How to Choose Your Wooden Stairs

How to Choose Your Wooden Stairs
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How to Choose Your Wooden Stairs

Nowadays, wooden stairs are the most used stairs format, far ahead of other materials such as concrete, metal (stainless steel, aluminum, steel), glass or stone.

Many types of wood can be used to build stairs, but not all offer the same qualities of resistance and sturdiness. It is, therefore, essential to choose the type of wood according to the use of the stairs.

Advantages of wooden stairs

The wooden stairs have undeniable advantages:

  • Warm and lively material;
  • it adapts to all types of interiors, whether they are designer or rustic, whether your taste is traditional or contemporary;
  • embodies durability and tradition.

Disadvantages of this material

However, before deciding on wooden stairs, you should know that it:

  • requires more maintenance than other materials (varnishing, painting, even sealing);
  • must be treated with fungicide and insecticide products (treatment sometimes to be renewed during its life);
  • is sensitive to strong variations of temperature and humidity;
  • will crack with time;
  • is expensive to repair or renovate in case of damage;
  • has a variable resistance to punching (depending on the species);
  • is more expensive than concrete stairs.

What type of wood to choose for your stairs?

The use and frequency of the stairs will determine the hardness of the wood to be used for the stairs:

  • Very frequented: hardwood will allow the stairs to support repeated passages without damage (its cost will obviously be higher);
  • less frequented: the stairs can be made of a soft wood that is less expensive but less resistant.

Good to know: you can choose to protect softwood stairs. There are two ways to do this: seal the steps or take off your shoes before climbing!

Different species are available for the choice of your wooden stairs. Depending on the species chosen, the budget may vary.

Beware: the price of custom-made stairs is much higher than standard or kit stairs.

Brown wood for your stairs


Oak: solid and authentic

Oak is ideal for stairs. It is a light brown wood that will bring a touch of authenticity and participates in a rustic or more classic atmosphere.

It is solid and durable, and its hardness increases with age.

Ash: for all types of interiors

Ashwood is also a good option. It is a beige brown wood suitable for both modern and rustic interiors.

An ash stair has a longer lifespan than maple or fir because of its hardness.

Light wood stairs: Beech for modern stairs

How to Choose Your Wooden Stairs

Beech has a pinkish tint due to steaming (exposure to high temperatures). It will lend itself more to a modern atmosphere and is a robust wood that hardens with time.

Good to know: Ash stairs can be purchased ready to varnish.

Fir: a great capacity for personalization

Fir is a white matte wood. It is the most used wood in the manufacture of stairs, mainly for two reasons:

Fir stairs are ready to paint: they are customizable according to your interior and the shades you want to give it.

Good to know: fir wood is soft, and it ages quickly.

Maple: brighten up your stairs

Maple has a colour that goes from light beige to white, allowing a certain clarity in your interior. Its hardness is more than fir wood but remains relatively average.

Outdoor wood stairs

How to Choose Your Wooden Stairs

For outdoor stairs, it is recommended to use an exotic wood like teak: it will be perfect for the steps of your garden stairs.

Indeed, exotic woods are naturally resistant to rot and do not require, for the most part, any treatment against insects and moulds. Moreover, they patinate with time and become more beautiful.

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