Whether you’re designing a new home from the ground up or you just want to give an existing home’s interior a boost with some new stairs or a staircase makeover, you’re probably wondering what types of wood are best at withstanding years of heavy use. Today’s homeowners, woodworkers and contractors have a broad array of options when it comes to wood stair materials, with some holding up long-term considerably better than others. Here are a few of our favorites.
Hard Maple Stairs
Among the most resilient of wood types when it comes to withstanding damage and wear, hard maple makes the list thanks to its uniform appearance and smooth-as-glass finish. Hard maple is also an essentially odor-free wood variety, and as an added bonus, it looks excellent when painted.
Bold and distinctive, hickory wood is also known for its resilience in areas prone to heavy foot traffic. It’s also among today’s more economical wood varieties and is generally grouped into one of two categories: true-hickory or pecan-hickory, with the former considered the stronger of the two.
Santos Mahogany Stairs
Santos mahogany is an exceedingly sturdy imported wood choice that is available in an array of rich color options. Low maintenance and easy to clean, this is a popular choice among those who suffer from allergies as it doesn’t harbor the dust, pet hair and other allergens that carpet does.
Walnut is one of today’s most common domestic woods used in staircases, and with its broad availability and rich, earthy coloring and shine, it’s also a favorite among woodworkers. It’s also used frequently in the crafting of ornate hand railings and balusters thanks to its easy malleability.
Yellow Pine Stairs
Readily available throughout much of the southern U.S., yellow pine makes the list thanks to its competitive price point, extreme strength and attractive yellow hue. While it looks great all on its own, yellow pine also stains quite well after sandpapering, so it can be made to match virtually any existing home style scheme.
Your stairs are one of the most highly trafficked areas of your home, but they also present a great opportunity for showcasing your own style and bringing your whole house together. Any of the aforementioned options are tried and true when it comes to withstanding not only wear, but the test of time.