We were pretty happy with the sample stain, but the hardest part of this decision was which wood to choose. Do we go with maple or oak? We actually have dark bamboo hardwood in many of the rooms in our house (those that aren't tiled) and wanted to make sure the stair treads matched up with that. We originally thought maple, as the look of maple wood (very little grain) is more comparable to the bamboo, however the railing for our stairs is oak. So oak it is! We figured we should keep consistency within the stairs and keeping it all oak was the best way to do this.
So we crossed our fingers, met the guys on the day they arrived with the treads, went to work and prayed that we wouldn't come home to the biggest mistake we'd ever made.
We left our stairs in the morning looking like this:
and came home to this:
Phew! The treads looked fabulous. The stain on the oak is so dark, that its hard to see a lot of the grain (which works well with the bamboo) and the stain colour is pretty much a perfect match. HUGE sigh of relief!
However, we were met with a few new challenges. Notice the difference in the end posts on the railings?
We had talked about cutting off the end of the bottom stair so that it didn't round out, and wanted the railing made into a straight line to the bottom. In doing that, the stair builders had to cut the railing fairly short to deal with the curve at the end, and this resulted in the end post being mounted higher up than we had hoped. Whomp whomp.
You may have also noticed the gap of tile that now exists beside the bottom stair. We did think of this before and have extra tile lying around, so we'll be able to fill that hole up. One day we would LOVE to replace these floors (not really our style), but thats a huge (and expensive!) undertaking since these floors carry through our entire main floor into the kitchen. One day...one day.
We also found that the bottom post itself was no longer substantial to hold the weight of the stairs (not literally of course), but it no longer looked large enough. Strike 2.
So the best way to resolve this? Build up the bottom post. This also poses the problem, that we need to build up the 2 posts at the top of the staircase as well....hmmmm...so we're in the process of working on this.
Issue #2- railing colour does NOT match with the treads. Sigh. Our last post filled you in on how much time we spent trying to find the darkest brown paint we could...and apparently its not dark enough! So now, we need to get the railings all repainted...ONCE we find a darker brown or colour match something else that we have that is a very dark SOLID brown colour.
So there you have it. I truly feel that these stairs will look great once we get everything right...its just taking longer than we anticipated. Go figure.
We've still come a long way so far...
I also wanted to mention that the walls will all be painted (the current colours are the choices of the previous homeowners) and the hallway light fixtures replaced (not exactly our style), so a lot more work to do!
The staircase saga continues...
Melissa and Ian