It is first important to identify the architectural theme of the home. We have tried to simplify the process by identifying common architectural styles to use as a reference.
The majority of this site shows raw, unfinished red oak stair components. Red oak, because of its timeless beauty and durability, has long been the standard choice for flooring and stair parts. Many people choose their wood species based on flooring options, availability of the specie, cost, and even matching the wood of their furniture.
In the section titled "Basic Stair Design" we identify these rail classifications. The choice is completely up to you! If your style draws you to the clean lines of continuous handrails, then an OTP system would be the way to go. If you prefer the look of box newels, or newels with decorative tops, then the PTP system may be a better option for you. You can also make rail transitions more decorative by combining the two styles and utilizing fittings that transition into the newel rather than running over the top of it. This is known as a railing that runs post-to-post with fittings.
Selecting your newels will quickly determine both your rail orientation (PTP or OTP) and streamline your stair system decision. If you are choosing box newels or a newel with a ball top detail, you have already selected a post-to-post rail system. If you decide you are set on an iron newel post or a round Sheraton F4454, this will lend itself to an over-the-post railing system. Factors including size of the newel and visual impact that it will make at the beginning of the staircase are important to determine.
Once you have selected your newel post, you will notice that we have created systems of products that work in conjunction with one another. This does not limit your handrail or baluster selection to one particular family. It is your design! These systems simply work together based on size proportion and availability of fittings for the handrails. Ultimately it is important that if you have chosen an OTP rail system that the profile of handrail you have selected has corresponding fittings available. Certain rails do not have fittings due to their sizes and the limited geography where they will pass code. *Always check building codes before purchasing or installing stair parts.
As you have seen by this point, there are many systems of products that work together in families. If you are choosing wood products, you can easily select balusters that match the turning of the newel post you have selected. You can also mix and match, selecting square balusters with no turning details. If you are looking for different materials, iron or stainless cable is a great option. Forged iron balusters and the variety of details that they offer can provide a unique layout pattern option for your home. Pictured throughout the catalog are several patterns that homeowners have chosen. You can also go bold and create your own unique pattern.
Sometimes the perfect shoes make the outfit. Do you want wood treads? Carpet? Do want to match your wall rail brackets to your door hinge color? All of these choices are the icing on the cake. Be fearless. Be bold. Let your stairs take your home to the next level.