Prefabricated Wood Stairs

Have you been wowed by gorgeous wood staircases in new or remodeled houses you have seen? You can get that great look in your own home through using prefabricated wood stairs. Workers create these works of art in the factory and ship them to you ready to be installed. In many cases prefabricated wood stairs can be put in your home in a matter of hours. Having your contractor build them, or building them yourself, can take days.

Prefabricated wood stairs come in a wide range of fine woods, finishes, and styles. You can choose from circular staircases, curved staircases, and straight stairs. Woods used in prefab stairs include such hardwoods as cherry, walnut, maple, oak, and mahogany. These fine woods, when worked by fine craftsmen, will beautify your home with an elegant natural look.

Stairway Design

A typical method of construction of circular prefabricated wood stairs begins with the center column. The steps, or "treads," are mortised, meaning they have indentations cut into them for locking together with the other parts. They are then glued and screwed into the column for strength and security.

Balusters are attached that extend from or through the treads and up into the handrail. The handrail, a beautifully curved length of wood, can be constructed in different ways. Horizontal layers of wood laminated together make a particularly nice touch to the handrail of prefabricated wood stairs. The advantage to horizontal layers as opposed to vertical layers is that the vertical layers can cause the curved wood to pull out of shape over time.


Well made prefabricated wood stairs will be glued and bolted together at this time. The parts will form a single unit with components that won't rattle loosely or squeak at the joints. This spiral staircase will then be placed in a huge crate for shipping directly to your new home or remodeling site. Depending on the manufacturer, you may opt to have the staircase finished before it arrives, or you can stain and finish it yourself to your own taste.

Because these are custom made products, you can have your say about the style of your prefabricated wood stairs. For instance, you can opt to get turned balusters or plain ones. You can have your choice of rail designs, too. If you have unique ideas, you may be able to have those worked out by these woodworking professionals.

Stairway Accessories

The same companies that make prefabricated wood stairs can also create matching stairwell rails and balcony rails for the top of your stairs. These can be straight or curved depending on your wishes and needs. The balusters, which are sometimes called "pickets," have to be no more than four inches apart for safety around little children. If this is not a concern, they can be placed six inches apart.

If you are installing circular prefabricated wood stairs, you have a choice of rotation. This term refers to the direction the stairs spiral. If you are looking up the staircase, if the handrail is to your left, the stairs will spiral in a clockwise fashion. If the handrail is to the right, the stairs will spiral in a counter clockwise manner.

One more term you may run into when ordering prefabricated wood stairs is "volute." The volute is a scroll shaped element added at the very beginning of the railing. Basically it is a decorative starter post at the bottom of the stairs. They add strength as well as beauty to the staircase.

See Also:

Pull-down Attic Stairs
Stair Design