Solid Wood Staircase – Which Design?

spiral staircase with open treads and view to bedroom

A traditional staircase crafted from solid wood brings a classic elegance to your hallway or at the heart of your home adding an additional design element to a space. Revered by architects and engineers for it’s strength and architectural attraction, using a hardwood such as oak, ash, elm or cherry offers a range of design opportunities.   Timber can be combined with modern materials such as glass and steel for a contemporary look or used in a more traditional way. Below we discuss a few options:-


Straight staircases are the more common type, but also offer the most versatile design. 

Spiral staircases are equally popular with plenty of options available in terms of material, finish and style. They are not just focal points, but also surprising space savers and can open up a home in unexpected ways.  The open tread solid elm staircase featured below demonstrates how selecting timber with  fabulous grain makes a stunning impact to the space.  


A winder stair is basically a stair which incorporates a turn in the flight.  This is very much part of the design.  Perfect for homes where space is at a premium as the turn in the stair minimises the amount of space required meaning it rarely dominates a room.  Generally comprising a combination of straight treads and winder treads these fit around an arc or turn in the stair. 


Very popular and contemporary an open tread is much favoured by designers often opting for a floating staircase. It creates a stunning open, cantilevered feel to the flight.  Modern designs incorporate glass and steel creating minimalist feel.  Despite the appearance, the stair is extremely solid and robust and can be manufactured in a variety of configurations.  Fantastic for modern, open plan living spaces it allows the passage of light through and barely any hint of fixtures or fittings are evident once completed.


A cut string stair –  a very classic and the most traditional design.  On a cut string staircase the newel strings follow the treads and risers. Normally the spindles are dovetailed at the top and bottom allowing the spindles to fix securely into position.


Also known as a bull nose the curtail refers to the rounded corners of the bottom step.  Creating a wider entry point,  more support to the newel post and an attractive finish to the final step.


This is the end of the handrail and again the sky’s the limit with the design.  Using solid wood the design can be bespoke from an elegant curve to a chunky final post.

With such a huge range of styles available from floating, to solid through to beautiful sculptural designs – ‘the sky really is the limit’.   A solid wood staircase can really create a stunning focal point Visit the blog section of our website to discover more about adding a feature stair to your home.

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About the author

Ben Sutton has established himself as independent hardwood timber merchant and supplier with a solid reputation built up over the last 20 years. He is committed to providing a bespoke and professional service to his clients at all times, whilst maintaining the highest quality product. Follow Ben on LinkedIn.