When you’re looking for stair railings, there are a few factors that you need to keep in mind. Some of these factors include the wood’s price, durability, and wear and decay resistance. Here are some of the best wood options for your stair railings.

Hardwood vs. softwood

When choosing wood for your staircase railings, you have choices. Hardwood is always the best choice, but there are also softwood varieties. Hardwood is more expensive, so if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, you may want softwood.

Softwood is less expensive and offers similar qualities as hardwood. It’s a popular choice for construction projects. It’s easy to paint and stain and durable. It’s a popular choice for stair railings and flooring choices.

Hardwood comes from trees with protected seeds. As a result, it’s more durable than softwood. A high Janka rating characterizes it. That is why hardwood handrail Westerly, RI, is preferred for stair treads.

Resistant to wear and decay

To build stairs resistant to wear and decay, you must choose a suitable material. A good choice for stairs is decay-resistant lumber. Deicing salt can accelerate the deterioration of metal railings. Water from melting snow can also seep into wooden stair railing materials. Water freezes into small crevices and expands as it freezes, leading to decay further. This problem can increase if you live in an area where temperatures are very drastic.


One of the most important factors to consider is the durability of the wood used for stairs railings. Hardwood lumber is typically more durable than softwood because the grain grows in one direction. Moreover, the wood used in construction typically has a high Janka score, making it better for treads.

The most common wood for stairs is oak, which comes in two varieties: red oak and white oak. Red oak is the most common and grows across North America. It is a light, fine-grained, and durable variety. Southern yellow pine is another good choice for wood stairs because it has a distinctive grain and good character.

When considering the durability of wood for stairs railings, it is essential to consider the kind of use the stairs will get. Some types are better for indoor use, while others are better for outdoor use. If you’re building a wooden staircase for a business, you may want to choose a wood that can withstand the rigors of high traffic.


The cost of wood for stairs railings depends on several factors. The size of your staircase will significantly impact the price of your stairway handrail, as well as any associated stair treads and railings. You should also consider the “changes in direction” that your stairs have, as this will add to the project’s total cost.

The best way to determine the cost of installing wood stair railings is to talk to a local carpenter. These professionals are experienced and skilled and will handle the installation of your railings with minimal fuss. Be sure to get several quotes before making a final decision. Once you’ve compared the price quotes of local carpenters, you’ll be able to choose the one with the perfect skill-price ratio.

Wood railing costs about $30-$75 per linear foot. Hardwood railings will blend with modern decor styles. They can be stained in any color. If your stairs are outside, you’ll want to use pressure-treated hardwood or weatherproof softwood.