Renovations

Renovating your staircase is a perfect way to spruce up your entryway; and while most people get a general idea on what they want to happen, it’s often best to read more and reassess your plans before starting your project. Our blog on renovations can give you a better idea on designs, costs, and safety of your stairs.

Best Staircase Flooring

October 26, 2016

Top traits of modern railing systems

A beautiful staircase has the potential of becoming a stunning focal point in any home. In fact, the staircase is an accent piece by nature. It has been an eye-catching element from the beginning and, as its design evolved over the years, its status never changed. In fact, it became more and more important and interior designers have made it the star of many of their projects.

A beautiful staircase is defined by several different aspects. The design is, of course, very important. But, most often, it’s the handrail that makes it stand out. The handrail has gradually transformed from a simple element designed to provide safety and protection to a wonderful and chic design detail. In the new modern design it does goes without says that less is more when designing your railing. Minimalistic designs can still be chic and provide an elegant focal point. Many modern staircase railing designs incorporate industrial materials such as glass and steel. Simple color palettes, open spaces, and geometric elements are common modern design aspects as well.

Using a modern stainless steel handrail system, that can compliment free-standing stairs, can be very beneficial if you have a small living space. Using this open riser construction concept can allow unobstructed vies across your space. The steel bars can also allow additional openness and add to your space’s modern appeal.

Another option for free-standing stairs is to have a sleek glass railing that is of course designed and constructed for ultimate safety and quality. Using glass can further open your space and help to make your space appear larger than it really is.

Using a cable rail is an excellent way to accent a straight stair. These unique staircase systems can include a combination of open and closed risers, with the upper segment open and transitioning to closed risers below. The parallel lines of the stainless steel cable railing offer a simple contemporary look.

The staircase is also a design element that provides you with the opportunity to add an artistic touch to the décor. Even though they are quite rare, staircases that are entirely made of metal can be an interesting focal point. They usually have an industrial-inspired look. You would want to make sure that the rest of your house was designed in the same fashion so your staircase doesn’t look random and like it doesn’t belong in the space.

A very common combination in the case of modern staircases is that between wood and metal. That’s because the resulting design is usually somewhere between classical and contemporary. If you are remodeling and want to do something new to your staircase, this is the easiest option. Tearing out a railing but keeping wood stairs is an inexpensive option to turn an old staircase into something breathtaking. Wood staircases can easily be stained or painted to match the rest of the house, while the railing can be torn out and changed to add some personality to your staircase.

Whatever you decide to do to your staircase, make sure that it includes your personality and flair, because you will be looking at it everyday!

Choosing Between Spiral and Straight Staircases

Straight or spiral staircases?: Which design is the best choice for your home

If you’re moving into a new home, or are remodeling your house then chances are that you have already thought about how important the staircase is to complete your home. And since there are a number of staircase designs and materials to choose from, you want to make sure that you find a staircase that fits the style of your home and the needs of your family.

Two of the more popular staircase designs are straight and spiral staircases, each of which have their own pros and cons. To help you learn more about straight and spiral staircases and what the advantages and disadvantages of both types are, we have compared some of their features below.

Pros of spiral staircases include:

  • Spiral staircases offer a modern and space-saving alternative to the inefficient layout of other traditional stair designs, providing more efficient floor access than the average layout.
  • A traditional flight of straight or winding stairs can eat up lots of area in a room, making it difficult to perform the full range of activities that you would like to in your home. A spiral staircase on the other hand, virtually cuts the amount of space being taken up by the actual stairs in half due to the corkscrew design.
  • A spiral staircase can be placed in any corner of your house, unlike a traditional staircase which has a limited amount of placement options.
  • Moreover, the spiral staircase design is safe and timelessly attractive. A spiral staircase can be implemented in almost any small space, inside and outside.

Pros of straight staircases include:

  • Straight staircases can be designed for any interior design style; 3 of the straight staircase designs made primarily from metal include:

-Single stringer (also known as mono stairs): straight staircases made with single stringers are usually the most popular among straight stair designs, and for good reason too, as a single stringer staircase is incredibly durable, and precisely engineered.

