Whether you require a modest carpet grade stair, or an elegant hardwood stair and handrail, Sensational Wood Interiors will work with your ideas and building plan to propose a design that reflects your needs. From the simple beauty of a straight staircase to the elegance of a curved staircase, we can help to create custom wood stairs to become a focal point for your home.
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Stairs come in a variety of shapes and layouts. Your stairs can be constructed from any of the traditional woods, which include oak, maple, pine, cherry, paint grade or a combination, but if you require a different look then contact us to discuss the options available.
The main structural support of your custom wood stairs is the stringer that runs down both sides of the stair. There are generally two types of stringer – closed and open cut, and these can be seen in the image above. Open cut stringers are usually used on the exposed side of a stair and they reveal some architectural details such as scotia moulds, baluster base, risers and treads. Closed stringers are usually used adjacent to walls since the straight line top edge of the stringer allows for a clean transition between the stair and drywall. Closed stringers can also be used on the open side of a stair. For these cases, a wall would be built to the top of the stringer, it could be capped with a hardwood cap board and then a handrail would be placed on top of this. This gives a different look that is less revealing of the stair. So, the decision of what type of stringer to use is really dependant on the “look” that you want to have.
We manufacture our stringers in our shop for greater quality control. Our solid hardwood stringers are manufactured from kiln dried lumber, formed from full length boards of random widths. We do not incorporate butt joints in our stringers unless, for some wood species and thicknesses, lumber of the required length is unavailable (eg. wormy maple).
The riser is the vertical space at the back of the tread. The stair can be constructed with this space being either a “closed riser” or an “open riser”.
A closed riser stair is one where the riser becomes a structural element that encloses the back of the tread. This is perfect for situations where you would like to form a barrier between the top and bottom of the stair. Aesthetically, it gives a pleasing appearance from the front, since the stair will now be faced with wood. Structurally, risers support the front and rear of each of the treads so they promote stiffness to the stair.
An open riser stair is one where there is no physical riser between treads – this space is left open. Doing this allows light to pass through the treads, giving a more open feel. This works great for situations where the area behind the stair is either bright or scenic – anything that is aesthetically pleasing. Because there are no actual risers to offer structural support, the treads must be constructed in such a manner that they support themselves, the solution being that treads for open riser stairs will end up being significantly thicker, to compensate.
For open riser stairs the treads are visible from both the top and bottom so they must be manufactured and finished with this perspective in mind.
So, an open versus closed riser decision is really based on considerations such as – the view (or lack of view) behind the stair; lighting or sound control; and most importantly, what look or feel do you want to have in your home.
We manufacture our own hardwood treads in-house using only kiln dried lumber. This ability affords us greater control over the quality of our products. Our treads are assembled using planks up to 6 inches wide. (Note that we do not use veneer core or particle core treads).
Carpet Grade Stairs
Our carpet grade custom wood stairs are built to last. We use solid pine for both the treads and stringers and we use ½” plywood for the risers – plywood that is oriented in the transverse direction, for greater strength.