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Old 02-01-2012, 05:15 PM   #1
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Stair treads - wood choice tradeoffs?


I am rebuilding my main stairs in my house. These are used by each person many times per day.

I am most concerned about what type of wood to use for the stair treads. There are many choices of which several would be fine in appearance.

What are the tradeoffs for wear, noise, durability, ease of finishing, looks great longer, etc. for the types of woods available.

My project:
- full wood treads
- curved staircase
- to be finished in a medium color (not too dark, not too light)

I have had different stair people tell me maple, not maple, hickory, not hickory, red oak (being replaced), mahogany, not mahogany, cherry (to match nearby cabinets), etc. They all have reasoning but it conflicts and probably better lines up with that they think they are best at doing or what their suppliers can easily get.

I have looked up the relative hardness but don't know how much longer 1500 will keep over 1200, etc. on the Janka scale in this application. If 1200 looks great for 25 years and 1500 or 30 years I wouldn't care, for example.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_hardness_test

Any help or hints you can provide would be useful for us to make the decision.

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