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Ways to Match Your Hardwood Stairs and Floor Part I

So you’ve spent countless months picking out your brand new hardwood floor. Now it is time for more fun. You have to start thinking about the hardwood stars that you will be required to install!

That sounds like a lot of fun. After all, hardwood floors are a stable foundation for an overall design. You want them to be as warm and inviting as possible.

The stairway you decide on needs to blend into the floor and be inviting as well. Subtle things like the grain direction, perceived strength and construction, wood contour, and finish colors and textures have a huge impact on the user’s perspective of quality and beauty in the finished stairway.

Our stair contracts provide you with some very useful information to consider as you plan on your upcoming staircase design.

Wood Grain

The wood grain direction is one of the strongest and most visual cues you have when laying out a floor into a stairway. This is because oru eyes love to find patterns and a soft flowing pattern of grain in a new pre-finished hardwood floor. But if this leads the eye into a space where the grain direction stops and runs perpendicular to the hardwood floor, it creates an abrupt barrier that disturb the overall flow and design of the space.

The first stair tread should have a grain that runs parallel with the floor to give people an invitation to continue. Bowed and curved steps are basically more grand and the convex shape tells the mind that the transition is soft and acceptable.


Simple stairways have a minimum number of elements and are great for designers when they want to put the emphasis of the house on the space. However, when you design a stairway with an overly simplified design the mind has concern for safety. A design may conform to code and may meet all the of the mechanical requirements, but do the users find it comforting and strong? That’s an important question you’ll have to ask yourself.

Always be sure to design a staircase that promotes a feeling of quality and stability, and factoring in elements that match the scale and quality of the rest of the design with a modified hand-rail design or thicker custom treads, that can provide an added touch of luxury and personalization.

Three Endless Designs for your Staircase Remodeling Project

Do you happen to live in a big house? Maybe your house is two stories? If you decide to remodel your home, be sure to give your staircase some thought. This is because the design possibilities are literally endless when it comes to remodeling a staircase. Your staircase could be either hardwood or carpeted.

If you are replacing carpeted stairs or building a hardwood staircase from scratch, then you must know that hardwood steps don’t necessarily have to be built the traditional way. Our stairbuilders have three terrific ideas to give you stairs some personality:


Consider putting tile on the hardwood staircase to create a very unique look. It can help prevent scuff marks. If you want to be creative, then paint them. You can use a solid color to match or contrast your walls. You can even create a fun design like a faux carpet, numbers or nature.

Use the banister

Whether a curvy and whimsical or straight with vertical and horizontal lines, an interesting banister can transform your wood staircase into a work of art. Although it’s generally best to pick a design that complements the staircase. Some homeowners choose to be bold and contrast with their steps to create a stunning look. Don’t be scared to add texture or possibly incorporate different materials such as glass, rope or steel.

Make it freestanding

Although most hardwood staircases are generally against a wall, you could also build your steps as if it’s a center stage. Take your time to think about other shapes that are curved, spiral or switchback. Then put them in the middle of the space to divide a large room while giving an open feel.

So if you’re ready to transform your old carpeted stairs into a fresh, new hardwood staircase then you definitely want to talk to a stair contract to figure out the best way of doing so. Find out how we can help you enhance your stair project.


Simple ideas to dress your staircase

Awesome ways to dress your staircase

A lot of two story homes have staircases. This staircase is often carpeted, but it can also possess wood risers with stained or painted treads. Having a carpeted stair runner does allow you to have a lot of benefits. It exposes the beauty of the stained or painted treads but it also inserts a nonslip comfortable surface for the dozens of trips made up and down every day. After talking with our stair-builders, here are some choices to consider while dressing your home’s hardwood staircase:
Neutral Sisal.

This natural fiber is a timeless choice and the neutral shades in sisal are a pleasant backdrop to dramatic impact or statement pieces incorporated in other ways such as a colorful velvet sofette and large scale botanical wallpaper.

If you’re looking to make a statement, then a wide striped runner will do the trick. This dazzling pattern enhances the dramatic contrast between the black and white tones present in this entry.

For years, geometric prints have reigned supreme in the textile world and a motif present in a runner ensures a contemporary look on your staircase. Opt for a repeat that plays off the existing hues present in the stain and paint for a pattern that is sure to complement instead of compete.

A classic stripe is a timeless choice that will also add a coastal or cottage vibe to a staircase.
You can always skip the carpeted runner and go along with a colorful painted stripe in blue or green, or even spice up the risers with tile. You will obviously get bonus points for creativity!

But then again, there’s something truly beautiful about leaving the staircase alone and not adding a runner at all. Purposefully choosing to not include a runner allows the stained wood to take the spotlight, and when coupled with white risers and balusters, the contrast is striking.

How to Refinish Hardwood Stair Treads - Part 1

People who have experience refinishing a wooden floor may balk at the idea of refinishing wooden stair treads. Some may view it as an inconvenience, but it can be quite easy. First of all, you need to know that stair treads need to be treated a bit differently than floors. It’s also recommended to seek the advice of a professional stair builder. Most stair contractors have years of experience refinishing hardwood stair treads. Here is what you need to do:

Gather your supplies for refinishing hardwood stairs. Preparation is important for the best results. Make sure you have figured out how to keep the staircase area well-ventilated. Think of it as if you’re working on a hot or humid day. Be aware of the fact that you may need more time for any stains or finishes to dry.  You’ll need a variety of old rags, brushes, towels, mineral spirits, paint thinners and sandpaper. Safety goggles are also highly recommended when doing a project like this. A good shop vacuum cleaner is also extremely important.

Always get the right sander and edger for stair treads. You can try renting one at a nearby store, when inquiring about sanders, be sure to ask about the perfect sander and edger for small spaces. Depending on the actual hardwood stair treads, you’ll have to prepare the surface properly.

Remember you are going to refinish hardwood, and the odds are that you aren’t working with unfinished wood. You’ll be working with wood that has been sealed in some way or has old and worn stain or paint on it. You’ll want to sand the wood right down to its original bare state, leaving it porous and ready for stain or paint. This can be somewhat tricky when working with hardwood stair treads. It’s because you’re sanding a small area on an incline.

However, as long as you have the exact size sanders, you will be fine. You can practice on a spare piece of wood first. Don’t focus on minor scratches or cracks, those are very easy to fill in later with a wood filler. Remember to sand each step at least three times, using a different grit of sandpaper for each part of the process as well. Overall, you’ll have to complete the entire staircase with one type of sandpaper before moving on to the next type of sandpaper.