Timber cut to size wood for staircases

Now the new year is in full swing, you might be thinking about upgrading your home interior. There are many ways to upgrade your home, but why not focus your attention towards your stairs? Timber stair parts can make any home look stylish and modern, whilst adding a classic feel with certain woods, such as oak. In this blog, Timber 2 U Direct are going to talk you through the many different timber stair parts, and how you can use them to enhance your staircase and your home.

Different Timber Stair Parts

The first thing you need to know is how many components go into a set of stairs. It’s not as simple as you may think. There are many different elements that make up a set of stairs. Some can exist without one another but the majority of them are vital. They all fit together, making it easy for you to customise your stairs to fit your home. 


First, let’s start with a balustrade. Balustrades are the pillars that are below the handrail. A balustrade is made up of vertical posts or solid sections that follow the path of the stairs upwards. The main purpose of these is to offer protection and to stop people from falling. Many materials can be used for this part of the stairs, including wood, metal, or glass panels. This may also be called a bannister.


A handrail is the railing that runs along the side of staircase. This is what people use as a grip when walking up or down a staircase to steady themselves and ensure they don’t fall. Handrails can be fitted against your wall, or on top of balustrades and spindles.

Newel Posts, Caps, And Bases

Newel stair parts are a little more in-depth as there are multiple elements to them. A newel post is the upright post that is situated at the top or bottom of your staircase banister. This secures the balustrade, handrail, and base rail, giving them structure and strength. It also allows you to add a decorative touch to your stairway. 

There are many different types of newel posts that differ depending on your style. Complete newel posts incorporate a newel base and the post to create an entirely new unit. Sometimes the caps are attached to this, but this doesn’t have to be the case. A newel base is the square part at the bottom of post and a newel cap is the block of wood that sits on top. The newel cap can be added in any style including spheres and cubes.

Base rail

You might not know what a base rail is. It is an important part of the stair buildling process and forms the base that holds the balustrade in place. A base rail is essential to the structural integrity of the bannister. It is supported at either end by newel posts. 

There are three separate types of base rail – grooved, un-grooved, and glass grooved. Groove base rails are as they sound. They have a groove running through the centre of the rail. This is where the spindles of the balustrade/bannister slot in place. Un-grooved base rails are solid and don’t have a groove running down the middle. A glass grooved base rail a deeper groove which is meant for slotting panels of glass. 

Nosing, Risers and Treads

These elements of timber stair parts are all up to personal preference. Nosing is the edge of a single stair. The tread is the main part of the stair in which someone will step on. A riser is the vertical element of the stair that connects one step to another. All of these can be customised and altered depending on the look you are going for. 

Best wood for your timber stair parts

When it comes to your timber stair parts and upgrading your home with a new staircase, there are many options of hardwood and softwood timber to choose from. Hardwood and softwood are the names given to certain type of timber, depending on how the trees reproduce – it has nothing to do with the strength of the wood itself. Hardwood is usually more expensive than softwood as the trees take longer to grow and can only grow under certain conditions. 

Oak VS Pine

Each wood has its own unique properties that may make it attractive to some but not to others. Two very common materials that timber stair parts are made of is Oak and Pine. Oak is a hardwood that is renowned for being strong and long lasting. The colour ranges from a blonde tone to dark brown. It has very attractive and distinctive grain. Oak is resistant to dents and scratches, and is a very low maintenance wood. This makes it ideal for those with families. Despite being a softwood, Pine is highly durable due to its close grain, although it can show scratches and dents. The colours range from light beige to a more yellow colour. This softwood has a straight grain with attractive knots, and is relatively low maintenance.

Sourcing Your Timber Stair Parts

Although Timber 2 U Direct don’t sell stair part profiles, we can provide you with the timber to do so. We have a wide range of made to measure timber, including multiple hardwoods and softwoods. Timber 2 U Direct will deliver your timber directly to your door from one of our many timber yards across the UK. This means you don’t have to worry about fitting the timber in your car! 

If you aren’t focusing on your stairs at the moment and you’re working on a different project, Timber 2 U Direct can help with that too. We offer a large range of timber profiles for the interior and exterior of your house, so no matter what DIY itch you have, we can help you scratch it! 

To find out more about the timber we offer, get in touch with our friendly team today, or call us on 0115 993 1111. We would love to hear from you and get you started on your timber DIY journey!