Serving Northern Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C.
Your Stairs: Four Important Questions You Should
Ask Yourself Before Starting
Carpeted stairs have fallen out of fashion lately. What's
hot these days is hardwoodbeautiful, gleaming oak,
cherry, maple, walnut, or mahogany. Making the switch from
carpet to wood, though, could have some pitfalls.
Maybe you've pulled the old carpet off your stairs and are
thinking about refinishing the wood underneath. This seems
like a simple, straight-forward solution, but there are a few
things you should know first. Here are four questions you'll
want to ask yourself to make sure refinishing is a good choice
1: How tolerant are you of chaos?
Refinishing a staircase is a big, messy job—stripping
the old varnish; running the sander for hours with dust
flying everywhere; applying several coats of the new
varnish and letting them dry; hoping the varnish goes
on evenly; waiting at least 48 hours for the final coat
to dry completely; and finallycleaning up the dust
settled throughout the house during the process.
will also disrupt life as you know it in your home—even
if you hire someone else to do the work for you. There will
be several days when you won't be able to use the stairs
at all. You'll have to hope you don't forget to bring everything
down from the bedrooms that you are going to need. And don't
forget the air mattresses since you'll most likely be sleeping
on the floor.
If you're determined to refinish, there is a way to keep the stairs in use
throughout the varnishing process, although it will double the total time.
All you have to do is apply the coats of varnish to every other stair, let
it dry completely, and then do the remaining stairs. Of course, this will only
work if all members of the household are capable of going up and down the steps two at a time.
Question 2. What kind of wood are your
stairs made of?
You might be lucky and discover a hardwood like oak
or maple under the old carpet. If it turns out to be
a softer wood like pine, you'll want to think twice
about refinishing—a soft wood is not going to hold
up well under the kind of traffic your stairway gets. If
you're not sure what kind of wood you have, try digging your
fingernail into it. If it makes any kind of dent, it's not
a good candidate for refinishing.
Question 3. Are you a passionate do-it-yourselfer?
If you are, and if you have a lot of free time, and
a very patient family, then this might be a challenging
and satisfying project for you. If not, it's best
to admit it upfront and hire someone to refinish your stairs
for you. Of course, this means that you will basically be
paying someone's salary for a week or more. And you'll still
be stuck with the mess and inconvenience.
Question 4. When your stairs are unusable
several days, will your family still have access
to a full bathroom?
This should be obvious, but it's surprising how many
people don't think of it.
Is there another solution? YES...Stair ReCrafting!
We've painted a bleak, but realistic picture of the stair
refinishing process. Fortunately, you have another option—short
of ripping out your existing stairs and starting all over—it's
called Stair ReCrafting!
At Signature Woodcrafters
we call it "ReCrafting."
We could have called it refacing, but then you might think
that we're just going to apply some flimsy veneers to your
old stairs, and that's not what we do at all.
Our ReCrafting process, step-by-step:
Step 1: When we re-craft your stairs, we begin by taking
accurate measurements of your treads and risers. If any
of the steps are curved, we make exact templates
(patterns) of them.
You select your favorite look from six different hardwoods
and a multitude of stain colors. For the risers, you can
either match your treads, or have them painted white.
With re-crafting, you have many more style choices than
just whatever happens to be under your old carpet.
In our woodshop in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch
country, we custom-build each tread and riser
to fit perfectly. Each component is completely
pre-finished to your specifications which means you
won't have to wait days for the varnish to dry. By the way,
our components are 100% solid hardwood—
no chipboard, no plywood, no veneers. The tread
thickness ranges from 1/2" to 1". Risers are 1/4".
This means you are getting authentic stair parts that will
last a lifetime and will add genuine value to your home.
Once your components are completed, we install
them over your existing stairs. The "nose" of each
old tread (the part that sticks out) is carefully removed
to allow for a perfect fit. Having Signature Woodcrafters'
expert installers do it for you guarantees your complete
satisfaction with the results.
The entire process is usually
completed in one day with no mess, and you'll have access to
your stairs throughout the process. Family life will go
on as normal.
In summary, Signature Woodcrafters' Stair
Quality assurance; the best workmanship in the Mid-Atlantic