How To Create Composite Deck Stairs That Stand Out

If you're renovating or building a deck, you've likely asked yourself this same question: how do I make deck stairs look great?

Fortunately, there's a wide range of deck stair upgrades you can make for your deck. This photo from composite decking brand Deckorators illustrates some big ones, from low-maintenance deck boards to contrasting stair treads to modern stair railing and step lighting.

Mineral-based composite deck stairs that contrast with brown decking

The Look:

Contrasting deck stairs with tags to show how to get this look

Follow each tag to the numbered headings below to learn more about each piece of this look.

  1. Deckorators Voyage Mineral-Based Composite Decking
  2. Deckorators Voyage Riser Boards & Contrasting Stair Treads
  3. Flush Mount Low Voltage LED Step Lights
  4. Deckorators ALX Classic Aluminum Railing in Weathered Brown

How To Get This Look

The biggest thing you'll notice in this deck space is the range of complementary colors used to give the space a consistent character. This deck goes all-out on contrasting colors, using three different colors of composite boards. Not every space needs that level of variation, but it does provide a great example of how color contrasts can make a deck feel very thoughtful and intentional.

Deckorators Voyage Mineral-Based Composite Decking in Khaya

This deck uses Deckorators Voyage decking, which is made from a futuristic mineral-based composite material. (Learn more about the cool, top-of-the-line features of mineral-based composite decking here).

The majority of the deck uses the rich, brown Khaya color, which creates a beautiful, earthy base. To balance out the darker brown of the Khaya boards, the deck uses the light Tundra color around the outside edges in what's known as a picture frame or a "racetrack."

This deck takes it one step further with Deckorators' Picture Frame deck board - that's the darker line that looks almost black. Deckorators calls the color Dark Slate. Most decks wouldn't need all three colors, but seeing them all together can help you decide whether a lighter or darker border would look best on your deck.

A beautiful deck with several contrasting board colors
Shop Deckorators Voyage Decking

Deckorators Voyage Riser Boards & Contrasting Stair Treads

Here's the centerpiece of this deck's color-blending design: a set of composite stair tread boards that match the deck's picture frame accents.

Using the light gray Tundra color of composite decking for the stair treads makes the staircase stand out, while also tying it stylistically to the rest of the deck. The stair riser boards (the vertical portion of each step), are in Khaya color to match the rest of the deck.

A close-up of composite deck stairs with lighting

One note: this deck actually uses specialized tread boards that are a full 11-1/4 inches wide. These boards are due to hit the market in 2023, when we'll be among the first to start offering them.

Fortunately, you can get essentially the same look with a more traditional setup: using two mineral-based composite boards with no gap between them to make up each stair tread section.

Shop Deckorators Voyage Riser Boards

Flush Mount Low Voltage LED Step Lights

A deck this nice shouldn't be hidden in the dark. That's why stair lights are such a popular addition to modern decks. Lighting up your deck stairs makes a huge impact on deck safety, and it also greatly enhances the look and feel of your space.

Low voltage deck stair lights are easy to install and maintain. They'll typically look like the image below. Just drill a hole in your stair riser board, pop the light in and attach the pigtail in the back to a low voltage transformer.

A small, easy-to-install deck stair light

Stair lights make an awesome upgrade to an existing deck that needs a little more sparkle. If you're not sure where to start with deck lighting, don't worry - it's much easier than you might think. You can read this handy guide on how to make a deck lighting plan, or give us a call at 1-888-824-5316 to walk through it with one of our knowledgeable deck planners.

Shop Deckorators Stair Lights

Deckorators ALX Classic Aluminum Railing In Weathered Brown

Metal deck railing goes hand-in-hand with mineral-based composite decking: both are incredibly stable, meaning they don't expand or contract much with changing temperatures. This deck uses Deckorators ALX Classic Aluminum Railing.

Deckorators ALX comes in three color options. Black tends to be most popular for deck railings, but this deck makes a great choice with the Weathered Brown look to go with the brown Khaya deck boards. Weathered Brown is similar to many bronze railing options in that both colors are organic and natural - that makes your deck railings blend in and often nearly disappear into a scenic deck view.

A stable Deckorators ALX Classic metal deck railing section
Shop Deckorators ALX Classic Railing

Inspired? See More

Browse Deckorators Decking Photo Gallery

Browse Metal Railing Photo Gallery

Browse Stair Lighting Photo Gallery


Learn more about the basics of deck framing and building in our Deck Framing Guide and learn deck parts and terminology in the DecksDirect Glossary of Deck Terms and Lingo.

Browse more deck design and railing style notes to upgrade your backyard space and deck in the DecksDirect Railing Style Guide: the quickest way to learn if your home is more suited for a classic aluminum deck railing or a showstopping cable rail setup.

The more you know, the better your deck and backyard projects will be! Whether you're looking at a brand new project, a deck update, or a style refresh, give our deck project planners a call at 1-888-824-5316 or send us an email at hello@decksdirect.com. Our friendly team will help you get the information, products, and tools you need for an awesome deck completely personalized to your needs!