When installing a staircase you probably just think about installing some steps and a handrail so you can safely get from downstairs to upstairs and back.
But the staircase is a focal point of the home.
In most homes, it’s the first thing you see when you open the door, and it will leave a lasting impression on any visitors you have.
You might not think it, but a staircase can actually set the tone for the space and the impression you want to give of your home.
Even the nicest set of steps can be ruined by a lack of attention to the finer details.
So here are the details you should pay most attention to when it comes to your staircase.
Choosing the right spindles
Spindles, sometimes called balusters, are posts that connect the bottom or base of your staircase to the handrail that runs parallel.
A wide range of materials can be used for your spindles, such as timber, iron, steel or glass.
Usually, timber spindles are used to maintain a more traditional appearance – so if this is something you’re going for it’ll be best to choose from the selections of hard and softwoods.
If you’re after something to make your home feel more luxurious, iron and steel spindles will definitely help you achieve this.
One of the newer, more modern styles of staircase spindle is a glass spindle.
More and more homeowners are looking to incorporate glass into their staircase design as it can make hallways feel more open and spacious, while increasing the amount of light that flows through the home.
Choosing the right newel posts
Newel posts provide support to your staircase banister, and sit at either the top or bottom of your balustrade.
Not only do they give your staircase structure and strength, they also offer the perfect opportunity to add a decorative touch to your set of stairs.
Their designs can vary, from traditional to contemporary, and really help you reflect the style of your staircase and tie in with the rest of your decor.
They are available in a huge range of materials but are usually made of wood – pine, oak and hemlock being among some of the most popular choices.
Take oak for example
Oak is a hardwood, which makes it extremely tough and resilient to scratches and dents.
It’s distinctive tiger-stripe grain makes for a great, eye-catching addition to modern or traditional staircases.
Choosing your newel caps
Newel caps are the small block of wood or sometimes metal that sits at the top of your newel post.
They provide finishing touches to your newel posts and provide extra support for you when people use your stairs.
The caps are available in both metal and timber and in a range of styles, like a decorative ball and acorn caps to more modern, flat newel caps.
Choosing a handrail and baserail
Your handrail is the most important part of your staircase.
It serves a vital safety function as well as adding to the overall look and feel of your stairs.
They come in many different styles, with lots of them suitable for all kinds of staircases, so often it comes down to you and what you prefer.
The most simple style is mopstick – a circular length of wood that runs the length of your stairs.
Other styles tend to be grooved at the sides and base, allowing for easy grip and connection with your spindles.
These types of handrails come in different heights, widths and thickness, so you can choose according to the amount of space you have available and the look you want to achieve
Opting for something more slender will help you maximise your space and achieve a minimalist, sleek look.
As with all your other stair parts, you have a variety of materials to choose from for your hand or base rail.
No matter the look you’re going for, timber is your best bet as it has hundreds of variations available – all with their own unique feel.
What materials should you use?
Some people choose to have their entire staircase made of the same material, while others prefer to choose a different timber or combine it with metal for their handrails or spindles to offer an eye-catching contrast.
The different variations of wood are popular choices for staircases, probably because they’re so versatile.
But which is better, hardwood or softwood?
Hardwood is a popular choice due to its strength, durability and luxurious appearance.
These types of wood are easy to clean and require little maintenance, perfect for if you live with children or pets – we all know how messy they can be.
Softwood, though, is a great option if you’re looking for a more reasonably priced alternative
What colours are you going for?
When it comes to choosing the colours for your stairs, it’s important to keep how the rest of your home is decorated in mind.
As with any other interior design project, you want to choose colours that compliment each other – no matter if you want your staircase to blend in with everything else or turn it into a striking show piece.
For example if your floors are lighter, opting for darker, hardwood steps will create a boundary and help ease the transition between levels, all while not being too overpowering.
Using stair treads and risers
Stair treads are horizontal pieces of your staircase that you step or ‘tread’ onto and stair risers are vertical back pieces of the steps.
There are several materials for you to choose from, but the most popular options are the different variations of timber.
Wood adds natural warmth to the home and complements all kinds of styles, colour schemes and designs.
It is a highly durable material and with proper maintenance and upkeep, wood stair treads and risers can last decades.
Why it pays to pay attention to your staircase
Although you might not think it, paying attention to the finer details of your staircase will really help bring it all together.
With the right staircase parts, you’ll be able to set the right tone for your space and leave a lasting good impression on your visitors.