-Double-stringer: this staircase design is ideal for creating an open, unique look that is also an economically sound option for homeowners.

-Pan-type: a pan staircase design can be designed as an architectural addition to your home, or simply used as an industrial set of stairs for a garage or workshop, and can be filled with stone, cement, or tile treads.

Additional factors to take into consideration:  

  • Materials: While a professional staircase contractor can engineer stairs out of most construction materials, contemporary spiral staircases are typically made with steel or plywood, while straight staircases are more than often made from hardwood with carpet on the treads. The key is to choose a staircase material that will fit with your interior design, your budget, and your family’s needs.
  • Safety: Spiral staircases are by no means dangerous and when engineered and installed by a professional staircase company, they are just as safe and secure as any other stair design; however, homes with small children or people with mobility issues may find a straight staircase a better fit for their needs.
  • Space: As previously mentioned, a spiral staircase is particularly efficient when it comes to space-saving, which is why it’s always a good idea to make sure you have the necessary floor space and plan prior to committing to a straight staircase design.

Please feel free to get in touch with your Sacramento stairs contractor, iStairs, if you have further questions about the differences between straight and spiral staircases.

Your Staircase Can Complete Your Home’s Décor

When redecorating the interior of your home, it’s easy to forget about incorporating the staircase into the design because we don’t usually think of the stairs when planning home improvements projects. It’s time to start rethinking the way we look at role our staircase can have in completing the overall décor of our homes. After all, the staircase is a focal point of the interior design of many homes so it makes perfect sense to use your staircase as a way of completing your home’s décor!

One of the first things you need to understand when deciding on what style of staircase will best complement your decor is the differences between the main types of design that staircases are modeled after, namely modern, contemporary, and industrial.

Modern: Often referred to as Mid-Century Modern because the style harkens back to the 1920’s-1950’s, a staircase in the modern design would be one that is simple, sleek with straight lines and basic geometry in the curves and angles. A home with a modern sense of decor can be complemented by a functional staircase, with clean lines, and neutral colors and materials.
Contemporary: Contemporary design on the other hand refers to a style that is always in flux based on what is in ‘in’ at the time, so whereas modern design is based on a specific time period, a contemporary decor focuses on bold color, neutral elements, and basic shapes and forms. Contemporary staircase trends include stainless steel and glass features.
Industrial: One style that is on the rise in popularity is industrial interior design, and there are many creative and unique ways to complete your home’s overall industrial decor with a strong staircase design. The industrial look is often characterized by the use of rough and earthy metal and wood, utilitarian objects, and a combination of other styles to create a sort of warehouse, manufactured appearance.

Once you understand the difference between what the various styles have to offer in terms of your home’s interior decoration, you will then have a better feel for what type of staircase can best complement that design. A professional staircase contractor can also help you figure out a staircase design to complement the interior features and accents of your home, so don’t hesitate to ask for help before choosing a design!

Another option that is always available when it comes to improving the interior decor of your home is creating a custom staircase. Choosing a custom staircase is ideal for completing a redecorating project because you can design a custom staircase in any style that you desire, be it modern, contemporary, or industrial. A custom staircase design gives you the opportunity to make a unique statement with the interior of your home, and whether you are looking for a modern wooden open staircase or an industrial steel spiral staircase, working with your stairs contractor will give you all the opportunities you need to make the right choice for you and your home.

Contact iStairs for more information on how you can get the perfect stairs to go with your decor!

Guidelines to Create a Beautiful and Functional Staircase

How to Choose the Right Staircase for Your House

Your Staircase Can Complete Your Home’s Décor

Anti-Skid Products for Stairs

Whether in your home or your office, safety should always be a top priority. Stairwells are inherently dangerous places as nearly everyone fall down a staircase at one point or another. Today, there are many ways of injury-proofing a staircase to make it a safer place and protect your friends, family and coworkers. Here we will review some of the simplest ways to make your stairs skid proof.

Anti-skid products are not too expensive and they are very simple to install. Such simple products are capable of preventing very serious accidents.

