Wood Selection

Wood Stair Part Types

Our selection of wood stair parts includes over 20 different wood species that can be custom milled to match your project’s look and design. We offer both red oak and white oak stair parts for the creation of quality oak handrails, newels, oak treads, and stairway balusters. We feature exotic wood types such as Brazilian walnut (ipe), Brazilian cherry, and hickory, for handrails, treads, and other wood stair parts. We also offer a great assortment of stair tread materials including red oak treads, hickory steps, and Brazilian cherry stairs for exotic interior wood designs. Let us help you with your next project if you’re looking to update, replace or renovate your stairway, railing or related project.

wood species


Hard Maple

Maple is a tight finely grained wood that is white with occasional brown streaks. Maple is a highly flexible wood that can be finished naturally for a very white appearance or it can be stained a light brown or a dark red. Maple is hard and durable and an excellent choice for stair parts. Maple machines extremely well and sands very smooth.


It is a beautiful wood with exaggerated grain and a significant amount of color variation. In any hickory board you will see light and dark sections. The color variation adds to the natural beauty of this wood. Hickory is often used in cabins and rustic situations. Hickory is the hardest domestic wood making it a favored choice for high traffic areas. Hickory is easy stain and finish. Hickory is prone to a lot of movement with humidity changes. Stair Supplies is careful to be sure that surfaces are glued together well, but it is possible that warping and bending can occur with any wood and it is slightly more likely with hickory. Stair Supplies manufactures and distributes a large number of hickory stair parts every day. Call a stair specialist for help in selecting the right parts for your stairs.

Red Oak Stair Parts

Red Oak is the most common species used for wood stair parts in the United States. Its very popular because it is plentiful and easy to use. Red oak machines extremely well, which makes it a good candidate for Red Oak handrails, railing, newels and Red Oak treads. Its also one of the easiest woods to stain, sand and finish. It has a coarse open grain that gives it a warm feel, and is usually pink in color but since there are many subspecies of red oak, it can have many different colors, from light brown to slightly green.


White Oak

White oak is very similar to its cousin Red Oak. The major technical differences are that white oak is slightly harder and it is far more water resistant. The subjective differences are that white oak tends to be more gray or even slightly green in color, and the grain in white oak tends to be more swirling. The oak family has several subspecies and becomes very difficult to differentiate, but oak generally offers a quality wood stair part, which is why oak stair parts, and oak handrails are very popular for staircase designs.

Differentiating White Oak vs. Red Oak

White oak is generally preferred for furniture over red oak because of its grain pattern. Oak machines extremely well and it is the easiest wood to stain sand and finish. Contrary to popular opinion Red Oak and White Oak cannot be differentiated based upon color. The test to determine red and white oak is the length of the rays or the small bands that make up the “grain.” Red oak has bands that are short usually around 1/4?. White Oak has longer bands usually about 1/2?.

Stair Supplies manufactures and distributes a large number of white oak stair parts every day. Call a stair specialist for help in selecting the right parts for your stairs.

Soft Maple

Woodworkers often request Soft Maple as a lower cost alternative to the very popular Hard Maple. However, don’t let the name mislead you, while softer than “Hard Maple” this is still a durable wood, great for Stair Parts.

Medium density, hardness and strength, machining and finishing properties are good, good stability, fine texture, close-grained, wood does not require filling, annual growth inconspicuous, heartwood color varies from pale tan to reddish-gray, sometimes streaked, sapwood is white to off-white.

Legacy Finishes