Popular Wood Species
There are a number of reasons that white oak is widely used for stairs. The old adage “solid as an oak” has stood the test of time for a reason. It’s hard and strong, that is a given, but there is more. White oak is open-grained but not quite as noticeable as red oak. White oak resists both shrinking and warping. It also has a golden color that finishes well. It is very resistant to rot and is also used in making heavy-duty products such as boats, beams, doors and furniture.
Because oak is a slow-growing, it is remarkably durable; it has a fine grain that is nearly air-tight; making it an excellent material for staircase parts like handrails, balustrades and base rails.
American white oak has an attractive straight, knot-free grain with an understated lustre. White oak hues vary from light yellowy brown to a pale tan colour.
Beechwood is a light and smooth hardwood and has a slight orange color. Beechwood is highly versatile, flexible, and extremely durable. Some woods can give off a slight scent, but Beechwood is odorless; great for the allergy sufferers in your home. Beechwood is also shock-resistant, and that is what makes it durable in high-traffic areas.
Birch wood is a great option for staircases as it is generally light in color, smooth-grained, and easily stained. Birch is also extremely durable which makes is a great candidate for high-traffic areas such as staircases. Birch doesn’t have many knots or rough edges, making it easy to work with for flooring and/or handrails.
Depending on your needs, preferences, and other factors (i.e. climate), these three options are considered the best wood for stairs. While there are plenty of other options, these have proven to be the most dependable and affordable year-after-year.