Atlanta Staircases 101

Elisabeth Stubbs, Co-Owner of Enhance Floors & More
Expert: Elisabeth Stubbs, Co-owner
Enhance Floors & More
Address: 1847 Roswell Road, Marietta, GA 30062 US

What are treads?  Risers?  
Treads are the part of the stair you step on. Risers are the piece of wood (painted or stained) that is to the back of and perpendicular to the tread.  
What are balusters? Shoes? Newel posts?
Balusters are the decorative pieces (wood or iron) that help support the handrailing of your staircase. Shoes are small wrought iron pieces that are attached to the bottom and sometimes the top of the baluster. Newel posts are the large oversized posts that support the handrail.
How long does an average staircase makeover take?
As little as one day and as many as five to six days. Once an estimator has been to your home, and evaluates the scope of the work, this question can be better answered.
How do I decide if I want to go with a painted riser or a stained riser?
Look at pictures to determine your preference. If you stain your risers, the wood stain color becomes very dominant. A painted riser makes it easier to differentiate each tread and draws your eye toward the staircase.  
How do I design my balusters?
There are online tools that assist you in designing your new staircase. You can “drag” different balusters and newel posts onto various staircases so that you can visualize your concept.
What are the most popular wrought iron baluster styles?
Knuckles, twists, spoons, baskets, and diamonds are popular choices. Satin black is a timeless finish. Oil rubbed bronze and stainless steel are also on trend.
What is the price range of a staircase makeover?  
A typical staircase with new treads and risers will cost around $2100. A staircase (13 steps) with all new balusters will average between $1300 and $1500. A staircase TOTALLY redone (new treads and risers, new balusters, handrails, and newel posts—not including a carpet runner) usually costs around $5000-$8000. Adding a carpet runner will range between $600 and $2000, depending upon the cost of the carpet chosen and the details of the installation.
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