Hardwood Flooring For Stairs: Know Before You Choose

hardwood flooring for stairs

Wooden stairs create a style statement in an interior. The solid wood texture on the stairs gives a glamorous look. Even in a simple interior design, a wooden stair would add value and make the interior gorgeous. Though a classic stair flooring option, hardwood flooring stairs have not loosened their grace and significance. 

But if you choose wooden stairs, you should know the designs and options available. This would help you understand which hardwood stair would suit your interior the best. As a number of options are available, you would need to select a particular pattern and style that suits the home. But to do so, knowing the patterns is important. 

You need not worry if you are looking for some hardwood flooring stairs ideas as I am here with some awesome hardwood stair designs. I have explored different hardwood stair ideas to present you with the best patterns you can ever get for your interior. 

So get excited!

Hardwood Flooring On Stairs: How To Install It?

Installing the hardwood flooring on stairs needs a level of expertise and knowledge. If you don’t know the right process, it would be challenging for you to accomplish the task. 

To make things simple for you, I am here to mention four steps in which you can install hardwood flooring on stairs. 

Step 1: Take Measurement And Cut The Stairs: 

First, on the treads, cut and trim the rims and use a vacuum cleaner to clean the stairs. Next, use a measuring tape to measure and mark the place where you need to cut the riser and tread. 

Now use a miter saw to cut them at the marked point. Use a grinder to trim and shape the edges. 

Step 2: Fix The Risers: 

Now is the turn to fix the risers to the stairs. Use a construction adhesive and apply it to the backside of the riser. Now place the riser in the correct position before nailing. Use a finish nailer to nail the riser. 

Step 3: Glue The Other Stairs: 

Repeat the measuring and gluing process in each stair. You may use a rubber mallet to increase the accuracy and position the stairs. It would make the stairs even. Using shims can also help to level the stairs. 

Step 4: Finish The Stairs: 

Now that you have glued all the stairs, you have to wait for the glue to dry out. After the glue dries out, use a polyurethane and stain finish to leave the stairs glossy and polished. 

9 Stylish Hardwood Flooring Stairs Patterns:

First, let’s talk about the patterns that you can choose. I mean, in the first part, I will be discussing the stair patterns (shapes and designs) that go best with hardwood.

You can make the hardwood stairs even more stylish and make good use of your space if you know about the patterns. While some would be the best for small houses, others would look stunning in spacious rooms. 

So here are 9 exclusive hardwood stair patterns that you can explore and choose from:

1. Floating Hardwood Stairs:

Floating stairs are not so commonly used but give a classy and sleek look. You usually find them in posh buildings and luxurious houses. But it can suit literally any organized interior. Your simple yet arranged interior would look thousand times gorgeous with just a hardwood floating stair. 

Floating stairs are those where the steps are not attached to each other as if they are floating. The steps stand on a single stand giving an exceptional look. However, this can be risky for children as there are gaps in between the steps. Otherwise, the separate wooden slabs on each step would look phenomenal.

2. Straight Hardwood Stairs:

Straight stairs are classic ones that go straight from one floor to another. No curves or bends, straight stairs save space in both residential and commercial areas. It may have a landing platform in-between the steps if the floor is too high, approximately more than 12 feet.

Hardwood for straight stairs looks stunning. You can either make it floating or it can be a classic one. But adding hardwood to the platform would just highlight the stairs even more. Especially for small spaces, a straight hardwood stair would embellish the interior. 

3. U-shaped Hardwood Stairs:

U-shaped stairs are commonly found in both residential and commercial spaces. It literally has a U-shape that has three divisions. The first set of stairs meet a landing platform. The stair bends from the landing platform to meet the second part of the stair. The second division of stairs meets another landing platform which then extends to the third portion of the stairs. 

This pattern saves space and also makes climbing the stairs convenient.  Fitting a U-shaped stair is easy especially if the height from one floor to the other is high. It would save space and can be placed across one wall. Needless to say, hardwood U-shaped stairs would look gorgeous and stunning. 

4. Spiral Hardwood Stairs: 

If you want something more groovy and trendy, you must go for a spiral hardwood stair. You can either go for a floating spiral stair or choose a stair with a riser. The floating spiral stair would look sleek and modern while the addition of risers would make it more solid and classic. 

If you have a fancy duplex, adding a hardwood spiral stair would be a great idea. It is suitable for residential purposes. The compact and sleek design would beautify the interior, save space, as well as become the point of attraction in the house. Also, don’t forget to add a stylish handrail. For a really fancy and luxurious look, adding a spiral hardwood stair would be a good decision. 

5. Winder Hardwood Stairs: 

Winder hardwood stairs are unique and a bit complex to create. The specialty of a winder stair lies in the landing platform. It is a stair with risers but the landing platform is what makes it different from the other options. 

A winder stair creates an L-shape giving a compact design. The landing platform is not flat but more like a triangular or pie shape. The landing platform doesn’t go straight. 