Anti-slip tape is an industrial-strength liner especially designed to increase the traction on any surface. This tape is designed in all varieties of shapes, widths, colors and textures, and you can apply it to almost any material. Although this tape is not always the most aesthetically pleasing addition it reducing danger greatly. This durable tape is a common choice for public staircases, such as schools and local government buildings. Any tape can be custom cut to fit perfectly to your staircase.

Another common option are rubber treads. These anti-skid treads are molded of top quality rubber and designed for mostly commercial and industrial use. These treads can also be trimmed to match the exact size of each step, but each Easily trim rubber treads on site to the exact size of each step. The tapered nosing allows for a better fit while the smooth rear border allows for easy cleaning and maintenance. This makes them an ideal option for use in heavily traveled public stairways including office buildings, condominiums, apartment buildings and retail stores.

Perhaps, you do not want to cover your entire stairs because, although you want to ensure safety, you are proud of your stairs and still want to show them off. For these circumstances, there are non slip nosing options. Nosings come in a variety of materials, including carpet, concrete, rubber, adhesive tape and even glow in the dark sightline material. These various treads fit just along the outer lip of each stair to provide traction and protection without compromising the beauty of your staircase.

Possibly the most aesthetically pleasing option is something relatively simple. There are certain paint products that rather than drying slick like an acrylic paint, they produce more traction once they dry. These final finishes can be applied after a staircase is completed to add an extra layer of protection. This serves the double purpose of improving safety for people and also extending the useful life of the stairs by shielding them from everyday use.

The process for applying this traction paint to a staircase is relatively simple and can be accomplished in only a few hours. Using a 3/8″ nap roller, evenly apply the paint to the treads and allow it to dry. The risers usually require a slightly different style, using an angled brush to evenly apply the paint. However, many people choose to only paint the outer lip of the treads to apply sort of a nosings effect. This is effective because it calls attention to the border of the stairs by expressly defining where the edge of the stair ends. This way, not only are the stairs equipped with more traction, but people are more aware and alert, which helps eliminate falls.

Do I need a Professional Railing Installer?

Every now and then, we release tips and guides for those who would opt to work on their homes. Do-it-yourself or DIY projects are very popular and we try to help those who are interested in them to use their own skills and knowledge. We at iStairs, one of the best known names in Sacramento for stair installation, are particularly fond of people who are inclined to DIY projects. For some people, DIY works, but for some, they end up coming up with results that are way different than what they intend to do.

When it comes to railing installation, when really does one need professional help? Is railing installation a task that can be entrusted to yourself?

The answers to the above questions depend on the complexity of the stair and the railing that you wish to install. Take note, however, that your mathematical and carpentry skills will be taken to the test!

If you believe that you have what it takes to be able to install your stair railings properly, then your DIY railing project may just be a success. But if you are worried about how your railings will turn out to be, then you should consider getting professional help from top Sacramento stair installation companies such as iStairs!

Things to consider when deciding whether or not to get professional railing installer

If you are still thinking whether or not you will need professional help with your railing installation, then the following may help you decide:

  1. Installing a full balustrade railing is like a giant puzzle.

 A lot of us learned to construct with puzzles and with blocks. Installing railings is somehow like playing with puzzles, only with giant pieces, and you will need lots of different tools to install a full balustrade railing.

  1. You will need knowledge on different stair parts.

Not all railings are the same. Depending on the design you chose, and the type of stairs you have, you will need different materials for your railings. If you opt to continue with your DIY railing installation project, our friendly staff at iStairs will gladly help you out in choosing the right parts.

  1. You will need different tools.

You will also need to be familiar with the different tools needed for rail installation. Not only will you need to know your tools, but you need to have such tools. A professional railing installer is equipped with the needed tools but how about you, do you have what you need for a DIY railing installation?

Finally, you will also need to know how to use these tools so that you can come up with the desired output.

So, do you need a professional railing installer?

With above considerations, you will now have a better idea whether or not you can do the railing installation yourself. If you think that you lack the needed skill or knowledge required to successfully install railings, then you really do need to get professional help.

For the best partner in railing installations, get in touch with Sacramento’s number one stairs installation company, iStairs!

iStairs will help you with all your stair needs. With our help, your railings will be installed perfectly! iStairs is excited and willing to help those that are wish to do their railing projects themselves by giving tips on how to do the job right. But for those who need professional help, iStairs is ready to serve!

