Stairs are a prominent feature of most homes, so getting the design right is important. A beautiful staircase can make a fantastic centrepiece to impress your guests, as well as serving a practical purpose.
But looks are only part of the story – safety is another vital issue. Many older staircases fall short of modern standards, so replacing your stair banisters can help bring your home up to scratch. Here are a few decisions you will need to make:
Most household staircases are manufactured from wood, but metal and glass are becoming more popular. Timber will probably still be part of your stairs, at least as far as the treads and supporting structure are concerned, but you may decide to combine wooden staircase components with glass panels or steel spindles (also known as balusters) for a more contemporary look.
Wood is a beautifully warm, versatile material that will suit any setting. It is ideal for a wide range of designs, including curved stairs, turned newels and different styles of handrail. Wooden stair spindles, in particular, can be readily worked into all kinds of decorative shapes – or left plain for a minimalist look.
Which timber is best? Pine, hemlock and sapele are worth