Rather you may even find two additional steps in the landing platform that is pie-shaped. They are wider than the normal steps but the pattern is incessant. This makes the design unique and exclusive from the other designs. You can install this stair pattern in both commercial and residential setups. 

6. Hardwood Library Ladder: 

You can make your interior more stylish and exclusive by adding a hardwood library ladder to the house. As the name suggests, these are the ladders that you see in a library used for taking books from the upper shelves.

Now if you have a library at home, you can surely install one there. But even if you don’t have a library, you can use it for other purposes. 

You can either fix or make the ladder removable. The ladder is not really suitable for going from one floor to the other as climbing a ladder is not convenient for all. But it can be useful to climb up to the loft, double-layer beds, false roof, library shelves, etc. 

This would help you use the entire height of the wall without bothering about how to reach there. So yes, you can think of having a sleek hardwood library ladder at home!

7.Split Stairs: 

The hardwood split stair is for big spaces where you have an entire portion to accommodate the stairs. As the name suggests, the stair splits at a point and moves to the opposite sides but meets the same floor. 

The stair starts from the middle of the wall, goes halfway, and then splits. One stair goes to the right side and the other goes on the left side. Then they go up to the floor. Yes, that is it. It really looks massive and grand as it beautifies spacious rooms.

A hardwood split stair gives a royal and classy touch to the interior and you can often see them in luxurious houses, hotels, conference rooms, etc. It has great aesthetic value. 

8. Curved Hardwood Stairs: 

Don’t mix curved stairs with spiral stairs. Curved stairs are larger in radius creating frequent half circles. Its overall radius is larger than the radius of the spiral stairs.

Curved hardwood stairs are solid and stylish. You can place it anywhere across the wall, at the center, or on either side. It consists of no landing platform; rather, it creates curves on the space of the landing platform.

The stairs revolve after every half-circle is created. This pattern is impressive and stunning and suitable for residential areas. You can add it to the entrance of the house to make your first impression right. 

9. Hardwood Cantilever Stairs:

Do you want something posh and exotic? If you are looking for an exclusive and vivid hardwood stair, you can go for the cantilever stairs. Trust me, you won’t find any other glamorous hardwood stair option than this. 

Cantilever stairs are floating stairs only but there is a little difference. Floating stairs have steps that are connected to each other with a frame. But the frame of the cantilever stairs is invisible and you can actually see the steps floating in the air. Installing lights below the steps would just make the stairs more gorgeous and eye-catching.

It would just make the look luminous, interesting, and distinct. You can install straight cantilever stairs in houses and simply multiply the beauty of the interior. 

4 Hardwood Stair Riser Ideas: To Beautify Hardwood Stairs:

With a stunning hardwood stair, matching the riser is necessary too. The design of the riser can enhance the beauty of the stairs depending on which type of stair you are choosing. 

Hardwood can be carved and shaped to create excellent designs on the riser. As you can create delicate designs on the steps, you can surely decorate the stair by styling the riser. This is why I am here to mention 4 ways to decorate the hardwood stair riser. 

1. Natural Riser: 

The very basic riser can be the natural hardwood riser without any carvings or designs. The flat riser can either match the color of the steps or create a contrast. In fact, you can even use a different type and shade of wood to mix and match the riser and the steps. 

2. Painted Riser: 

You can paint the riser to add a stylish look to the stairs. For example, a white riser with a dark hardwood stair would look exceptional and eye-catchy. Similarly, if the steps are light-colored, you can paint the riser black or brown. The contrast of paint would make the stairs more impressive. 

3. Decorative Riser: 

If you are looking for something more fancy and catchy, you can decorate the risers. You can either install decorative veneers, tiles or think of doing wooden carvings that would give a classic and royal look. Wooden carvings are traditional designs while veneers and tiles would give a modern touch. 

4. No Risers: 

What if you completely eliminate the risers from the stairs? We have previously discussed floating and cantilever stairs that have no risers. If you want a sleek, neat, and exclusive design, you can simply eliminate the riser. 

5 Ideas To Decorate Hardwood Stairs: To Add Spark:

The decoration ideas don’t end here. You can embellish the stairs in multiple ways and utilize them too. Adding accessories and using the space below the stairs are ideas that would make the stairs more useful and eye-catchy. 

To make the hardwood stairs stunning as well as useful, here are 5 ideas to decorate hardwood stairs: 

1. Lighting: 

Lighting in the stairs can alter the look completely. Especially if you are choosing a floating or cantilever stair, lighting below the steps would make it look like a path to heaven! The luminous stairs look soothing and warm. You can also install small lights on the riser to accentuate the hardwood stair. 

2. Plants: 

What about adding a touch of green to the hardwood stairs? To look at nature, the combination of plants with the hardwood stairs is the best idea. You can keep small cactus, snake plant, money plant, or orchids to decorate the steps. It gives a fresh and lively appearance to the stairs. 