Eco-friendly Ways to Add value to your home

For homeowners we know that there are a lot of other vital home repairs that accompany a newly renovated Sacramento staircase. Home repairs can be an expensive and time-consuming investments, so it is so important to consider which repairs are going to add value to your home when it comes time to sell, or which investments will help you save money now on energy bills.

Low-energy lighting

The average household spends about 5% of its energy budget on lighting, so switching to low-energy lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bill. Decisions regarding low-energy lighting not only save you money right away, but they also add value to your home, making it a more attractive option when you decide to sell.

As reported by the U.S. Department of Energy, light bulb alternatives include compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs). Both will help you save on your monthly energy bill.

A typical CFL uses about one-third the amount of energy as a standard light bub and it pays for itself within nine months. The LEDs are one of the most energy efficient and rapidly developing technologies. They last up to 25 times as long as a traditional bulb and they use about 25% of the energy.

Natural floors

For such a utilized asset in your home, it is essential that you make the best choice when replacing flooring. Again, choosing natural floors can save you money and more importantly, increase the value of your home. Your main options include bamboo and cork.

Cork floors offer many exciting eco-friendly benefits. The natural elasticity makes these floors comfortable, while not compromising on durability. They are hypoallergenic meaning they will not attract dust, they are fire resistant and best of all they serve as a natural insect repellant. Also, the bark of the cork oak tree from which the floors are produced, naturally grows back every three years, so there is no harm done to the trees whatsoever.

Bamboo is another sustainable, green flooring option. This wood is very durable and lasts longer than most tradition hardwoods, such as maple or red oak. Other natural benefits are that the bamboo floors are naturally water resistant and insect repellant. They make a fantastic option for an eco-friendly staircase or for the accompanying rooms.

Water-saving repairs

Any repair done in the kitchen or bathroom should definitely be done with the intent of water-saving in order to reduce energy and water bills. 60% of your water consumption comes from the kitchen and bathroom so those are the main areas you will most likely want to invest in water-saving repairs.

Key signs that you need a bathroom water repair are faucet leaks, showerhead leaks, tub leaks, or toilet leaks. If a faucet leaks just ten drips per minute that totals to about 500 gallons of wasted water per year.

In the kitchen, your main indicators are water puddles found underneath the fridge, dishwasher leaks, or faucet or sprayer leaks.

All of these eco-friendly repairs are additional ways for you to add value to your beautiful home investment.

Guide to Refinishing Your Worn-Out Staircase

After a while your hardwood treads for your Sacramento stairs could potentially experience some wear and tear. Especially the high traffic staircases in your house that squeak or have become discolored, might call for some additional attention.

If your wood stairs need a makeover, start by checking for any needed repairs. Loose or rubbing parts often cause squeaks, a common problem. You can try to heal the squeaking tread by nailing down a part that has begun to separate from the riser, or it might be time for a renovation with new treads.

If the necessary repairs are strictly cosmetic you might want to consider taking on a refinishing project so that your wood staircase looks brand new.

Sanding

Your first step is to sand your tread and the bullnose on the front. This will require you to rent a floor edger-sanding machine which can be acquired at any local hardware store. For rough or painted boards you will want to start with 20- or 30- grit sandpaper and then move on to 50- or eventually 90- grit sandpaper. However, if your treads are already varnished, it is recommended that you start with a 36- grit sandpaper.

The sander will do a good job at basic coverage, but you will want to perfect your sanding job with a hand scraper for small scratches or areas that the sander missed.

A vital step for standing is removing the dust after all the sanding is completed. Dust can collect in the internal pores of the wood and cause problems during staining, so be sure to do more than just a surface sweep. The best method is to run a vacuum over the stair to make sure all the dust is sufficiently removed.

Staining

The best way to ensure that you will be satisfied with your staining project is to experiment first on a scrap piece of wood. Especially water-based stains, sometimes will need to be diluted or maybe they will need extra coats in order to achieve your desired shade. It is so important that you apply the stain and the intended top coat so you know exactly what to expect from your finished project.

