Which type of wood is suitable for a wooden staircase?


When deciding which type of wood is suitable for a wooden staircase, functional factors as well as personal taste and the amount of the budget are decisive. In general, wooden stairs are only used indoors and often consist of two types of wood, each with the necessary characteristics.

Soft and hardwoods

In principle, wooden stairs made of soft and hardwood trees can be constructed. Naturally hardwoods are more durable and resilient, but also more expensive. Another distinction, which has a particular impact on prices, is the use of core and sapwood. In timber staircase construction, the material used for the stairs must have the highest durability and load capacity.

If the budget does not allow solid wood staircases made of one type of wood, or if the selected wood is very expensive, combinations in wooden staircase construction are a frequently chosen solution. The steps may consist of solid boards or planks and the risers and cheeks and spars of a matching but cheaper wood or veneered wood materials.

Light and dark woods

The main selection criterion for example a staircase in the living room is usually the visual appearance in the foreground. The favored light trees in staircase construction are:

  • maple
  • birch
  • beech
  • Oak (also available in dark species)
  • ash-tree
  • Hevea
  • pine

The following types are offered as dark trees:

  • acacia
  • amazaque
  • Cherry tree (also available in bright species)
  • Merbau
  • mahogany
  • walnut
  • Pitch Pine
  • Wenge

Prices and durability

Dark woody trees tend to be more expensive than most light wood species. Almost all woody plants are available in pure heartwood, glued or solid. Most stringers can be made of wood from cheaper wood of the same kind or a visually matching other wood.

When selecting, the stress on the wooden staircase should be taken into account. For example, a more rarely used decorative staircase, which leads to a gallery and is not accessed with street shoes, does not need to have the same resistance as a centrally-used wooden staircase in a staircase.

Processing and protection options

Of course, the visual appearance and the resistance can be additionally influenced by the processing of the wood. In the optical field, light woody plants can be darkened by pickling the staircase, without covering their characteristic texture and grain. All woody plants can be protected by means of painting or glazing in addition to an optical influence especially against abrasion and scratching.

To protect wooden stairs from moisture and excessive signs of wear, the trees can be coated. Above all, the heavily used steps are covered with carpet. Anyone who wants to protect his wooden staircase without any visual influence, treats the wood with a matching to the type of wood staircase oil.

Tips & Tricks

If you want to use veneered wood-based materials such as MDF boards for staircase construction, pay attention to the building regulations approval for load-bearing parts, for example for laminated veneer lumber (FSH).


Video Board: 44 Wooden Staircase Ideas