Stairs are an incredibly important part of most homes. Whether you have a back staircase hidden behind a door, or you have a dramatic staircase as the focus of your foyer, the stairs need to be solid, durable, and long-wearing.
While there are a variety of different materials that can be used to create a staircase, wood such as oak can help you accomplish all your goals. A staircase made from oak stair treads will give you the durability you need for high traffic areas, while also giving you the beauty and finish you want for this important element of your home’s design.
What Is Reclaimed Oak?
Reclaimed oak is natural wood that has been previously used. It’s been taken from farmhouses, outbuildings, and factories that are more than 100 years old, then cleaned, milled, and given a new life for other uses such as stair treads. Oak is a particularly durable, long-wearing wood, which means that even though it’s already been in use for decades, it still has plenty of life left in its new application.
Reclaimed wood is just as durable and beautiful as new cut wood, but it also has wear marks and patina that gives it more character. Depending on how the oak was milled, your stair treads may have nail holes or saw marks; they may have a slightly rustic appearance, or they may look similar to new cut wood stair treads.
Because they’re made from material that’s already been in use, reclaimed oak stair treads are more eco-friendly than treads made from new cut wood. They also have a history and appearance that can garner instant attraction. So, if you’re installing stair treads in a foyer or other area where the staircase will be part of the room’s design, using reclaimed oak can help you create the perfect style, while giving you a greener, sturdier floor.
Design Ideas for Reclaimed Oak Stair Treads
Oak is an incredibly versatile wood. It takes stains well, and has a grain that can be subtle or brought to the forefront with the right finish. Combined with the different looks you can get from using antique oak, it’s possible for reclaimed oak stair treads to take on a variety of styles. If you’re wondering how well they may fit into your home’s design, take a look at these 6 images for inspiration.
1. Antique Contrast
Antique stair treads make a beautiful contrast to more modern finishes. These antique oak treads are stained a rich brown that further separates them from the crisp white of the risers and spindles. This contrast makes the staircase stand out, creating a focal point within the room.
2. Rustic Modern
Rustic modern is a transitional style that blends elements from rustic and contemporary designs. These stairs are an excellent example of how beautiful the end result can be. The reclaimed oak is used here without any risers along with contemporary railings. It creates a blend of normally disparate elements that can come together to create a cohesive look when the same components are used elsewhere in the room.
3. Subtle Style
You don’t need to use contrast to create a statement or a beautiful staircase. This solid wood staircase uses the same material for the risers and treads. It creates a softer, more formal look that will let it blend in with a wider variety of architectural styles. The posts and wrought iron railings paired with this staircase suggest an Arts and Crafts or bungalow theme.
4. Antique Style
Another way to combine the risers and treads into the same staircase is to use reclaimed wood that still has its natural patina and aged finish. In this case, the richness of the oak’s color is allowed to show through the patina, while the saw marks and other signs of wear add depth and interest to the whole area.
5. Warm Finish
One of the best features of oak is the way it can take on so many different finishes. This oak staircase has been given a rich, honey-colored stain. It lets the grain of the oak show through, complementing the dark color of the risers, while also matching the oak flooring at the landing. This creates a more contemporary look for the stairs, while still making them appear warm and welcoming.
6. Flooring Match
When you’re using a reclaimed oak floor throughout the home, why not take it up the stairs as well? This unique floor can’t be matched to any other material, so the best way to create a cohesive design is to use the same wood and finish on the stair treads. The risers are painted white to add a little contrast and to match the baseboards.
Create Your Own Staircase with Reclaimed Oak
Reclaimed oak can give you a wide variety of looks and styles for staircase treads. Whether you want something subtle or dramatic, oak can not only fulfill your design needs, but it can also handle years of foot traffic with ease. Consider using reclaimed oak for your stair treads to capture its beauty and durability for your home.