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Best Paint Finishes for Stairs

Painting your stairs is not like painting your walls. There are certain limitations when it comes to the paint types and finishes you can use. In doing any task, you have to consider the function of the item first and foremost. Since stairs are something you step on every day, you have to take into account how slippery the treads become after coating them with paint.  

High gloss finish 

In choosing your paint, always think about where you are going to apply it. Since stairs are prone to dirt, dust, and stain, it is best to use paints high gloss finish. This type of paint is easier to clean. Wipe it with a damp cloth, and you’ll be good to go. Make sure to look for high gloss paint that is not slippery. Some hardware stores have paint samples applied on different materials so you can see the effect. If this is not available, you can try buying a small can of paint for you to try first. The important thing is you did your research and testing correctly before painting the whole thing.  

Latex paint 

Nobody wants slippery stairs. It is hazardous for anyone living in your home, especially to children who love running up and down the stairs. If you are repainting your stairs, you can use latex paint first. Then, top it with water-based paint to make it more durable. If you are going to DIY your painting jobs, this won’t be too hard of a job. Latex paint is easy to work with and dries quickly. Oil-based paints are also an option, but they are challenging to apply, and it takes a lot of time to dry. They usually have a smell as well, so staying in your home during the paint job is not advisable, especially to those with young kids. 

Dark color finish 

The best option for painting your stairs are dark colors. Try to avoid using any light-colored paints for the treads. If you really want bright colors for your stairs, limit its use to the balusters or risers. Neutral dark colors such as black and dark brown are most popular among homeowners since it can hide dirt and dust. For busy homeowners who cannot mop their stairs on an everyday basis, dark-colored paints are a lifesaver. You need not spend countless hours cleaning the treads, because the color of the material does not highlight the dirt.  

If you’re on the market for new stairs, call iStairs! Give us a call today!  

Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Staircase

Your staircase is an integral part of your home. It leads you to other parts of the house and they are essential to your everyday routine. Because of its function, your staircase takes a beating day in and day out. Inevitably, your stairs will eventually give out. 

Find out if that day is today! Here are the signs you should look for when deciding if it’s the right time to replace your staircase.

Recurring squeaky sounds. 

Squeaky sounds are some of the most annoying problems a homeowner can have. Think about all the late-night trips to the kitchen to sneak in a few snacks. It sounds like a good idea, right? Imagine the people who will be awakened by those squeaks as you go down the stairs! 

While this problem does not seem like a big deal, you should not merely brush it off. Squeaky sounds are one of the many indicators that something is wrong. It only means that the parts of your stairs are not as well-installed, as they should be. The tread and the riser have a significant gap between them, which produces that horrible sound. You can try to fix it by gluing them together correctly, or you call in a pro. 

If the sounds recur over time, it’s best to consider replacing your stairs. 

Rotting wood 

Wood is a common material used for stairs. It is sturdy and beautiful if installed correctly. However, wood is not invincible. One common issue with wood is its susceptibility to water damage. 

Whether it is caused by flooding due to weather, or consistent spilling of liquid on your stairs, wood is bound to be affected. The material can eventually rot. It will lead to the weakening of the structural integrity of the stairs. 

If this is the kind of issue you want to address, do not attempt to do it yourself. Water damage needs the attention of experts, as it may also affect the electrical components of the house. 

Broken parts 

Usual wear and tear can cause the breakage of different parts of your stairs – be it the riser or the treads. Immediately after identifying this issue, you must have the problem fixed. Inattentiveness and broken stair parts are a recipe for disaster. 

Be a responsible homeowner by always making sure your stairs are well-maintained. Otherwise, you will be putting the safety of everyone in your household at risk.

Wobbly balusters     

Balusters or columns are the ones the connect your steps to the rails. It is a significant part of the staircase because it provides safety and protection. If a baluster is wobbly, it cannot perform its function properly. It may not be able to support your body weight in case of accidental slips or falls. 

If you are encountering this issue, make sure to address it right away. Seek the assistance of professionals to solve the problem. 

Loose handrail 

Alongside with the baluster, the handrail protects you from accidents. It serves a barrier that will guard you against accidents. If the handrail is loose, the chances of you falling are higher. 

Consider the safety of your loved ones and call experts to help you in this matter! 

Are you in need of professional assistance? Bring the iStairs team in! iStairs is a one-stop-shop ready to help you with any issue you have with your staircase! A team of courteous and qualified individuals is waiting to assist you! Dial 844-STAIR-4U today! 

How to Clean Iron Balusters

Cleaning is one of the simplest tasks you can do to make sure every part of your home stays looking good and fresh. All the nooks and crannies should be well-kept so that damage can be avoided. But remember, cleaning cannot be done haphazardly! There are some things that you have to remember when cleaning: such as the correct cleaning equipment and the right cleaning agent, so the material of your home will not be damaged.  

Today, we are going to teach you how to clean iron balusters. 

Use a microfiber cloth.  

