Treads and Risers (101)
Stair treads are available in several finishes, displaying the natural grains and shades of oak, acacia, birch, and maple. Choose the right width to fit your staircase and the accompanying risers. Choose between matching and contrasting finishes, and some treads have a different finish on each side, making them reversible. Another option is to pick risers and treads in a natural finish, to use as is or add a stain or varnish.
Treads should have nosings that project over the tops of stair risers, giving the entire stairway a more finished, clean appearance. Among the different nosing shapes are bullnose, rounded, and square. There are also separate, decorative nosings available and ready for trimming to fit as needed. Some nosings are made of aluminum to protect stair edges from wear over years of foot traffic. They are also paintable to blend in with the natural wood.
Sometimes a staircase needs to turn a corner, rather than going straight up and down. Special angled treads fit into these turns, creating steps that go around as well as upward. Stringers are also an essential component, forming the side housing of a staircase. Solid wood stair treads provide sturdy, long-lasting performance, and other treads feature presswood cores for added strength.
Finish a staircase by adding other stair accessories such as Colonial or Victorian newel posts. Handrails are also essential to provide safety for those traversing the stairs. Mount a handrail to the wall or choose a rail supported by posts. Trim kits and other components allow for an easier installation of these pieces, while balusters protect the bases of posts. Browse stair accessories and hardware such as screw hole plugs, finishing discs, and newel fasteners to match stairs and handrails. Choose posts and rails in wood finishes that coordinate with the risers and treads, creating a cohesive look with a uniform style.