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When it comes to design and craftsmanship, staircase and tread material catches the eye, especially in entrances and foyers that open to a staircase. A staircase naturally leads the eyes upward, and in the process, the viewer takes in details toward the ceiling like crown moulding, lighting, exposed beams, or custom joists, for example. The materials chosen for stair treads create an effect of their own. Color, texture, and material make dominant impressions to reinforce or contrast existing themes within the home.

Stair treads fall into a few broad categories: natural hardwoods, composites, and other lesser used materials like steel or glass. Let’s take a look at some common stair tread materials so you can get a better idea of the options available and the impressions they can create.

stair treads

Wood Stair Treads

First, wood treads are best used indoors. While there are some hard wood species that do well outdoors, for the price you are paying, you may want to opt for composite.

That said, different species of wood will allow you to bring out different colors and tones inside to complement paint and other materials. Species like red oak offer a darker, rusty hue while white oak and maple are lighter. Both oak and maple have a medium bending strength, and maple in particular offers high resistance to abrasion.

Some clients look for something more unique, like distressed or reclaimed wood including beams from antique structures like barns or farmhouses. The goal is to highlight the age and imperfections and accentuate them against a cleaner and calmer palette around the staircase.

Composite Stair Treads

Composite materials are popular, especially for outdoor stairs and decking. Most importantly, composite treads won’t fade, scratch, chip, splinter, or rot like wood. Additionally, they come in a variety of colors and textures, and they can mimic the grains of hard woods if you want something that looks close to natural.

The biggest appeal for Myrtle Beach residents is that composite treads won’t suffer the affects of mold, mildew, and rot if they are outside. While not as popular for an inside stair tread, they do make a practical solution for fast and easy cleaning.

coastal style foyer south carolina beach

Other Stair Tread Materials

For the adventuresome homeowner looking for something a little different, there are other options. Stair treads can be made of glass, stainless steel, or concrete. These lesser-used materials are sure to garner attention and catch the eye of visitors. Manufactured materials like these also pair well with natural materials when used sparingly. The contrast between industrial and natural materials shouldn’t be relegated to just trendy restaurants. Creative homeowners can employ these design strategies to wonderful effect.

Get Creative with Odom Design

Odom Design is Myrtle Beach’s premier building of custom and concept homes. We bring an artist’s eye to each project, creating unique yet functional homes designed for the lives that inhabit them.

To learn more about our design-build services, contact us today.