The Best Types of Materials for your Home’s Stairway

December 8, 2022by Harper0’s-stairway-1280x842.jpg

Your stairway may not lead to heaven, but it should look good. How do you get the best material for your stairway? How do you ensure that the material for your stairway is adequate?

Your stairway needs to be durable, practical, and sustainable. With that in mind, there are several materials that you can choose from — each with corresponding pros and cons.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the different types of stairway materials for your home. We’ll emphasize the unique characteristics of each material. Then, you’ll be able to settle on the stairway material of your choice.

The Types of Materials for your Home Stairway

Each material has its benefits, from its appearance to durability. You decide which works best for you based on its underlying factors.

Here’s a list of the most typical stairway materials

  • Wood
  • Laminate
  • Vinyl

Wood Stairway

Hardwood stair parts are easily the most popular option in most homes. Wood has a wide range of variety which gives the user a lot of different options. Wood is highly durable, long-lasting, and, in most cases, tolerant to adverse environmental changes.

Here are the different types of wood stairways for your home.

  • Oak
  • Walnut
  • Pine
  • Brazilian Cherry
  • Hemlock
  • Sapele
  • Ash

Oak Stairway

Oak is one of the best stairway materials due to its availability and durability. Oak is malleable, can be easily bent to any shape, and is an excellent wood for finishing. Two main types of oaks used for stairways are red and white oak.

Red Oak

Red oak is the heavier version of oak which is still malleable. The grain patterns feature a reddish tinge with streaks of white in it, giving the red oak a warm aesthetic. Red oak can be pretty stiff, but it has a tough core that makes it resistant to enormous pressure.

Furthermore, red oak is great for stair parts due to its immense resilience. This quality means you can use red oak for external stairways that connect two high-traffic areas of your home.

red oak stairway

White Oak

White oak is lighter than red oak but still relatively heavy. It has a lower crushing strength but makes up for it with its incredible wear resistance. You can install white oak stairways in areas of your home where your pets play. Its surface can take an enormous amount of scratches without showing any blemishes.


Walnut is the best stairway material for moisture-prone areas of your home. The hard and heavy material has a high resilience against warping. Therefore, you can install a walnut stairway close to bathrooms and toilets.

Additionally, walnut material has low shrinkage, so it maintains its original shape for a long time. No matter the amount of sunshine or wetness, a walnut stairway will retain its original form.

Related Article: How to Refinish Hardwood Floors


Pine is a softwood option for stair parts. It also has a porous surface that helps it absorb paint and finish. Its base golden yellow color is also alluring and radiant.

Additionally, pine is inexpensive due to its availability. Since it’s a conifer, it’s abundant in nature, so you can find them to buy.

Pine’s glowing color gives it a rustic appearance, making it ideal for spaces with rustic decor. However, pine is easily susceptible to dents and scratches due to its softwood nature.

Brazilian Cherry

Brazilian cherry, or Jatoba as it’s also known, is one of the best materials for stair parts due to its immense toughness. Brazilian cherry is an exotic hardwood with a high hardness on the Janka scale.

While Jatoba can be more expensive than other options on this list, this hardwood makes for long-lasting stair parts due to its inherent hardness. Furthermore, the Brazilian cherry ages gracefully by darkening over time while preserving its beauty.


Hemlock is softwood that comes in light pink. This softwood is highly decorative as it absorbs finishes and coating beautifully. Hemlock’s design is particularly perfect for spiral stairways.

However, because hemlock is softwood, it’s prone to splintering. Hence, you’ll have to treat the wood properly before installation.


Sapele is a beautiful hardwood known for its reddish-brown coloring. It’s highly sustainable, durable, and long-lasting. Thanks to its unique coloring, stair parts from this hardwood can appeal to rustic and modern households.


Ash is an excellent hardwood for stairways that is durable and dependable. The light brown color makes the hardwood ideal for any house. Furthermore, it’s a great alternative to oak, as ash is more budget-friendly while maintaining the durability of a typical hardwood.

Are you a handyman looking to install the hardwood stairway yourself? Then you’re lucky as ash is an easy wood to work on by hand or machine. The neutral appearance also makes ash hardwood easy to stain and finish.

ash stairway

Other Types of Materials for your Home’s Stairway

We’ve gone over the various types of stairways made from hardwood or softwood. Now, let’s look at other options for stairways in your home.

Laminate Stairways

If hardwood isn’t available or affordable, you can settle for laminate flooring for your stairway. Laminate flooring is the best material for a stairway close enough to natural wood. The laminate material is synthetic, but it possesses a wood design.

The laminate material is also easy to clean and requires low maintenance effort. The installation process is smooth and doesn’t require any screws or nails. Hence, it takes a significantly shorter period to install the laminate floors.

However, laminate floors aren’t as strong as natural hardwood despite their durability. To ensure longevity, you’ll have to properly reinforce the top layers of the laminate stairs.

Vinyl Stairways

Vinyl stairways are mostly made from a plastic-like material. Typically, vinyl is non-slip and easy to clean. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about degradation over time as the vinyl material won’t wear down like natural wood.

However, vinyl isn’t a popular choice due to its synthetic nature. Houses with natural wood stairways are often preferred to vinyl.

Related Article: How to Fix Scratches on Hardwood Floors

vinyl stairways

In the End

It’s up to you to decide the best material for the stairway for your home. You can choose among wood, laminate, or vinyl. However, ensure to know the pros and cons before picking any of these options. You want to pick a material that will suit your home.

Our experienced hardwood experts at LV Flooring can help you make the right decision for stair parts. Call (416) 665-5645 or look through our online catalogue to know more.

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