Did you know that the stair treads are the most noticeable part of any stairway?
The treads also play a major role in how safe a staircase is. So what are stair treads, and how do you know if you’re choosing the right ones for your next project?
Keep reading for five essentials you should know about treads.
1. What Are Stair Treads?
A stair is composed of two parts: the tread and the riser. The tread is the flat part that you step on. The riser is the vertical part that determines how tall the step is.
Don’t get confused: some fabric manufacturers call thin carpet strips “stair treads,” because they’re designed to go on stairs and prevent slipping. In this article, we’re not talking about those carpets, but rather the actual solid part of a stair.
2. What Do Stair Treads Do?
The size and material of the tread determine how a stairway looks, and how safe it is. Importantly, the treads also work with the risers to determine the height and length of the stairway itself.
To keep people from tripping, the steps should match a person’s average stride length. According to Hunker, this means that the tread width, plus the height of the riser, should equal 18 inches.
So if your tread is 11.5″ wide, your risers should be 6.5″ high.
3. Types of Stair Treads
Treads can be made out of metal, wood, stone, glass, tile, or manmade composites.
When choosing a material for your stair treads, consider your stairway’s location and use. Each material is ideal for certain applications.
Metals like steel are great for industrial and outdoor use since they are durable and fire-resistant. Wood is the most common material used in homes. Concrete is often used in gardens and commercial stairs.
Glass and tile are used in homes and commercial buildings, and stone is popular for gardens and grand staircases.
4. Treads Complete a Home
Treads should complement your home decor. If you own furnishings made of wood, like chairs and paneling, you should consider matching the color and quality, if not the actual species of tree.
Treads can also be used strategically to brighten a space. Poplar wood adds warmth, while hickory feels light and natural. Oak comes in white and red, while maple’s tans and whites match most decor.
Treads can greatly enhance the style of your home. If your theme is a rustic hunting lodge, you probably don’t want glass or tile treads. Instead, you might opt for rustic-grade, dark walnut wood.
5. Choosing Treads
Factors to consider when choosing your treads include cost, quality, visual style, and ease of installation.
For example, marble looks fantastic on an elegant staircase, and it will last for centuries. But it is pricey, and installing this heavy stone can require a small tractor.
When choosing wood treads, consider grade. The grade is the visual quality, and ranges from Select, the most uniform, to Rustic, which is full of variation.
Try to find a seller who is upfront about important details, like Really Cheap Floors. They state the grade, price, and width of the treads, as well as everything you need to know before purchasing for your project.
Stair Treads: Beautiful and Useful
What are stair treads best at? Adding function and attractiveness to your home and business spaces.
Now that you know the basics, feel free to get creative with your next stairway project. And if you enjoyed this information, please check out more of our home improvement articles.