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Hardwood Stairs: What You Need to Know



Hardwood stairs are the classic, graceful, beloved-by-everyone cousin to the overtly glamorous marble staircases we see in museums and on The Crown; they're also the beautiful, wiser older sister to awkward carpeted stairs. I can say this, because I grew up the youngest of six kids and was awkward for most of my adolescence (thanks for the awful hair memories, junior high!) Not that I'm projecting or anything.

Most Nashville homes don't boast marble staircases, so we will swoon about them another time. Today we have all the heart eyes for hardwood stairs, with good reason. They can encompass any style, from contemporary to traditional, farmhouse to Scandinavian, and everything in between. Including the modern Scandinavian farmhouse look, which is apparently a thing. They are timeless, gorgeous (if done correctly) and give a home a certain sophistication that says, "Look! The people who own this home have style! They have grace! They're Miss United States!" Scratch that last part.

There are a few things to know, however when taking the plunge to either build hardwood stairs, repair them or replace carpeted stairs with hardwood. So let's dive in, shall we?

Photo: Southern Oaks Flooring, Nashville, TN


First of all, it's important to note that hardwood stairs are not inexpensive. The treads themselves are an expensive material, and they then need to be matched to the hardwood floors above and below them. That's no mean feat. It takes time, and time costs money. But those hardwood stairs will be around forever. They are an investment, not a trendy purchase.

But what about the comfort of carpet, you say? Well, as you can imagine, we give the side eye to carpeted stairs on a regular basis. Not just because we own a hardwood flooring company here in Nashville, but because they Just. Don't. Look. That. Great. Snobby? Maybe. Realistic. Absolutely. As the parents of three boys under 10 we can attest that those comfortable carpet stairs ain't gonna last long. At least if your family is anything like ours.

Of course, if you want comfort, you can always add a stair runner! It's a great option for adding another print or color that coordinates with the rest of your home decor, as well. Although, when your stairs look this good, who wants to cover 'em up?

Photo: Southern Oaks Flooring

Now, a word of caution. We've all seen the amazing staircases on Pinterest with slides attached that culminate in a secret library/playroom. Or those that look like they're floating from the wall and have no railings. (See below if you don't believe me.)

Those staircases are amazing. They are works of art. They are custom designed and crafted to work with the architecture of those particular homes/buildings, so unless you're building a home, you're probably going to be stuck with traditional stairs. But that's not a bad thing for most people. Walking on stairs that look like they came out of a Salvador Dali painting has its own disadvantages. Would you really want to feel like you're walking through a fun house every time you go to bed? I think not.