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The primary material of your spiral stair’s structure does not necessarily have to define the final look of several of your stair’s surfaces. That’s the beauty of such features as handrails and spindles; they allow you the option of adding a contrasting or complementing accent to your spiral stair. That accent can be similar material that’s simply a different color, or a different material entirely. A steel stair with wood handrails and/or spindles is a time-tested look that’s very popular for several settings and uses from modern apartments to home workshops.

The options for areas in which to install accent elements in your spiral stair also extends beyond handrails and spindles into areas like treads thanks to a great thing called tread covers.

Tread covers, beyond providing an accent aesthetic by merit of their own material, can also allow you to extend into other aesthetic possibilities. In addition to aesthetic possibilities, there’s also the benefit of additional safety if your particular stair need calls for it.

Wood Tread Covers
Probably the most common category of tread cover is the solid wood tread cover. A solid wood tread cover is a great way to create a uniform or thematic look if your steel spiral stair also has a wooden handrail and/or wooden spindles. Wood has a timeless look of elegance when used in the right degree in the right settings. It augments Victorian and other classical looks while maintaining a natural style of beauty.

Wood can also create a more rustic element if applied in settings like cabins and lodges. So wood is essentially an incredibly versatile material in terms of the number of aesthetic atmospheres it can generate.

Choosing to go with wooden tread covers does not really narrow your options for look and color either, but rather, it opens them up. Salter deals with over a dozen species of woods both domestic and exotic to help satisfy every look and purpose requirement for your tread covers. These species include:

* Red Oak
* White Oak
* American Cherry
* Brazilian Cherry
* Maple
* Walnut
* Hickory
* Douglas Fir
* Pine
* Alder

for indoor, and:

* Teak
* Mahogany
* Cedar

for outdoor.

Besides the more obvious divisions of domestic and exotic and indoor and outdoor, there’re the more subtle, multifaceted divisions of hue, tone, color, warmth, depth, and every other unique aesthetic each different wood species offers. Mahogany gives you a deep texture perfect for adding warmth to any space. Hickory is bright and helps to open up a room, which makes it and other blond species excellent for pairing with white and other bright paints.

To that point, more than the raw beauty they offer in their natural form, wood tread covers can also be customized through painting, staining, and finishing. You can completely change the color of the surface, darken the shade, or give it a glossy luster, so customizing options are varied.

Flakeboard Covers
For the DIYer eager and willing to do a little extra work once they get their spiral stair, there’s also the option of flakeboard tread covers.

This option is a great way to really open up your stair’s aesthetic possibilities. That’s because your possibilities essentially become as varied as there are carpet patterns available. That is the purpose of flakeboard. This is the perfect option for people who really want to take customizing their stair to new levels. Flakeboard is designed to be carpet-ready, making more complicated tread design aspirations a lot simpler to achieve.

Carpeting, obviously, is more for indoor applications. So if you have a spiral stair leading to a den, a loft, a high bookshelf in a study or home library, or any other indoor space where you’re trying to generate a touch of class, or any other kind of atmosphere, with a unique and eye-catching carpet pattern, flakeboard is the best route to go.

Besides adding pattern, personality, and color to a space, carpeted treads will also retain warmth longer and better than non-carpeted. If your setting is a space where retaining heat in the floor is a little more difficult, such as an entryway or basement (or you just enjoy a warmer, softer tread) flakeboard is the perfect solution.

There are also outdoor-specific tread cover applications to consider.

Safety/Outdoor Applications
Tread covers do more than alter the aesthetic appeal of a stair. They enhance the safety factor as well. Salter’s galvanized steel, steel, and aluminum spiral stairs all offer the option of diamond plate tread covers.

Diamond plate tread covers offer a skid-resistant surface that allow your treads to be safe to walk on even in inopportune weather conditions. Diamond plate tread covers work great even in heavy rain, so if you live in an area prone to constant rainfall, and your stair will be for outdoor applications, a diamond plate tread cover is a good move.

And you don’t necessarily need frequent rain to deal with moisture in your area. If you’re installing a galvanized steel stair on a dock or pier, the same slip resistance is just as vital to ensure safety.

Even if you don’t live in an area that’s prone to poor weather or seaside, there could be other outdoor applications that easily call for slip resistant diamond plate tread covers. If your spiral stair is next to a pool, then this slip resistance is still a wise addition for your outdoor stair. The same can be said if your stair will be installed for a commercial application such as a water park. The added traction is a good way to ensure the safety of you patrons.

And added traction doesn’t have to apply only in cases where water is an immediate concern. It could be every bit as prudent to add diamond plate tread covers for any commercial application that might involve high foot traffic; zipline/adventure course spiral stairs are an excellent example of this.

If you want to stick to wood, there are still tread covers that will work for outdoor applications. You just have to select a species that’s suitable for outdoor application. Just think of the categories of wood that compose a deck. Species such as cedar, teak, and mahogany are perfectly suitable for outdoor uses.

Whatever your primary reasoning for deciding to use wood treads, aesthetics or functionality, it’s a good idea to look at your options and see how they match with your application. Take the time to weigh everything before making a final decision. Salter’s stair designers are here to help with exactly that process to ensure you make the best final choice for your tread cover needs.

Speak to one of our consultative designers

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