One question I hear every day is, “Do you install and refinish staircases? Believe it or not, many flooring companies do not offer this service because wood staircases require experienced craftsmen with an eye for detail. Over almost 60 years, we have done wood staircases and iron staircases. We have also done balusters, neo poles, railings, and custom staining. We also custom design modern staircases.

7 Things You Need to Know Before Installing Wood Stairs, Railings, and Balustrades

Know the lingo: When installing stairs into your home, you should know some of the keywords when it comes to the staircase. Knowing the following four terms will help you better explain to and understand your construction team. The first term to know is the “treads,” which is simply the individual steps themselves. Next, the “rise is the space in between each of the treads. And finally, in terms of horizontal measurement, the depth of each of the treads can be called either the “run” or “going.”

Choose the best location. For starters, you need to decide if the staircase is going to be the feature element upon entering your home. If so, you should place it so it is the first thing you see once you enter the front door or at least very close by. Otherwise, you do not want to locate it there, as it will be taking up valuable “main space” for whatever you do choose to be the feature element of your home, such as space for a nice chandelier. To decide whether you want your stairs to be the feature element of your home, you need to ask yourself, “What is being gained access to upstairs?” and “How often are the stairs going to be used?” If the answer to that question is the bedrooms and bathroom, then you know they will be a very high traffic staircase, and would be well-suited to be the feature element. Otherwise, if it is something more to the effect of a basement or attic, it will be lower traffic. Therefore, the traffic of the staircase is a good indicator as to whether you want your staircase to be your home’s feature element or not.

Know your home’s measurements. Once you have found the perfect location for your stairs, now it is time to figure out some very important measurements. The measurements that will be determined upon building staircases are: the amount of floor space available, the thickness of your floors, and the height of your ceilings. While many houses are different, the rise and run are typically very similar from staircase to staircase. The rise (or the height from the top of one tread to the next) is typically a minimum of 190 mm and a maximum of 195 mm. The run (or the depth of a tread) is typically a minimum of 240 mm and a maximum of 355 mm. You want to make sure the rise and run are within these guidelines for your safety.

This may sound tricky at first, but Ace Wood Flooring is a very knowledgeable and experienced resource that will calculate these measurements for your home to ensure the perfect staircase for you.

Have a set budget. This may be the most important part of the process for you, as it is for most people. Know how much money you have to spend on a staircase at this time. If your budget is limited, you should be exploring the more standard staircase equipment for cheaper materials, such as carpeting for your stairs. However, if you have more funds for spending, it would definitely be worth browsing more creative designs to add more uniqueness to your feature element staircase. Doing as such would also add more value to your house.

Choose the right materials. There is a wide variety of materials that can be used on your stairs that can accommodate to any budget. Depending upon your style, you can mix materials or have them all the same, it is really up to you. To give you an idea on some materials you can mix and match, there are stainless steel, glass, carpet, concrete, and many different hardwood materials to choose from.

Know your space. As previously mentioned in the measurements section, it is good to know the space you are working with. If you have a wide open space, you can have a large staircase, otherwise you can have a more compact staircase for tight space, and can even get creative with different designs depending upon your house’s accommodations.

A very popular design for people who have small space to work with but still wish for a more modern staircase is the spiral staircase. Spiral staircases have a single post at the center from the ground going straight up the distance of the stairs with treads winding around it getting smaller and smaller as you go down. These are wonderful for reduced space and have an incredible look so they can still be your feature element.

Another style of staircase for people with limited space but a bigger budget is a dog leg staircase. These are much less common than the spiral staircase, but still give off a modern look. Dog leg stairs are two flights of stairs that change in direction half way up, therefore saving half the space compared to your typical single run staircase. Dog leg staircases are commonly the feature element in split level homes with the front entrance located between the two halves of the stairs.

Handrails and balustrades. Now that you have chosen the right staircase to fit your home and lifestyle, the creative design of your staircase does not end there. You may be wondering, “What is so great about the handrails?” Having a unique handrail can make your staircase even more festive. You can choose from many different materials for the handrail and balustrades and have it in many unique designs, so long as it fits the right measurements. So, what are those measurements? The height of the balustrades have to be at least 1 m above the floor with gaps between the posts of less than 125 mm for your safety, particularly the safety of babies who may try to fit their heads through the gap.

If you have any questions, please contact Troy at 401-241-3966 or email info (at) As you know, our motto is, “We answer the phone.” Give us a call!