Designing with Prefinished Stair Treads

December 19, 2019

Stairs may seem like a simple thing to construct, but they’re actually made up of multiple pieces and parts. The stringers, risers, and treads compose the bulk of a staircase, with railings, spindles, and posts sometimes being optional components as well. 

The stair tread is arguably one of the most important parts of any staircase. This is the piece of the step where the foot is placed to get from one level to the next. Stairs may have a vertical riser between each tread or the treads may be open in more contemporary designs. 

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Like floors, treads can be made of many different materials and in many different styles. Often, a stair tread may even be constructed right on site, which can make it difficult to determine whether or not what you’re considering is going to work with the rest of the design. 

Prefinished stair treads help take the guesswork out of staircase design. These wood treads come in a variety of different finishes and styles, so you can easily complete and complement any staircase design. Whether you choose from new cut wood or reclaimed wood, having a prefinished tread can make the rest of your design and build process go much faster and smoother.

Prefinished Stair Treads Design Ideas 

If you’re looking for ideas for your next staircase, consider these 6 design ideas using prefinished stair treads to see how easy they are to incorporate:

boxy stair treads

1. Boxy Treads

Many people consider stair treads as a thin piece of material, with the riser making each step look bigger. Stair treads can actually be extremely substantial on their own. These contemporary steps use a minimal stringer with a thick tread and no riser. Rather than spindles on the railings, they use cables for safety. The entire look is solid and contemporary with a mid-century modern vibe to it. The warm rich color of the treads complements the wood of the cabinets beyond, helping to unify the two spaces.

traditional treads

2. Traditional Treads

Stair treads that incorporate a riser and a substantial, decorative stringer are often thinner in size, with a rounded, bullnose edge. This helps make the transition between the riser and stringer a little softer and eliminates a sharp overhang. Done this way, the staircase has a rich and traditional appearance to it that helps it fit in well with many styles of homes and office buildings. The same wood is used throughout the staircase, so there’s continuity between the various pieces, pulling everything together into one design. The wrought iron railings add just the right amount of contrast to give depth to the structure.

floating stair treads

3. Floating Treads

This staircase has a very transitional look to it, with a blend of both classic and contemporary components. The stringers are kept to a minimum and the columns extend between floors. The treads float with no risers below them, for a light and airy feel. The treads themselves, though, aren’t too thick, so they don’t overpower the light feeling of the design. The wrought iron spindles connect right to the treads themselves, rather than to the stringer, keeping the open feeling throughout the whole area.

stair tread contrast

4. Subtle Contrast

It’s possible to keep the riser and tread the same color and finish, there’s also a lot to say about making them two different tones. These stringers and risers are a very subtly different color, with the tread being a shade lighter. It’s not enough to create a contrast between the two, but it is enough to make the treads stand out slightly. This can often be enough to add some safety to the design for those that may have trouble distinguishing between one step and another. It also adds depth and richness to the design.

slab style treads

5. Slab Style Treads

Transitional designs that float between two styles are often more interesting than a design that embraces only one. These slab style stair treads straddle the line between being rustic and contemporary, and therefore bring a lot of interest despite being very simple in construction. The reclaimed wood treads have a rich patina that contrasts the steel cables that are used as railings. The open risers also help create a more contemporary look paired with the simple treads. By using a darker edge on the treads themselves it adds even more depth as well as visual cues.

simple stair treads

6. Simple Design

These stair treads have a very classic and simple appearance. The color of the wood is lighter and brighter than the risers, and they have a simple, eased edge to them at the front, rather than a bullnose. This creates a very simple staircase that lets the texture and grain of the wood be the focus of the design, rather than how the stairs are put together. The glass banisters between them allow more light through, which lets you appreciate them even more.

Consider Prefinished Stair Treads

Prefinished treads come in many different styles, so it’s easy to create a unique design. It’s also possible with prefinished treads to visualize your design and get it going faster. Consider any of these styles for your next project, and get a staircase that best fits your needs.

Elmwood Reclaimed Timber professionals can help you achieve the look you want with prefinished stair treads. Contact an expert today!

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