Stair treads, what you step on when you walk up the stairs, are just one element of a beautiful staircase. When rebuilding or remodeling a staircase, it is easy to focus on balusters and rails. The stair treads, however, do play a role in the visual impact of a staircase.

Over the last few years more and more attention has been paid to treads. Naturally, staircases
are a focal point in your house. While stair treads vary in expense depending on their shape and
wood species they can dramatically change the look of your staircase. The right treads can help
your staircase tie nicely to the style and décor in your house but at the same time stand out
beautifully. Talking to a professional stair designer can help you get custom treads that will give
you the beautiful look you are hoping for.

Natural Wood is the Trend

The current trend in stair treads is to go for a natural wood look. Carpeted stairs are being replaced with wood. If you need carpet, you could consider a runner, but having wood showing on the stairs is definitely in style. Wood ties nicely into a contemporary look like a floating staircase, or into a more traditional look, or even some of both.

If you are going for a modern or contemporary look in your house, thick wood block treads are a trend that would pair great with other contemporary elements like glass, a stainless cable system, or mild steel. Metal or cables give the staircase a modern, industrial look, while the natural wood treads give the look of warmth and softness. If you are remodeling and are going to try a modern style like a floating staircase (a supporting structure underneath holds the treads, making them appear to “float”), thick treads with open can create a stunning focal point.

If you are updating a staircase and not completely replacing, chances are you have a traditionally shaped staircase. Thick treads can make this type of staircase look contemporary but even the more traditional standard-thickness treads look updated and classic as all wood. This look adds comfort and warmth and goes with almost any style of interior decor. With high-grade lumber, furniture quality finishes and some texture to make them easy for shoes and feet to grip, these treads will stand the test of time.

Another Trend—Alternating Tread and Rise Color

Depending on a home’s décor, treads and rises could both be a natural wood stain or could alternate with the treads stained and the rises painted a color like white. The current trend in interior decorating incorporates lots of different materials—natural wood, painted wooden furniture, metal, and glass. If the house has lots of painted pieces, alternating treads and rises with color will fit the style of the house and is on trend. However, if the house has lots of stained wood, the best choice may be to keep the treads and rises the same color to fit the feel of the house. If you decide to paint rises, keep them simple, subtle, and neutral. You don’t want the rises to overpower the design of the entire staircase.