Quiet Grip™ metal stair tread system: alternative to metal pan stairs

Metal pan stair treads with field poured concrete have been the standard tread system for steel egress stairs for many decades. It's not hard to understand why. Concrete treads are durable, slip resistant, low maintenance, and relatively quiet compared to metal treads. 

Yet field pouring concrete into individual stair treads is a costly, messy, and a time consuming process that fails to meet the demands for today's rapid paced construction schedules. Pan treads left without temporary inserts also create safety hazards and leave crews without floor-to-floor access during construction.

Lapeyre Stair's new Quiet Grip™ tread system uses advanced technologies in steel fabrication and coatings to outperform concrete treads in all categories:

  • Durability
  • Slip resistance
  • Maintenance
  • Sound dampening
  • Safety and usability during construction
  • Ease of installation
  • Cost

Quiet Grip™ Tread System

The Quiet Grip™ tread cover is a lightweight, bolt-on, non-slip metal tread coated with an permanent, abrasive polyurethane coating.

Download Quiet Grip™ CSI format specification here

Lapeyre Stair Quiet Grip 102020 short (1)

 

Request a Quiet Grip tread sample

 

How Quiet Grip™ outperforms metal pan stairs

A metal pan stair tread usually includes 1.5" concrete poured into a steel pan sub-tread.

metal pan stair tread

For a 4' wide stair tread, that's about 80 lbs of concrete per stair tread. That doesn't seem like a lot until you calculate for a typical 10 story building with 500 stair pans, and now you have 40,000 lbs of concrete to pour! 

A concrete finisher must  pour each one of those stair pans individually inside an enclosed stairwell on an uneven stair surface. Often the concrete finishers must hoist the concrete up with buckets or tubs to each pan location. Needless to say, this is not an efficient construction process.

OSHA 1926.1052(b)(1) prohibits construction crews from using metal pan stairs during construction unless temporary tread inserts are installed . These can be wood, foam, or any other durable material. Installing the temporary inserts is another time consuming and costly process, often costing as much as the concrete treads themselves. In many cases crews end up using the stairs without inserts, resulting in safety hazards.

Concrete stair treads have benefits. 

  1. They have been used for many decades.
  2. They are durable and low maintenance.
  3. They have a slip resistant surface.
  4. They are relatively quiet to foot traffic.
  5. They have a commercially appealing finish and aesthetic.

Building owners must have confidence that an alternative metal stair tread will provide the same benefits with lower costs and construction timelines. So an alternative needs to have been demonstrated to be durable in real-life applications, be slip resistant to provide a safe walking surface, be quiet to foot traffic, look aesthetically appropriate and appealing for commercial applications, and finally be cheap, easy to install, and immediately usable for construction crews. 

A new approach: The Quiet Grip™ tread system

Lapeyre Stair set out to develop a stair tread system that can outperform concrete for everyone on the project:  building owners, architects, general contractors, steel erectors, and finishing trades.

Our Quiet Grip™ tread system is durable, lightweight, slip resistant, sound dampening, and has a commercially appealing aesthetic. It  reduces time and cost for the construction project.Quiet Grip stair tread

The Quiet Grip tread system  is a 2-part tread system. It includes a base "construction phase" tread and a permanent, non slip, bolt-on tread cover. 

Long-term durability

The Quiet Grip™ tread cover is a lightweight metal tread coated with an abrasive polyurethane coating. (You can find the Quiet Grip™ CSI format specification here). Polyurethane coatings have been used in building materials, equipment, outdoor furniture and many other applications for many years. Polyurethanes are extremely abrasive resistant, heat resistant, and durable, making them a great fit for stair tread applications. For a typical exit stairway, this coating should last the life of the stair. The coating can be formulated in virtually any color to match the finish of the stairwell for a high-end commercial finish. 

Capture

Slip resistant for improved safety

The Quiet Grip™ tread has been tested for slip resistance and performed better than traditional diamond plate material.  It meets the IBC, ADA, and NFPA requirements for slip resistance. With a measured Coefficient of Friction of 0.68 in a wet environment, Quiet Grip ™ surpasses the minimum standards for Coefficient of Friction and the Pendulum Test Value for the most commonly adopted standards of slip resistance. 

Rapid bolt-on installation

Quiet Grip™ treads are installed through a simple bolt-on process. Threaded inserts are factory-applied to the underside of the sub-tread so that the tread cover can be aligned and bolted in place quickly and easily.

