Pick Your Favorites Wood Species
The moment you decide to go with wood as an accent element to your spiral stair, you’ve already decided to go with an element of all natural handcrafted beauty that’s timeless. Little can compete with the warm tones and instant look of custom creation generated by the introduction of wood components to any structure. And that’s to say nothing of an all wood stair! But deciding on wood is just the first step.
There are several different species from which to choose for highlighting the classical beauty of your spiral stair. And, besides the obvious factor of color, each species offers its own widely varied advantages. Knowing these different advantages and what they offer for your specific needs makes it much easier to make a solid decision out of the various wood species, letting you be that much more confident in the value of your wood stair and the purpose it serves.
Indoor Wood Options
Red oak is a very popular wood for interior structure purposes. This popularity is due to a number of factors, from being a highly durable wood to its natural warp-resistance. Both of these factors give it a longer life. Besides its structural durability, red oak also has a pleasing aesthetic due to its distinctive grain pattern. Plus, since it’s lighter than white oak, as counter intuitive as that sounds, red oak is very easy to stain and customize, making it easy to give personality to your wood stair.
White oak is actually a little darker than red oak. It’s still a lightly colored hardwood, though, and still susceptible to staining a custom color, which makes it great for those looking to create a unique color palate in their home. It’s also close grained, which makes it pretty resistant to water damage. Like its cousin red oak, white oak is also a very durable hardwood and sure to last for years.
For a wood that gets better with age, American cherry is a great selection. It has a naturally beautiful finish, so staining isn’t necessary. Over time, it turns color to a lush patina, so it’s sure to add warm tones to any interior decor. It’s also very easy to polish and maintain, so it’s a good selection for low-maintenance. Plus, it’s a very durable wood that resists stress and warping, meaning it’s a lasting option.
Not to be confused with American cherry, Brazilian cherry is a darker, richer color. This is a great wood for traditional style settings or for adding a classic note to any room. Like American cherry, it’s a highly durable wood species and has a lush tone that makes it best if left in its natural state. While it can be stained if sanded, most leave it and enjoy it as is with maybe a simple sealer.
Because of its naturally porous state, maple is very easy to stain, so it’s a good selection for those who like to customize. It’s also a nearly white to off-white color, which makes it even easier to stain darker colors particularly. To turn it a darker color, dye is a good choice over stain for maple, so you can have a wood stair with that rich look.
Walnut is an incredibly strong hardwood species. It has a beautiful natural finish and color that ages beautifully. It’s also very durable and long lasting, so it’ll keep in your home for a long time to come. Although it’s a little trickier, the natural darker color of walnut can be stained to something else. Though you can also leave it in its natural state and just seal it.
Hickory is one of the hardwoods that’s light and very responsive to staining custom colors. It’s also incredibly strong, among the strongest in the U.S., and long-lasting. There’s a reason why it’s a favorite choice for making tool handles. It also tends to have a rustic appearance, making it great for country and cabin settings.
Douglas fir is known for being particularly stiff and strong for its weight, so if you’re looking for a sturdy wood choice, this is a great option. It has a lighter color and can be stained, making it perfect for customizing unique colors. It should be sandpapered before applying stain, though. It’s a pretty durable wood, too, and can stand up to moisture, making it a long-lasting option.
Though a softer wood, pine ages very well and is resistant to swelling and shrinkage, making it also resistant to warping and cracking. So this is a great species for a long-lasting structure. Its light color and porous nature also makes it very easy to stain, so it’s perfect for customized looks. Plus, it’s among the easiest woods to paint. So if you don’t want to stain you have options with this wood.
A lightly colored wood, alder is very easy to custom stain any shade. It just needs a good sandpaper job first. A simple sealer actually gives it a much richer look and darker color. So it’s great for customizing with minimal time involved. The grain pattern is quite similar to that of birch, its relative, though the graining itself is redder. So it also has a nice textured look.
Outdoor Wood Options
Teak starts out with a medium color and it darkens to a lovely natural finish with age. It is also extremely durable and rot resistant, thus perfect for outdoor applications. It can be oiled for simple maintenance, so it’s great if you want to invest minimal time in upkeep. Its dark color makes it hard to stain, but few would want to since its natural color is so rich and beautiful.
Like teak, mahogany is difficult to stain. But again, it has a very lovely and rich natural appeal, a deep burgundy coloration, so there’s no reason to. It gives you a beautiful tone with no extra work. It’s also very durable and rot resistant, which makes it another perfect selection for outdoor wood accent use.
Known for its outdoor applications, cedar is highly durable and rot resistant. It has a beautiful natural finish, making it perfect for just a seal and done. It’s also naturally bright, so it’s prefect for giving your outdoor space an open feel.