Staircase Details during Renovation

Staircases are often a selection of wood and metal components. Many factors come into play when a homeowner wants a staircase renovated in their home. In previous blogs, we’ve talked about the shapes of stairways in the house. Today we’re going to look at some of the details which should be contemplated during the planning phase of a staircase renovation.

Beautiful balusters (spindles) offer support to a flowing handrail for this custom staircase.

Beautiful balusters (spindles) offer support to a flowing handrail for this custom staircase.

Colors and lighting

An essential component of choosing refinishing colors for a wood staircase is the lighting in the area where they are located. Dark stairs in a bright area look dramatic and elegant. But in an area where there isn’t a lot of light, they can seem mysterious and creepy. No one wants their home to have a creepy staircase!

A staircase which matches the walls can create a seamless look. But, if a homeowner is going for something more dramatic, the seamless look won’t make the staircase into the focal point.

The handrail or banister

One thing which you can be assured: the banister, or railing, will be touched often. Choose a design which will fit your home but will also stand up to a thousand hands gripping it. Depending on the location of the stairway, the railing may be the focal point of the stairway.

Treads and risers can be a matching material like these at the Tinsley Living Farm Museum of the Rockies - Photo by:  Tim Evenson

Treads and risers can be a matching material like these at the Tinsley Living Farm Museum of the Rockies - Photo by: Tim Evenson

Treads and risers

The tread is the part you use to step on, and the riser is the part that vertically ‘rises’ between each step. Some stairs have matching wood for both, and others elect to have the risers painted.

Beneath the Staircase

There are two schools of thought for the area under the staircase. While some people relish the space beneath the stairs as a decorator’s showcase, others are delighted with the idea of the extra storage this area offers. So, sometimes a homeowner will request shelves or cabinets in the area beneath the staircase, and others want it left alone.

The landing

There are some building codes which have to be strictly adhered to when a landing is involved. Nonetheless, the landing can be a stunning part of the staircase. Sometimes, there will be a window at the landing, or a turn, which is another spot to display a particularly beautiful newel post.

A staircase with a landing will cost a little more to build or remodel, but landings provide a safety factor and respite that a straight staircase doesn’t offer.

Whether it be simple or elaborate, the remodeling of a staircase has to be planned carefully to comply with not only the wishes and dreams of the homeowner but also building codes. This is a case where an expert who has the experience in dealing with wood of all kinds can offer a lot in the planning stage of a stair renovation.

The Wood Doctor is the leader in wood restoration, refinishing and refacing in the Portland area. Call 503-560-5220 for a project consultation.