Staircase makeover - need advice!
Angie Schuster
February 11, 2014 in Design Dilemma
We are updating our entire staircase to get rid of the terrible carpet and faded wood. A few years ago, we updated the floors with solid hickory but left our 4" oak trim throughout the house. We want oil rubbed bronze iron ballusters and plan to do the stairs, railings/newells in hickory. This costs thousands more than oak. Do we take the plunge with hickory to match the floors? Or should we use oak or pine treads and risers and paint the steps and skirts and do hickory railings/newells? This is a huge deal - I don't want to make a costly design mistake.
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Peter B. Rice & Co
Are the floors upstairs Hickory as well.
February 11, 2014 at 11:05AM      Thanked by Angie Schuster
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Angie Schuster
You bring up a good point - they are nothing at this point because we will be ripping out the carpet too. If we do dark hickory steps to match our first floor, we will do natural oak hardwood upstairs and tie it in with a dark/light trim. if we paint the steps, we can do whatever we want up there.
February 11, 2014 at 11:21AM   
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Angie Schuster
I should also say - there is an upstairs balcony as well that overlooks the staircase on the left side. This will all show, too, from the bottom floor. Thanks for all advice!
February 11, 2014 at 11:22AM   
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Sustainable Dwellings
Please let us see some of the rest of the house so we can objectively assist you.
February 11, 2014 at 11:38AM      Thanked by Angie Schuster
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If you can afford to go with the hickory, I would. If not, go with what you can afford. Better to be able to pay the bills and eat than have beautiful floors and struggle financially.
February 11, 2014 at 11:39AM      Thanked by Angie Schuster
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Angie Schuster
I can upload more pics tonight. hayleydaniels, we can afford it...but we're not sure how long we will be living here, and we've already overdone it on this house for the neighborhood. I'm an obsessive decorator and have upgraded every single room in the house to the finest, and we're very happy with it. Just want to be sure i should do the very best once again!
February 11, 2014 at 11:49AM   
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Since you can afford it, it sounds to me like going with hickory is what would make you happy so go for it! Chalk the expense up to your hobby :).
February 11, 2014 at 11:53AM   
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Angie Schuster
I agree with you there. I wonder if stair makeovers can be recouped in resale like kitchens and bathrooms. We did those remodels right and are not worried about that. :)
February 11, 2014 at 11:56AM   
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Talk to some local real estate people to determine what sells in your local area. I don't believe such an upgrade would be a wise financial decision in my area, but our prices are low and there's lots of newer houses on the market for below replacement cost.

I would use oak treads and risers and then use a nice runner.
February 11, 2014 at 12:07PM      Thanked by Angie Schuster
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You could always paint the 4" oak trim white along with the trim and risers on the stairs. That would really make your hickory floors look amazing. The best answer is to go with the hickory for the stairs and beyond. You won't regret that--on the other hand you could very possibly regret going with the oak.

I know it's more money but if your can afford it, do it right. Don't sentence yourself to looking at the oak and thinking....if only I'd chosen the hickory.
February 11, 2014 at 12:40PM      Thanked by Angie Schuster
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Angie Schuster
leelee - and do hickory treads? That is an idea I hadn't thought of. What if we hate painted stairs? Has anyone regretted painting them? They look amazing in all the houzz pics but are they durable?
February 11, 2014 at 12:47PM   
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Angie Schuster
Sustainable Dwellings, I'm attaching pics that are more current to show the floor and trim, and our cream doors. You'll see that I've painted the stair skirt cream since the old pic I posted with the carpeted stairs. The skirt will be removed, so it's not a final finish, but I wanted to see how it would look painted.
February 12, 2014 at 9:24AM   
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look at then "restyling"
last Thursday at 5:11AM      Thanked by Angie Schuster
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I would do hickory stairs, painted risers and trim, and hickory on second floor. Here is the same concept using Brazilian cherry. We had to put several coats of paint on the risers to get a uniform look.
last Thursday at 6:03AM      Thanked by Angie Schuster
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Flourish Design Elements
Since you mentioned newels... I'd get rid of that old Turned one! We sell plenty of newel posts from simple to elegantly carved in any wood you chose to go with. I bet a Crocus would match your home wonderfully, especially with barrowp's suggestion of hickory stairs and painted risers! Either way, I'd definitely switch it out for something that will give your staircase a nice bold pop!
last Thursday at 11:08AM      Thanked by Angie Schuster
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