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All you need to know about aluminium stair treads

What are Stair Treads?

Stair treads are exactly what their name suggests – the surface that you tread on when you are using stairs. But they can be used in many other applications and anywhere you need to climb, including:

  • flooring
  • decking
  • walkways
  • ramps
  • industrial platforms
  • fire wells or fire exits in high rise buildings
  • ladders

Ullrich Aluminium stair treads are designed to be non-slip, especially when used for outdoor platform and walkway applications. Work boots can pick up stones and dirt which could be a potential slip hazard but because outdoor stair treads are not solid, that handy force called gravity ensures any dangerous debris dropped from work boots falls to the ground through the spaces in the stair treads.

Types of Ullrich Aluminium Stair Treads

We’ve stepped up to the challenge of creating a range of aluminium stair tread profiles to meet the dynamic market demands. Whether your project requires a standard maintenance access tread or a more pedestrian-friendly, closer mesh product, we have the perfect solution for you. We have stair treads that are extruded, expanded mesh or fabricated out of treadplate.

  • Extruded Stair Tread is a full solid extrusion generally used indoors in industrial applications where there’s not a lot of waste or water flowing or dirt as there’s nowhere for debris or water to fall through.
  • Expanded Mesh Stair Treads are used more for wet areas such as quarries and highway or mining applications where there’s plenty of dirt, stones and debris. The stair treads are expanded so there are holes, or diamond shapes cut into it so that water and debris can fall through to ensure people won’t slip and fall. Expanded mesh stair treads have all got grippy surfaces that is knurled on the extruded ribs.
  • Fabricated stair treads are made from treadplate (checker or propeller plate) and are a similar style to the extruded stair tread as they are made from a solid sheet of aluminium.

Benefits of Using Alumiunium Stair Treads

Without sounding condescending (sorry another stair joke!), aluminium really is the premium stair product. Not only lightweight, termite resistant, strong and 100% recyclable, aluminium has so many more benefits when used as stair treads.


When aluminium stair treads are located outdoors, they don’t weather and last forever without rusting. If you use timber ones, they’ll need to be constantly maintained to remain protected from the sun, rain, hail, snow and salty air. They won’t warp or swell like timber does.


Maintenance costs for timber add up over the years and pouring full concrete stairs is more expensive. Aluminium is economical and in certain cases, architecturally required.

Versatile and Good Looking

You can do lots of things with aluminium stair treads. They can be easily designed to be circular for instance, unlike timber where there are limitations. If it’s the industrial look you’re wanting, aluminium is the perfect choice. Storage factories with mezzanine floors use them.

Stair Tread Finishes and Colours

A mill finish is the best option for stair treads.

Ullrich Aluminium’s Gold Coast Branch Manager, Pat Pannunzio, explains, “Extruded stair treads can be powder coated but the trouble is that it is a stair, and it will wear. The ones with ribs will wear faster and you will see the lines, so we generally don’t powder coat stair treads. Anodizing is better but it will eventually wear through. Most of the stairs we supply for fire wells, etc, will be a mill finish. It’s the same with expanded mesh stair treads – we wouldn’t put a finish on it. It’s not required for industrial application and is the same with the fabricated checker plate ones. In some cases, they will put a stair edge nose in which is a grippy surface like a rough sandpaper surface, right on the edge so that you don’t slip.”

Next Step for your Stair Tread Project

To find an Ullrich stair tread for your next project, contact your nearest Ullrich Aluminium Branch by calling 1300 795 192 or find them online. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram.

Posted at 30 March 22

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