Elements of Custom Wood Stairs


Your New Wood Stairs

If you’re designing or renovating your home, use the stairways to add elements of custom appeal and flair. Stairs are not just for getting from one floor the next; a beautiful stairway is a dramatic centerpiece that will set the tone for your whole house. You can use a finish that matches your wood floors, or use a different shade to create a striking contrast.

Stairs can be stick-built or refaced. With either system you’ll have your choice of wood types and finishes.

When choosing what kind of stairs you’d like, it’s important to know that stairs are actually made of up several different elements. Selecting the right style and color of each one will create an integrated design unique to your home.

Stair Parts

There are many elements that make up your stair case.  In this section we will share, in elementary terms, what each of those components are and the purpose they serve.  In many instances Cochran’s works with its clients to deliver custom wood stairs.


• These are the top part of the stair that you put your feet on.
• They can be either flat or bent, depending on the stairway.
• The landing tread or shoe plate lets the stair transition to the upper flooring.


• The stringer is the backing part of the stair that holds, or strings, all the treads together.
• It’s important to have a stringer that is solidly built as it is the “backbone” of your stairway.
• If you’re refacing your stairs you’ll already have a stringer in place.

cochrans stair parts


• These are the front part of the stairs that cover the stringer.
• White-painted risers are a popular and classic design.
• Some outdoor stairs are built without risers but this is not recommended for indoor stairs.


• They come in many different sizes, styles and types.
• Straight handrails are made from a single, long piece of wood.
• Curved handrails are several pieces of wood spliced together.
• Handrail ends can be straight, curved or end in a curling shape called a volute.

Custom Handrails for stairs


• Long slender pieces of wood that help hold up the handrail
• Can be wood or wrought iron
• Come in a wide variety of shapes, styles and sizes


• Main support of your staircase
• Can be boxed or turned
• Always found at the foot of a stairway and sometimes at the top

Your Stairs, Your Style

When selecting custom wood stairs, consider what shape you’d like:

Straight stairs give a timeless, classic look that goes with any décor.
Spiral staircases are striking but can be difficult for some people to use.
Curved staircases add enormous elegance to any home.

matching treads and floors

Keep in mind that stairs are a high-traffic are so you want a durable material. To avoid slipping and to add a more luxurious touch, consider placing a carpet runner over your new wood stairs.

At Cochran’s Lumber we craft custom wood stairs that reflect your style and create a focal point for your decorating scheme. Like our custom crafted wood floors, these stairs will be part of an integrated design scheme that will add timeless beauty and natural charm to your home.


Custom Wood Stair Quote Request


Cochran’s is a family-owned business located in the hills of Virginia. At our millworks, we work with traditional American woods using traditional American techniques that have endured for generations. Call us today and discover how our reclaimed, engineered or newly milled woods can help you create a home filled with timeless beauty.