Each tread cover weighs about 12 lbs making it light enough to easily be carried by a single person up and down a stairwell. Each tread takes about 1 minute to install.

Field crews can install Quiet Grip™ treads after the stairs have been finished and painted eliminating the potential for damage during construction. Alternatively, treads can be factory-installed with a protective covering for construction. 

Sound dampening to reduce noise

Quiet Grip™ treads also provide superior sound dampening properties vs any other tread system. We measured the decibel levels of the Quiet Grip™ tread vs concrete treads and diamond plate treads. Quiet Grip™ compared favorably to concrete and provided 50% noise reduction over diamond plate treads. Listen to the difference in these two videos below.

Hammer Drop - Diamond Plate Tread                                                         Hammer Drop - Quiet Grip™ Tread

 

diamond plate noise
Quiet Grip noise

 

 

Integrated Nosings

Integrated photo luminescent nosings and contrast safety nosings can also be factory installed. These nosings work great with the Quiet Grip™ as either a commercial stair tread or industrial stair tread system. 

Quiet Grip with glow strip

yellow with red stripe tread

No temporary treads required

Unlike metal pan treads, the Quiet Grip™ base construction phase tread provides a solid metal surface along the entire length of the tread compliant with OSHA 1926.1052(b)(3) for temporary use during construction. No temporary treads required. 

No temporary protective coverings required

Unlike other speed stair systems, Quiet Grip™ treads can be installed after construction, eliminating the need to install protective coverings for construction. The time it takes to install each Quiet Grip tread is less than the the time it would take to remove protective coverings and fill bolt holes with epoxy. 

Request a Quiet Grip tread sample

Cost advantage

For an average 44" wide stair, the Quiet Grip™ tread costs less than $25 making it the most cost-effective tread system of any alternative. Quiet Grip™ saves $33 per tread compared to a metal pan with field poured concrete.

Cost Item

Quiet Grip™

3/16” Diamond Tread

Epoxy Coating

Metal Pan with Poured Concrete

Tread Material Cost

$57

$65

$60

$35

Temporary Tread Inserts / Protective Coverings
$0

$0

$8

$20

Poured Concrete material and installation

$0

$0

$0

$35

Total Cost

$57

$65

$68

$90

Quiet Grip™ Cost Savings

 

$8 per tread (12%)

$11 per tread (16%)

$33 per tread (37%)

The Quiet Grip tread works as a substitute for metal pan stairs and diamond plate stair treads in commercial and industrial applications: egress stairs, mezzanine stairs, crossover stairs, or any other stair application with a need for a non slip surface. If you have an application, submit your project drawings here, or contact your rep

Current standards for alternative egress stair treads

Various other alternative tread systems for metal pan stairs provide some of the benefits above but have 1 or more disadvantages. The below chart outlines the cost-benefits of current alternative stair tread systems.

Tread System

Advantages

Disadvantages

 

Metal diamond plate stair tread

1. Eliminates concrete pouring in the field

2. Inexpensive and easy to install

3. Been in use for a long period

1. Durability depends on the coating applied over the metal diamond plate. Inferior coatings may wear off over time

2. Not a very slip resistant surface 

3. Very noisy to foot traffic

4. Not a commercially appealing aesthetic

diamond-tread-plate

 

Precast concrete stair treads

1. Eliminates concrete pouring in the field

2. Inexpensive

3. Been in use for long period

1. Not an efficient installation process. Requires knock-down stair systems, hauling  heavy concrete components up stairwells and individually fitting and bolting treads into stair stringers. 

2. Can be subject to damage and / or cracking during shipping and at jobsites.

 

precast-2

 

Abrasive epoxy coating over metal stair treads

1. Eliminates field pouring of concrete

2. Provides a non slip surface

 

1. Subject to damage during construction and requires bolt-on temporary protective coverings, which must have bolt holes filled in with epoxy.  

2. Field finishes cannot be applied over the abrasive epoxy. Finish is not commercially appealing. 

3. Very limited sound dampening

Fast grip

 

The Quiet Grip™ Tread system outperforms all of these other alternatives in performance, safety, durability, speed of installation and cost. 

Lapeyre Stair was founded on a culture of innovation, and we remain committed to continuously improving standards for our industry. Metal pan stairs have been around for decades but no longer meet the demands of the current construction environment. Our performance tread systems help improve safety and durability of egress stairs and save time, money and for everyone involved. 

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