For many years, hardwood staircases have been a beautiful element in buildings, homes and cruise ships. It is the Colonial era of the 1600s that history attributes for ushering in the use of wood plank flooring.
Later, simple and functional designs gave way to elegant works of art involving French parquetry in the Baroque era beginning around 1625. During this historic period, oiled stair and hand chiseled designs were found only in the wealthiest homes creating dramatic impressions.
The Fascinating History of Hardwood Staircases
The mass production of wood floors and staircases did not occur until the onset of the American Victorian era in the 1840’s. Over the ensuing years, construction, design, and finishes were greatly improved upon. The wax finish reigned supreme, but gave way to the polyurethane finish in the 1930’s. Sadly enough, it was the carpet boom after WWII that left so many beautiful wood floors and stairs covered and all but forgotten.
Hardwood Staircases Can Bring the Outdoors Inside
Like any other staircase, hardwood staircases are a means of transport from one elevation to another. A sublime amenity of a hardwood staircase is its ability to create a natural and sturdy stair while bringing the strength and freshness of the outdoors inside. The smooth and even flowing elegance of hardwood stairs is a direct result of the use of fine exotic woods tempered by unique handcrafted workmanship and styles.
The Most Common Types of Hardwood Staircase Designs
Though many designs have found their way into expression throughout history, there are three main types of hardwood staircases. These are curved, spiral, and straight. The type of wood used is determined by the homeowner with respect to how much they want to spend, and if they are interested in a highly renewable wood species. Of the hardwoods, Red and White Oak are among the easiest to regenerate. Following close behind are Poplar, Maple, Ash, Cherry and Alder.