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Thread: Exposed wood stair stringers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Western PA

    Exposed wood stair stringers

    I recently had someone contact me to make walnut treads for them. Simple enough, but during the discussion they werenít sure if they would go with steel stringers or walnut stringers to match the treads. The treads and stringers will be exposed in this case. I donít have interest in making the stringers for them and I hope they go with metal, but it did make me wonder how the pros make exposed wood stringers. Do they use LVL type products wrapped or veneered in walnut, or are people using 10-12í+ lengths of 10/4 or 12/4? Iíve been around my share of lumber and I canít say many hardwood dealers have that kind of stock. Assuming that the boards need to be 10-12Ē in width as well.

    Hereís a random photo from the internet as an example. This looks like Doug fir or maybe oak, which are way more common in longer lengths than walnut.

  2. #2
    Not sure what you mean by "exposed stringers". I don't see a photo in your post. If they need to be as thick and long as you suggest, then they likely would have to be laminated or veneered in some way. Lvl wouldn't be a bad core for veneering. For a traditional staircase with treads and risers housed on one or both sides the stringers are typically 1" thick which makes sourcing material easier.

  3. #3
    I would not use walnut stringers. Too dark. Would only use white or light yellow. Most stairs are poorly lit. Let the walnut be the star.

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