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Which timber staircase style is right for you?

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

When it comes to selecting a new staircase for your home, you might be thinking about what materials to use. And, at Budget Stairs, we feel you can't go wrong with the humble timber staircase.

Still incredibly popular, timber staircases are aesthetically stunning, durable and versatile. And, depending on your design and overall look and feel, there's the option to include timber balustrades, posts and handrails – whatever your style.

What many clients aren't aware of is the variety of timber available for staircase designs. Do you prefer a lighter or darker timber? Do you like to see grains, texture and natural detailing? Looking for something more robust and durable?

In this article, we've outlined all our favourite types of timber, giving you an idea of their characteristics and suitability to help you make a decision in your staircase design journey.

Timber Option 1: Pine and MDF

Both pine and MDF are a great softwood timber option for building a base or for treads and risers that require painting. They're both a cost-effective choice and work well if you're planning to paint or carpet your staircase. If you're carpeting, we'd use a pine riser and MDF Tread, however, if you are painting the staircase we'd use a pine rise and pine tread – just be mindful of the carpet wear-and-tear over the life of the staircase as it will receive plenty of foot traffic. Pricing: $

Timber Option 2: Maple

Maple is another cost-effective timber for stairs and is the softest timber in the hardwood category. It's extremely versatile and takes stain and lime-washing very well. Pricing: $

Timber Option 3: Tasmanian Oak

Tasmanian Oak is a lighter coloured timber that has a stunning finish made up by three Tasmanian-based Eucalyptus species. It stains well, making it the perfect choice for those seeking to match other timber throughout their home. Tassie Oak is also very similar to Victorian Ash, which we talk about below.

Pricing $$

Timber Option 4: Victorian Ash

Victorian Ash – commonly known as Alpine and Mountain Ash – is a hardwood species of timber that originate from mountainous areas of Victoria. Typically Victorian Ash comes with a straighter style of grain, consistent in colour and is suitable for all staircase components.

Pricing: $$

Timber Option 5: Black Butt

A strong and classic looking hardwood, Blackbutt's appearance can vary from warmer yellows right through to lighter browns with the potential for pink tones. Blackbutt is typically straight-grained and renowned for its unique visible gum grains. It's highly durable and suitable for all staircase components.

Pricing: $$$

Timber Option 6: American Oak

As the name suggests, American Oak is a hardwood imported to Australia from the USA and is the ideal choice if you're looking for something a bit more luxurious. When it comes to American Oak colouring, there can be variation between lighter and darker browns. It's very rich in colour, superiorly strong and marries well into an engineered floor.

Pricing: $$$$

Timber Option 7: Spotted Gum

Spotted Gum is a stunning native Australian hardwood, known for its heavy durability and variety of colours – varying from a lighter shade of brown through to a deep dark brown with a reddish tinge. In terms of usage, it's suitable for all types of stair components but is considered a more expensive and superior option. It can also be used for external staircases.

Pricing: $$$$

Ready to start your timber staircase design?

At Budget Stairs, we love bringing our client's staircase ideas to life. If you're feeling inspired and ready to install your very own timber stairs, then speak with our team today. We can assist you in designing, manufacturing and installing your bespoke staircase design.


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