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Which Wood Species Works Best On Floating Stairs?

Best Wood for Stairs - Custom Floating Stair Stringer Looking Down

The best wood species to use on your floating stairs is one that will hold up to daily use, is structurally sound, and is also breath-taking. The best species for you to choose will depend on your sense of style and the nature of your project.

Below, you’ll find our recommendations for wood species based on what is important to you.

Best Wood Species for Floating Stairs

Viewrail carries many wood species that will work well as treads on contemporary staircases. Each will give you a premium product that is as beautiful as it is strong. Below you will find a breakdown of the costs and benefits of the top wood species Viewrail offers for floating stairs, as well as a recommendation order supported by  over 15 years of working with lumber. Viewrail recommends these wood species for floating stairs, though not necessarily in the following order:

  1. Red Oak
  2. Hard Maple
  3. White Oak
  4. Ash
  5. Walnut
  6. Hickory

The following chart will give you some quick facts about each of these species, as well as their rating on the Janka scale (the Janka scale assigns each wood species a rating for its hardness out of a maximum 4000). You can also check out our Modern Stair Tread Visualizer!

Wood Species JANKA Rating Highlights Pictures
Red Oak 1290
  • Durable
  • Easy to Stain
  • Readily Available
  • Economic
  • Heavy Grain Patterns
Red Oak Clear Finish
Hard Maple 1450
  • Natural Light Color
  • Can Stain Virtually any Color
  • Durable
  • Consistent, limited grain pattern
Hard Maple No Finishhard Maple Clear Finish
White Oak 1360
  • Popular to stain with “White Wash
  • Durable
  • Heavy grain Patterns
Ash 1320
  • Light Grain pattern
  • Easy to Stain
  • Not as Durable as Oaks
Ash No FinishAsh Clear Finish
Walnut 1010
  • Beautiful with a Clear Finish
  • Diverse Grain Pattern
Walnut No FinishWalnut Clear Finish
Hickory 1820
  • Heavy Color Variability
  • Common to have Wood knots
  • Extremely hard
  • Wears well
  • Easy to Stain
Hickory No FinishHickory Cl;ear Finish

Why these Wood Species?

We offer over 15 different wood species but we have narrowed it down to these 6 because of three factors: stability, finishing quality, and overall aesthetic value. Each of these wood species will remain stable for the lifetime of the stairway, accept a wide variety of finishes well, and are beautiful woods.

Taking the Next Step with FLIGHT

If you’re interested in learning more about types of stairs or how much floating stairs cost and what FLIGHT could look like in your space, you can get a quote for floating stairs on the top menu bar. Or, if you’re feeling creative, you can use our “build your own floating stair” tool to create a virtual staircase.

Do you want to talk to an expert about customizing your project? Have any more questions about wood species or floating stairs? Give our experts a call at 1(574) 742-1030.