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Tread carefully: Types of wood to use on your stairs

With so many to choose from, selecting the all-important materials to use when constructing your wooden stairs can be daunting. Here at Multi-Turn, we’ve produced our fair share of flights over the years (enough to climb Mount Everest five times over in the last 10 years alone!), and have experienced the pros and cons of the different options available.

If you’re in the process of planning your project and trying to figure which type of wood to use on your stairs, stick around while we share some of our favourites to help you decide.

Hardwood vs. Softwood

Contrary to what the names suggest, hardwood and softwood are distinguished by their reproduction rather than their strength or appearance. Hardwood will generally come from deciduous trees that shed their leaves annually, while softwood is typical of conifer trees that remain evergreen. Deciduous trees tend to take longer to grow, so the hardwood obtained from them is usually denser and more durable.

Types of wood


Pine is a popular softwood that naturally comes in a golden or whitish natural colour with brown knots. It’s easy to work with and more porous than a lot of woods, so can be treated, painted or varnished to get the desired finish. Pine can be grown extremely quickly too, so is a great option if you want to choose something more sustainable.


White oak is one of the most popular and hardwearing hardwood timbers used in construction. Here at Multi-Turn, we love the distinctive striped grain and when using on our stairs, will often recommend to leave it with a clear finish to accentuate its natural attributes.


This hardwood can be found in shades of rich golden to dark reddish-brown with a straight grain, making it a close match to the visual appearance and durable properties of mahogany. With our stairs, we often combine sapele with contrasting white components to create an eye-catching statement feature.


Often considered the ultimate luxury choice when it comes to staircases, walnut is typically characterised by its rich brown colour and unique grain. Though tough and durable, it is easy to work with and can be finished precisely. Walnut will often be used in contrast with lighter coloured materials for a striking appearance and can be combined with glass and metals for statement stairs.

Ultimately, the choice is yours! Explore our full range of timber options and get in touch with us on 01962 712299 if you have any questions.


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