stair tread Archives - West Wind Hardwood

Elevate Your Home with Hardwood Stair Treads

Staircases are the backbone of a home’s architectural design, often overlooked but integral to both function and aesthetics. Whether renovating or building a new home, the choice of stair treads is an important one. While you can use various materials, hardwood stair treads are renowned for their durability, aesthetic appeal, and timeless elegance.

Why Hardwood for Stair Treads?


Hardwood is known for its strength and durability, making it an ideal choice for stair treads. Stairs bear significant foot traffic and impact, and hardwood stands resilient, ensuring longevity without compromising quality.

Aesthetic Appeal

Beyond durability, hardwood adds a touch of class and warmth to a home. Natural grain and diverse hues cater to a range of design preferences, enhancing the overall ambiance of the space.

Variety of Wood Choices

When selecting the type of wood for your stair treads, consider the specific properties of each species. Oak, maple, walnut, and cherry are popular hardwood choices because of their durability and varying appearance. Oak, for instance, stands out for its strength, while cherry has a warm, rich, reddish colour.

Matching Hardwood Stair Treads to Flooring

Matching stair treads with hardwood flooring can create a seamless visual experience within your home. If continuity is the goal, use the same colour, wood species and finish for flooring and stair treads. Not only does this create a sophisticated and clean look throughout the home, but eliminating visual disruptions in flooring can make the space appear larger and more open.

On the other hand, embracing contrasts can also yield striking results. Pairing different wood tones, finishes, or patterns can create an eye-catching effect, adding depth and character to the overall design scheme. You don’t have to change the tone of your stair treads to contrast the flooring. For those with herringbone or chevron parquet floors, simplifying the stair tread with a linear layout creates a visual change. Another way to achieve this is by opting for hardwood stair treads with a different grain pattern, possibly a different wood species, but using the same colour and finish for consistency. Both of these produce eye-catching results without being jarring.

Custom-Made vs. Repurposing Leftover Flooring

Typically, hardwood flooring is designed to minimize waste, resulting in uniform dimensions achieved by milling all pieces to narrower widths. While this works well for flooring, applying the same approach to stair treads poses challenges. The use of narrow and short flooring for treads leads to visible joints, which create more of a pieced-together appearance in the confined space or a stair tread. The numerous joints can also weaken the tread, especially the leading edge, often causing separation or breakage over time. Another issue is the likelihood of squeaky stairs due to increased wood-to-wood movement with more joints, impacting both the stairs’ structural integrity and aesthetic appeal.

Custom-made hardwood stair treads offer several advantages. Continuous lumber spanning the entire stair width eliminates end joints, reducing the likelihood of movement and squeaking. This seamless construction enhances strength, durability, and aesthetics, as there are no visible cracks. Another option is a professional two to three-piece glue-up using a specialty epoxy like EcoPoxy. The fewer pieces combined into a single, solid tread enhances strength and durability with fewer joints. Additionally, integrated nosing eliminates the need for an added nosing piece, making custom-made treads visually attractive and avoiding joints at vulnerable stress points, such as the nosing overhang. 

Visit our Custom Milling Services page to see the flooring and accessories our team can make for you.

Caring for Hardwood Stair Treads

Maintaining the beauty and integrity of hardwood stair treads requires regular care, similar to caring for your hardwood floors.

Routine Cleaning

Regularly sweep or vacuum with a small or bare floor attachment to remove dirt and prevent scratches. Damp mop occasionally using a hardwood floor cleaner recommended by the manufacturer. 

Protect from Moisture

Limit exposure to moisture, as excessive water can damage the wood. Be sure to clean up any spills right away, not just for safety but also because they can damage the finish over time.

Periodic Maintenance

For heavily trafficked stairs, it is normal to need to refinish the hardwood stair treads over time. You will need to refinish them with a product designed for use on stairs to protect the wood and rejuvenate its appearance.

Choosing Hardwood Stair Treads in Your Home

Hardwood stair treads are functional and elegant, adding value to your home. Their durability, versatility in design, and the ability to seamlessly integrate with existing hardwood flooring make them an ideal choice for homeowners looking for sophistication and longevity in their staircase design.

When investing in hardwood stair treads, consider the wood species that best suits your aesthetic and practical needs. Remember, careful selection of quality materials and proper maintenance will ensure your hardwood stair treads retain their beauty and functionality for years to come. Reach out to our experts to discuss your custom hardwood stair tread options.