Stairs are more than a way to move from one floor to another. They can be a focal point of your home and increase the value of your house. Homeowners are discovering that you have many options when building stairs. It is hard to beat the look and feel that wood stairs bring to a home. Wood stairs are easy to clean and are very durable. You can have solid hardwood stair treads and risers. This is the most expensive option when building your stairs. For a different look and for less money, you can paint the risers and use stained hardwood for the treads. This can give your stairs a brighter look. For those who want the look of wood stairs and want carpet on their stairs have a couple different options. You can use solid hardwood stairs and install a carpet runner down the middle of the stairs. The carpet can be removed to clean and softens the stairs and makes them quieter. The lowest cost option is to use stair tread end caps and risers with carpet placed down the middle of the stairs. This gives you the look of solid wood stairs with the feel and economy of carpet.
Stairs can be made out many hardwoods such as oak, maple, hickory, cherry or walnut. Tropical woods are becoming popular and you can even use bamboo. One option I do not recommend is to use laminate flooring. It is not as durable and the nosing needed to cover the front edge are not very attractive and can be a tripping hazard. You have other options with tread caps because you do not walk on them so they do not have to be as durable. You can use softer woods like alder. Wood stairs will add to the look of your home and raise its value. They will be enjoyed for years and reduce the time it takes to clean your home. A good carpenter can advise you on the various styles and options to make your home unique and stand out from the crowd.