaces to create traction and prevent slipping of persons or equipment. Grated or perforated stair treads also permit dirt, mud, snow, rain and other liquids to pass through the stairs, rather than collecting on the surface and creating a hazard.
However, the openings of the treads are typically small enough to allow the catch of tools, scraps or other objects that may be dropped accidentally. Food processing plants, maintenance areas, worker platforms on marine and oil rigs are just a few of the areas that commonly employ the use of stair treads to increase safety.
The treads provide a gripping surface for movement up and down the stairs, preventing incidents of falling that commonly occur in the existence of liquids and surfaces and are used with stairs made from wood, concrete, diamond plate and fiberglass.
Considerations when determining the most suitable material to use in the fabrication of stair treads include desired safety features, weight-bearing capacity and required resistance to wear and corrosion. Bar grating treads are some of the most common designs of stair treads as they offer high-strength and cost-effectiveness.
They are simple to manufacture and durable under constant traffic. For those treads made from bar grating or aluminum grating, they can be welded directly to the stairs to ensure immobility. Other methods of securing treads include bolting through pre-drilled holes, or attachment to existing treads or framework such as masonry anchors. Plank type treads are typically lighter-weight than bar gratings but are not as durable. They are ideal however for extremely high slip resistance requirements and are able to provide an aesthetically pleasing finish to the stairway.
Openings through perforation or expansion can be in a pattern or design to complement an area. Nosing is another feature that can further improve both the function and appearance of stair treads as is allows for the covering of the edging of the tread, preventing unnecessary snagging, and providing a clean finish. Stair treads are an important safety feature of many work environments and as such should be considered carefully.