Simple wooden staircase

Choosing The Perfect Wood For Your Staircase

For reasons of durability and safety, a wooden staircase is generally made of hardwood. More exotic woods can also be found to give a distinctive look. Because there are many elements to a staircase, some designs may involve different types of wood stained to match. Here are some good options:

Options for Your Wooden Staircase

American Woods

  • Alder: This is actually considered a semi-hardwood, but it’s still stronger than pine or poplar. It has a light brown color with a straight, subtle grain for a modest, pleasant look.
  • Cherry: Cherry wood, with its darker brown-to-red tones, also has some beautiful patterns to the grain. Cherry has always been very popular. It looks very opulent, but does tend to darken over time when exposed to sunlight.
  • Hickory: This is a very strong wood with a striking grain pattern that varies between light and dark tones.
  • Maple: Hard maple is a very resilient wood that can exhibit a variety of grain patterns, as well as a range of white to red tones, to achieve some striking, classic looks.
  • Oak: White oak has a more golden color than red oak, and an open grain that is less showy than the red variety. But it’s still a durable wood that’s resistant to warping. Red oak is harder and darker than white oak, with the red-brown color its name suggests.
  • Walnut: Another classic American wood, this tends to be darker brown with straight but pronounced grain patterns. It’s more dense than oak or maple and very durable.

Exotic Choices

Of course, you have some options for a look of elegance in your wooden staircase. Given the world-wide demand for luxury woods, you might even consider some new options that are grown sustainably.

  • Mahogany: A rich brown wood with a fine grain, it’s dense but easy to work with, and resists moisture well.
  • Teak: Once used widely in ship-building, its natural oils make it highly resistant to moisture and insect damage. Its yellow-brown color also shows off a nice grain and texture.
  • Tigerwood: This is a dark, very hard African wood with a distinctive striped-grain pattern as its name suggests. It will create a dramatic, exotic look wherever it’s used.

wooden staircase

Design Style

You may see stairs where the tread, which gets the wear from feet, is a much harder wood than the rest of the stair. Matching existing walls or carpets may be an important consideration. You might also be open to a contrast of tones for a unique look, such as white oak for the risers and walnut for the treads and balusters.

The professionals at StairSupplies have considerable experience in designing and creating stairs. An elegant, hardwood staircase can be one of the most stunning features in any home. We carry 25 different woods to achieve exactly the look you want in your wooden staircase. Feel free to share your vision with us, and we can recommend the right wood species to get the best results.