I'm about a week away from digging, and I'm trying to resolve whether or not the dimensions of my steps (width and depth) are good. My main concern are the 3 steps from the tanning ledge down into the pool. Of lesser concern is the first step from the coping into the tanning ledge.
3 Steps (Wedding Cake)
I've seen other posts on this site discussing step heights of up to 12". Since my last "person step" height will vary due to the pool floor sloping, my design considers both extremes (5" and 13"), but targets the center of the range of the slope (9") (if that makes sense). This design (shown below) uses 3 "actual steps" (not including the tanning ledge or the pool bottom), which provides a step height of 8" for the first 3 "person steps" and a range from 5" to 13" for the last "person step". FYI, 7"-8" is the typical step height in any given office building stairwell (NOT submerged in water, of course).
If I take away one "actual step" and only have 2, it would increase the first 2 "person steps" to 11" and a range of 7" to 15" for the last "person step". This seems like it might be quite a stretch, especially for our generally shorter family (wife and I are both 5' 4"), so I'm fairly certain I want to keep the 3 "actual steps". Then the question becomes [horizontal] step width.
I currently have them designed at a 13" width mainly just for fear of being to narrow to safely walk down without rolling an ankle. I know I don't want to go any less than 11", but I'm considering 12" as well mainly to reduce protrusion into the main pool swimming area. What do most of you see for horizontal step widths?
First Step (Into Tanning Ledge)
I currently have this step height at 5" deep. So if you add another 3" for half a tile and 2" for coping, that makes the first step down about 10", and the step from the first step to the tanning ledge 9", which I'm pretty sure I can live with. I suppose I could make the first step 5.5" just to make the first 2 "person steps" the same exact drop. Thoughts on doing this?
Regarding the width (currently 14"), it's actually 13" usable width due to a 1" overhang of the coping (not shown in the plans). This is consistent with the width of the wedding cake steps, but I'm curious what others have seen for the width of this first step.