Tips To Selecting Wood Stair Treads – Wood stair treads, and wooden staircases in general, are the homebuilder’s number one choice today. Wood is both traditional and modern, a timeless choice of materials. “Stair tread” refers to the part of the step on which a user actually walks. Generally, wood stair treads are to match the staircase as a whole. Your treads will likely be made from the same wood as the handrails, spindles and other stair parts.
Choose a wood that’s appropriate for the amount of traffic in your home. You can build anything, including wood stair treads, out of almost any wood type. Some, though, are sturdier and wear better than others. Trees are comprised of either hard or soft wood. They’re often classified by this distinction (“hardwoods” and “softwoods”). Staircases and stair parts are made from both hardwoods and softwoods. Each type has pros and cons. Hardwoods are sturdier, but sometimes hard to work with. They may crack/split during building/installation. Softwoods are easier to construct with and to install. They don’t split as easily as hardwoods. However, because they’re soft, they will nick and dent much faster. They tend to look worn out more quickly than hardwoods.
Know your code. If you are installing your wood stair treads by yourself? Make sure you consult the local building code. These codes dictate nearly every aspect of home construction, including part of the ladder. Specifically, your area’s building code spells out tread depth and nose length. “Depth” refers to how wide (in inches) the surface of the step measures. The National Building Code (NBC) of the US recommends that this be no less than nine inches. This is the measurement that has been determined to minimize the risk of slipping and falling for users. The “nose” is the part of the tread that extends over the riser of step below it. (The “riser” is the piece or space between stairs treads.) The NBC recommends that the nose not extend more than one inch past the riser. Otherwise, this nose may end up becoming a major tripping hazard for users. The US National Building Code is a guideline for “best practice” in the construction/Reno industry.