When brushing on the stain be sure to move quickly across the surface for an even finish. Then, be sure to use a cloth to remove all excess stain and be sure to leave no puddles. Using a stain pillow to apply the finish is a good investment because they let you move fast and stretch your coverage.

Top Coat

When it comes to choosing a top coat you have two option, water-based or oil-based. Each have distinct pros and cons.

A water-based top coat will dry really quickly and have little odor. However, they do sometimes raise the grain.

An oil-based top coat is generally a more durable, long-lasting option that flows better onto the surface than a water-based option. On the down side, they do take much longer to dry, up to four hours.

Once you decide which top coat option works best for you be sure to apply multiple coats and give each enough time to fully dry.

If you’d rather have a professional take care of this, please give iStairs a call. iStairs is your Sacramento stairs contactor.

Best Staircase Flooring

At iStairs Inc.,lopped we are devoted to making your vision for your customized staircase a reality. The choice of floorings for the staircase is a vital piece of your vision. Each style needs to be considered for its visual appeal, safety and price.

Find the perfect option for staircase flooring

Carpet

One of the most popular stair floorings is a carpeting option. Its timeless appeal is hugely versatile with a wide range of colors, textures, and styles. One option is a loop style carpet in which the strands of looped back into the carpet and left uncut. They are usually used for a shaggier, more casual look for a residential staircase. Another style is a patterned look crafted with dramatic visuals woven into the carpet. This style usually has a shorter cut height and a more formal look. One more option worth mentioning is the frieze style. This style has a soft, twisted look, also recommended for more casual settings.

Besides the versatility in style, carpet flooring provides safety. The safety of your home and family is too important to make compromises. Staircases are already an area of the home prone to danger, so little adjustments to enhance safety should be strongly considered.

Other considerations to be made are the shorter life of carpet flooring and the costs of cleaning. It’s recommended that carpet is vacuumed twice a week. (which depending on the stair width can be difficult) and professionally cleaned once a year.

Hardwood

Another visually appealing flooring option is hardwood. Hardwood staircases are elegant, durable and ageless. While hardwood does not offer the same safety benefits as carpet, it can be kept much cleaner. Dust and dirt that collect and sink into carpeted flooring can be quickly swept up from a hardwood floor. Not to mention a spill that would stain a carpet can be wiped up with no long-term problem.

There is also a wide variety of hardwood options to consider for your beautiful staircase. There are so many colors, styles, and stains available that no matter what your unique needs and preferences are you can find a wood option that fits your home. A few popular options include white oak, red oak, hickory and Brazilian cherry.

Price, of course, varies depending on the style and species you choose, but out talented estimators can give you an accurate quote for your project when you fill out a bid request .

Eco-Friendly

For those of you who are looking to support the health of our planet while building your dream staircase, you have options.

  • Cork: This option’s natural elasticity makes it comfortable, provides thermal insulation and it recovers quickly from mark or dents. It can serve as a natural insect repellant and it’s made from the bark of the cork oak tree, which grows back every three years.
  • Bamboo: Bamboo is a harder than your maple or red oak options and naturally water and insect resistant. Bamboo grows quickly and abundantly, so it is a sustainable option for flooring.
  • Carpet Padding: Some carpets come with padding containing plastics from petroleum. An eco-friendlier option is to choose a carpet with lightweight padding or a padding specifically made from recycled materials, such as 100% recycled cotton.

The experts at iStairs are familiar with all these options and are ready to help you achieve your dream staircase. Call us today to find out how we can help!

Benefits of a Metal Staircase

A metal staircase is alluring and unique, sure but did you also know that one of the main benefits of having a metal staircase is related to the versatility and durability of the material itself?

That’s right folks, a metal staircase is indeed beneficial in more ways than one, and even allows for a wide range of designs and styles!

To gain a better understanding of the benefits of metal staircases, take a look at some of the reasons listed below, and get in touch with your stairs contractor, iStairs, if you have further questions!

