Updating your staircase can be a finishing touch to your flooring project. But sometimes, what seems like a cherry on top on your project can be the most confusing. Here are some questions we’re often asked about stairs and wood flooring:
What kind of staircase do I have?
Staircases are categorized as either “closed” or “open”. A closed stairs, or boxed stair case, has either a wall or stringer on each side of the stair treads. Stairs can also be open on one or both sides, where there is no wall or stringer on the side and the stair ends at the tread.
A closed staircase
An open staircase
How do spindles affect my stair project?
If the stair spindles are installed directly into the stair tread instead of a stringer, any changes to the stairs become much trickier. They often need to be removed before any work is done on the stairs, or worked around very carefully.
Can I installing flooring on my stairs?
Some installer will install pieces of flooring on the stairs, finished with a stair nosing. Over time, the strain put on the nosing will cause it to break off. Instead, we install a solid wood tread on the steps; we want your installation to last.
Can’t I just get one of those kits from a hardware store?
You can, but the do-it-yourself kits are often made with lower quality, flimsy materials that bend, cup, or split. High quality, solid treads can be installed properly and will last much longer.
What happens if one of my steps is a different shape than the other steps?
In our shop, we custom cut the treads to the shape required. Many of the tread kits sold in stores don’t accommodate rounded treads, only rectangular.
Should I get white or stained risers?
It’s all a matter of taste. Some people like the more uniform look of stained risers so that everything matches. Other people prefer the clean, finished look of white risers. Both options look great.
Does my staircase have to match my flooring?
The most popular look is to have the stair treads complement the flooring on the first floor. However, some people prefer to have the stairs complement the upper floor, and others prefer to have the stairs contrast both. When deciding on color, it’s important to keep in mind that treads that are custom-stained to complement the flooring still won’t match exactly. Wood for flooring and treads are cut differently, and factory-applied stains and finishes are impossible to replicate by hand.
Can I get my stairs refinished?
Solid stair treads can be sanded, stained, and refinished along with the flooring.
What if I have more questions about my stairs as part of my wood flooring project?
Contact the experts at Dan Higgins Wood Flooring.