Hi, i'm looking to hardwood my stair treads and not sure what type of
wood to use. The floors i have are a honey colored birch and i was
told, after the fact, the birch is a soft wood and not suitable for
stairs. So now i want to do the stairs and match the existing floors.
The stairs now are carpet. Any advice on this and on installation wood
be appriciated, as my name says, I NONOTHING. Thank You
My son's house had pine for the stair treads and the wear is noticeable. Of
course, it may make a difference since his house was built in 1752 and these
Birch would not be my first choice from scratch but if I wanted to match the
rest of the house, I'd go with it and worry about the wear in 25 or 30 years
from now. If you are diligent about keeping a coat or three of poly on them,
the poly will take the wear before the wood. You can play with other light
hardwoods and stains to get what you want. Maple would be a good choice as
it is light colored.
I doubt the wear would be noticed to any extent even in 30 years
unless house traffic was incredibly heavy and abusive. While different
birch woods have different hardness values, and we don't know which
birch was used (honey birch is a stain), it is a decently hard
wood...can't find my Janka scale right now, but...should be fine. If
the OP is interested in more depth, he can Google "Janka scale" or
just "Janka" and see the wood's relative hardness.
Except whoever told OP it was "soft" was pretty clearly talking about
the hardness and suitability for stair tread not the origins (although
as Charlie notes it isn't necessarily so, either) and I suspect OP had
no clue of a "softwood" as opposed to a "soft wood"... :)
I'm curious. If you take the carpeting of the stairs to show the
are you going to leave the treads open or put a runner down the
stairs? It might
be the difference in what your looking for.
Wow! did this "soft" thing open a can.
I was hoping to find out the best type of wood to use as stair treads.
Plywood is what is under the carpet now and I will be adding a runner,
As to the whole "soft" thing, as stated earlier, I was talking about
the hardness and suitability for stair tread not the origins.
Now having read all the posts I can assume that as long as I keep
polying every so often and with the runner Birch would not be a bad
thing to use.
While correct, the discussion here is on actual "hardness" of the wood
itself, not the classification of the tree.
Actually, common US NE birches are about the same hardness as maples
other than soft maple.
Stair treads have to be thick wood, typically 5/4 lumber or thicker,
but you only need 'short' pieces. That means the local wood market
has already decided what dried woods are available this year
(and they decided at the lumber mill two years ago).
Ask at a millwork shop, or at a good lumber supplier, you
might find the affordable options very limited.
If it isn't a match for your floors, finish it to add contrast.
Claim, in future years, that this was always your clever plan...
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