Foyer traditional-entry


Tigerwood flooring, oak staircase stained with tigerwood. 10' Ceilings, 7-1/4" Crown and base moulding.

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September 20, 2013
markdyoung wrote:
Lovely! What stain was used on the stair treads and rail? - We're in the same situation: we have oak hardwood stairs (stained medium-light) and intend to install tigerwood flooring, IF we can make it work with the oak stairs. Any suggestions? Maybe a cognac stain for the treads with the risers painted white? We'd like a stain that will pull out the orange-red of the tigerwood and maybe also de-emphasize the strong grain of the oak (which doesn't really match the grain of the tigerwood). Any insight would be sincerely appreciated!
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Dare Group, LLC
IF is not the question....the treads in the picture are white oak. Red oak actually works better from a color outcome when going for anything in the orange-red family. They are also readily available at Lowes and are also cost effective at approximately $12.00 - $20.00 per tread.
Treads - options

1. Remove and Replace - By far the most time and $$ efficient in the end because you have almost no down time as you leave the current treads in tact until the new treads and railing are fit and finished. Its worth the $300-$400 to replace 17 treads on average and avoid saying, "I wish I had not chosen this route" a month later. If you are a re-use person, then just plan properly and do it right, or sell the old ones on-line....

2. COMPLETE Remove and Refinish - Remove newel posts, railing, and spindles then either Dip (chemical strip) & Sand or Sand with palm sander....this option sucks to do yourself, unless you actually remove the treads and get them to a garage, or open area where you can ensure you get all the top coat sealer and as much of the stain that you can while smoothing out nicks and scratches. Still very time will spend an hour or more on each tread for the entire project if you choose the do it yourself route.

3. Refinish in Place - This one, makes me sick to my stomach even thinking about. You will end up more frustrated, and in the end typically unhappy with the outcome from a quality standpoint. It very likely will look like a failed attempt and may even turn out bad enough to force you into the COMPLETE Remove & Replace method indirectly. Attempt at own

Solution Recommendation: REMOVE AND REFINISH OR REPLACE AND MAKE A CUSTOM STAIN TO MATCH YOUR FLOORS TO YOUR LIKENESS AND LIGHTING - "Ligerwood Stain" - Mix it, then name it in case you ever need it again.

1. Take 2-3 samples of the wood flooring that best reflects or contains the color you have envisioned for the outcome of the treads and head to your local Sherwin Williams. Take with you one of the old treads and test an area on the bottom side of the tread that will never be seen anyway after re-install, or if you did not remove the treads, buy a sample piece that best matches the grain pattern in the same species at Lowes in the same aisle as the stair parts. That is actually pathetic that I know that.....

2. Buy a quart as a base color sample of Sherwin Williams Wood Classics® 250 VOC Interior Oil Based Stain - or - The same color in the water-based version. I personally like the water based because it penetrates deeper into the wood bringing out the richness of the color when using a dark stain. PLUS - the oil based is more of a topcoat and will need to be resealed every year to 2 years depending on the foot traffic whereas the water based, every 3 - 5. If you buy an acrylic or water based product, make sure to also buy the corresponding sealer for that stain base. I always use a satin finish as opposed to a high gloss. To me it gives a richness and allows you to see the wood more naturally and with a high gloss you will not only see every imperfection but you will see every scratch, but also any imperfection during the applying or curing process will stick out like a sore thumb and makes it much harder to get the perfect finish without taking them to a professional applicator with a climate controlled paint booth....

COLOR : Orangewood (SW3108). Also buy 6 Tack Towels, a gallon of Sanding Sealer, 12 Stain Pads, and 80, 120, 160, and 240 Grit Sandpaper or blocks if refinishing......120, and 240 Grit if the treads are new.

3. The rep from SW will match the stain and apply to the test wood you provide and darken as needed to obtain the richness you it and you are ready.

With Tigerwood treads, a great look is Charcoal or Black risers....

After allowing sanding sealer to dry (strep b below), apply a generous amount of water based BLACK stain to the area on the tread with darker and deeper wood grains that you would want to stand out through the finish. Let it set for 45 seconds then wipe away all excess. Repeat no more than 2 times then carry on to step c and apply the overcoat of the custom stain. This will darken the grains to reveal more resembling the typical Tigerwood floorings' boldness.....

There are tricks you can use to completely eliminate 1. seeing caulked or filled nail holes and 2. having to paint, caulk, and stain/seal on your knees on the's messy, uncomfy and by using biscuits, some dowels, a rubber mallet, some construction adhesive and some good old fashioned patience and time spent laying out before hand, you can have seamless stair installations that you couldn't find a nail hole if you tried and will be sturdier than ever....that goes for the shaky railing and spindle problem that is rampant and is really just from improper layout and improper installation creating incorrect weight balance which puts stress on all connected components and could be dangerous as the weight rating becomes non-existent. If you have a newel post half way up your stairwell for any reason OTHER than looks or your height from the tread face to the top of the railing varies more than a quarter inch....this is you.

General Process

a. Remove, Strip, Sand
b Apply Sanding Sealer
c. Apply Stain
d. Apply Finish
e. Re-install caught me in an inspirational moment. Please know these are opinions based on my experiences. You definitely should consult a carpenter on site or Bob Villa before attempting as I cannot see your exact situation, or conditions that exist I am unaware of.....just guidelines from a helpful soul. Please let me know how it goes, what you decided to do and some pics upon completion!

Thank you!
Shawn D.
2 Likes    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 8:13PM
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Wow - thanks for the great response! If we do stick with the existing treads, we'll hire a local pro to sand them down properly, and probably go with wrought iron spindles. Thanks for the tips re the stains. Charcoal or black risers isn't something I had considered but after some research, I agree - definitely something to consider. Thanks again for the insight!
    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 1:44PM
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