3. Classic Stairs: 

Classic stairs are always the safest option as it goes with all types of interior. It has a solid railing and risers just like the traditional and basic stair design. You may add patterns and carve on the steps and risers but the frame would be like the basic one. It is always suitable and elegant for all types of interior. 

4. Stairs With Storage: 

Besides decorating, you can also use the spaces below the stairs. Many people consider making a storeroom below the staircase while you can also add drawers below it.

Drawers under each step would look exceptional, save space in the house, and create a large storage facility. It also looks phenomenal as the drawers or storage area make the stair more compact. 

5. Color: 

You can customize the color of the stairs to blend with the interior. In most cases, you have to contrast the color of the stair with the interior or completely match them.

Depending on your choice, you can choose paint or solid color of the wood. Painting the wooden stair is always a good idea to accentuate the stairs. Therefore, you can use colors and paints to decorate the stairs. 

Related Questions About Hardwood Flooring: 

What Is The Strongest Wood For Stairs? 

Stairs are high-impact and high-traffic to areas. This is why you should choose durable and strong wood for stairs. 

The strongest wood for stairs is oak wood. People use other woods for stairs too. But the commonly found and used wood that is strong and durable is oak wood. You can choose between white oak and red oak wood treads as they are durable as well as aesthetically pleasing. 

If you are finding the strongest wood for stairs, go for red oak or white treads. They won’t only last long but also give an excellent appearance to the stairs. 

What Is The Code For Wooden Stairs? 

You have to follow certain parameters of International Residential Codes while building the wooden stairs. These codes ensure that the wooden stair is safe to use. 

According to the code of IRC, the width of the stairs should not be less than 36 inches. The height of the riser should not exceed 7.75 inches. It should be around ⅜ inches and should not vary much. 

This is the minimum requirement to maintain the safety of the stairs. 

What To Consider When Designing Hardwood Stairs? 

To design hardwood stairs, you first need to think of the style that matches the interior. Choose a sleek and unique stair for a modern setup and go for a classic stair for traditional homes. 

Besides, think of the safety measures. For example, floating stairs would not be safe if you have children. Moreover, make sure to maintain the safety standards and follow the codes by the International Residential Codes. Think of the budget too and make a space in the area to fix the stairs. Choose the stair size and style according to the space you have. 

These are some basic factors that you must think of while deciding on a hardwood stair. 

Why Change Hardwood Stair Style? 

If you already have hardwood stairs at home or any commercial areas for ages, you may need to think of renovation. Hardwood stairs are usually long-lasting but there can be reasons why you may need to replace or repair them. 

So here are two main reasons why you may need to change the hardwood stair style:

1. To Upgrade The Stairs: 

If you have an old-fashioned hardwood stair, you may like to change the style in order to alter the look. Upgrading the stairs is always a good idea if you are renovating a space. You don’t need to alter the entire stair but you can just change the riser, railing, and surface of the stairs to change the look. 

On the other hand, you may even need to change your stylish floating stairs to ensure children’s safety. Depending on your choice and necessity, you may alter the design and style of the hardwood stairs. 

2. To Improve The Condition: 

Hardwood stairs are long-lasting but won’t last forever. It would require renovation and repairing. In fact, in extreme cases, you would need to replace the stairs or some steps of the stairs. 

Cracks and termite damages can commonly occur in hardwood stairs. Besides, you can hear a creaking sound that shows that the stair is weakening. In this situation, you must repair the stair or replace it to ensure safety. 

How Much Does It Cost To Put Hardwood On Stairs? 

Installing hardwood on stairs depends on the size of the stairs and the steps it has. 

In general, each step of the hardwood stair would cost around $100 to $200 per step. If the rate is that, then a stair with 10 to 12 steps would cost between $1000 to $2400. This is the average range.

However, the cost may fluctuate between $1000 to $30000 depending on the wood being installed, area, and steps in the stair. 

Is Hardwood On Stairs Slippery? 

If the hardwood on stairs is too shiny and polished, it can be slippery in contact with wax, oil, food spills, or water. 

But with time, hardwood stairs become less slippery. However, once the stairs are varnished, polished, and waxed, it becomes quite slippery. 

Are Hardwood Stairs Worth It?

In terms of look, hardwood flooring is outstanding and premium. But if you talk about its usability, it is not suitable for elderly people or children as it can be slippery.

Though expensive, hardwood stairs are easy to clean and maintain. However, without regular maintenance and special care from time to time, they may lose their shine. 

Therefore, in terms of look, hardwood stairs are worth it. But consider other factors to determine whether it is conveniently usable or not.


Now that you know A to Z about hardwood stairs and the design options, what are you waiting for? Scrutinize the designs once again and decide which one would suit your interior the best. 

Jahidul Alam

Hello dear! This is Jahidul Alam. I am the admin of this Tidy Floor. I have been in the floor cleaning business for the last 20 years. My business is all about ensuring affordable flooring cleaning services for Americans.

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