  • Extreme utility: The versatile nature of metal lends itself well to the construction of stairs, and as such, there are a number of unique shapes, sizes, and layouts that are possible to make when creating a metal staircase.Homeowners are also pleased when they learn that there are any numbers of styles on which to build a metal staircase, whether that style is traditional, simple, modern, or elegant. A metal staircase is also an ideal model for both indoors and outdoors, no matter how big or small the size.
  • Cost-effective installation and labor: Relative to other building materials, a metal staircase is one of the cheaper stair products to produce and install, which means that you end up saving money while still benefiting from the high-quality staircase made and assembled by professional stair engineers and contractors.But more importantly, you won’t have to compromise on style just to save a few bucks with a metal staircase.
  • Minimal maintenance and upkeep: Also unlike most other staircase materials, a staircase made of metal is incredibly easy to clean and maintain, a feature that will continue to benefit you for as long as you live in your house.As compared to a traditional wooden staircase upholstered with carpet that needs constant maintenance and care just to look presentable after a few years, a metal staircase requires very little cleaning other than the basic dusting and sweeping every so often.Many families also come to appreciate the fact that having a metal staircase is much less noisy to move around on than say, a wooden staircase.
  • Longevity and durability: Yet another reason why having a metal staircase is beneficial is the fact that they are very durable and will last as long, if not longer, than any other building material.A metal staircase will be a solid investment for your home, and with just the right design to complement the individual character of your home; such an investment can even add value to your home as well.

Now can you understand a little better just why metal staircases remain such a popular choice among both homeowners and contractors alike? And given the fact that your chosen professional stair contracting company will work to deliver a product that suits your unique style and taste, while also providing the benefits listed above, what’s not to love about a metal staircase?

For further help on how to make this become a reality for your home, contact iStairs, stairs company today!

Simple Steps to Planning a Custom Staircase

The staircase of any home has the potential to make a statement but just think about the type of statement made by a unique custom staircase design, something truly unmatched. A custom staircase design can really enhance the value and beauty of your home, giving your house the sense of character you’ve been looking for. And while elaborate and detailed staircases do take time and skill to design and assemble, many homeowners are pleased when they find out that the planning process is nowhere near as complex of a process. In fact, with some determination and a clear vision in mind, planning the design for your own custom staircase can be a simple and fun process! To make things easy, we have simplified the process of custom staircase design down to four basic steps in order to show you how you can have success with your custom staircase design experience!

  1. Step one: Figure out what inspires you. As with any custom design project for your home, a great idea begins with inspiration. You may already have a vision in mind of what you want the finished product to look and feel like, or, like many homeowners, you might just know what type of material you want your staircase constructed out of. Whatever the case may be with your home, be sure to ask your staircase design contractor a few important questions, including:
  • What are the themes and elements of the interior design of your home?
  • What will the interior dimensions and space layout inside your home allow for in 
terms of staircase design?
  • Will a straight or a curved custom staircase make the most sense for your house?
  • What styles of balusters and riser treads are most attractive to you?
  1. Step two: Choose your staircase product. After gathering the necessary information to get a solid understanding of what type of custom staircase you want for your home in the inspiration phase, the next step to tackle is choosing the specific layout and design you want for your stairs. Your stairs contractor will walk you through the various choices and help you select the best option for your home based upon your unique styles and tastes.
  2. Step three: Picking your style. Every custom staircase design conveys a sense a style, so the next step includes determining what specific style you want your staircase design to be built in. Four of the common style choices include Craftsman style, Traditional, Modern, and Ornamental Metal.
  • Curved staircase: A curved staircase is a popular choice for custom designs, as a round staircase brings a unique sense of elegance to a home, and can be made in many different shapes and layouts.
  • Straight staircase: The classic straight staircase design can beautifully complement a home with a modern sense of style.
  1. Step four: Complete the collaborative design process with delivery and installation. Once you have completed the design portion of the process with your staircase design team and the all the necessary parties approve the plans, your staircase will be ready for construction and installation! And based on your needs and personal level of construction skills, you can choose a delivery and installation method that works best for you.

Whether you just want the staircase delivered to your home to be installed by a trim subcontractor, or if you prefer a complete installation with a pre-fit handrail, you can be sure that your custom staircase design contractor, iStairs, will give you the results you want!