Iron baluster designs can range from simple lines to intricate grooves. The more complex the design gets, the tougher it is to clean. Most often than not, the dust gets stuck in hard-to-reach corners of balusters. The best way to clean balusters is by using a microfiber cloth. This type of cleaning material can get into intricate details of the iron railing. It is the best choice as it collects dust thoroughly. If you notice that the cloth has accumulated too much dust, you can replace it easily or wash it before continuing. Avoid feather dusters as it will just spread the dust all over instead of collecting it. Microfiber cloth is a cheap cleaning material you can find anywhere! So, it won’t be a problem to look for one! 

Clean the treads, risers, and handrails.  

If you start cleaning your balusters, make sure to do a complete sweep of the area as well. The dirt and dust from the other parts of the stairs can get into the balusters if left unattended. Do a weekly cleaning of your stairs to keep them looking good as new.  

Do not use highly chemical cleaning sprays.  

Cleaning your iron balusters need not involve complex cleaning agents such as bleach, polishing cream, and the likes. Harsh chemicals can damage the iron with frequent use. What you can opt for instead is a trusted, simple vinegar solution. Get a spray bottle and fill it with water and vinegar solution at a 2:1 ratio. For example, you can mix 2 cups of warm water and 1 cup of vinegar. This simple solution will do the trick. Just spray the solution into a washcloth until fully soaked and wipe away. Remember to wipe the balusters dry to avoid rusting in the future. Also, don’t worry about the smell. The vinegar smell will only last for a few minutes, and you will be left with nothing but clean balusters.  

Are you getting tired of cleaning your intricate iron balusters and would like to try out different and more modern designs? iStairs is here for you. We are a one-stop-shop for all your staircase needs – be it installation, repairs, remodeling. Name it, and we can do it! You can choose from hundreds of different designs in our portfolio! You can also design your own. Are you interested in trying a new look for your home? Provide us some details about the project, and we will give you a comprehensive quotation! 

How to Properly Space Balusters

Balusters, also commonly known as spindles, do more than just connect the handrail to the treads of your stairs. Despite how simple they appear, they are essential to your homes. They are not merely supports placed for your handrail. They serve a particular purpose – that is, providing safety for you and your family.  

Balusters are there to protect you from accidents. That is why it is a must that they are up to code. Placing balusters in your homes cannot be done haphazardly. Specific rules must be followed to ensure safeness and functionality. The 2018 International Residential Code (IRC) provides for the four-inch sphere test. It means that a four-inch sphere should not be able to pass through between your balusters. This provision ensures that your house is safe, even for small children and babies.  

 Today, we will teach you how to space the balusters in your homes properly. 

In general, there are two places where you put balusters – the stairs and the balcony. How to compute for the proper number and spacing of balusters depend on this factor.  

Balusters for balconies 

The first thing you should do is measure the length of your balcony. Get a measuring tape and secure it to one end and pull it until you reach the other end. Once you have the measurement, you can then multiply the number by 3. For instance, the end-to-end measurement of your balcony is 20 feet. Multiply 20 feet by 3, and you will get 60. You will need 60 balusters in total for your balcony. One important thing to remember is that if the distance is not a whole number, you have to round it up. Let’s say; the distance is 40.6 feet; you should use 41 as your multiplier.  

Balusters for stairs 

The first step is to measure the depth of a single tread from back to front. You need to place as many balusters as necessary to meet the four-inch sphere test. For example, your tread is 12 inches; then, you have to put 3 to 4 balusters (depending on the thickness of your baluster) to meet the standard.  

The second step is to count the number of treads in your staircase. You have to multiply this number with the value you have determined in step one. Let’s say you need 3 balusters per tread, multiply 3 with the number of treads. That’s the number you need for one side. For instance, 20 steps multiplied by 3 balusters equal 60.  

Finally, you have to multiply this by 2 if both sides of your stairs need balusters. That gives you 120 balusters in total. 

While it’s okay to DIY your stairs if you have the know-how to do so, it is still best to leave the matter to professionals. Stairs are an integral part of anyone’s home, and it must be built as correctly as possible. Many accidents in the house involved faulty stairs and improperly laid balusters. Do not be part of those statistics! Call iStairs for professional assistance. We will ensure your stairs are not just up to Code but beautiful as well! 

Signs it’s time to repair your staircase

The staircase is an important part of the house as it connects the upper and lower part of your home. This means it sees a lot of foot traffic. 

While wooden stairs are made durable to last for a long time, it’s still susceptible to wear and tear as people move up and down on a daily basis. 

To maintain a strong staircase and keep your family safe, here are some tell-tale signs that your stairs are in need of simple or major repairs. 

Squeaky stairs 

It’s annoying to have creaking but you can’t avoid having squeaky stairs over time. As people go up and down the stairs, parts loosen up, forming gaps between the stair riser and tread. But don’t fret, this one’s an easy fix. First, you need to find where the squeak comes from. This would be easier to find if you have access to the underside of your stairs. Once you’ve found it, use carpenter glue to fill the space. 

Unsecured handrail 

Handrails provide support to people going up and down the stairs, and prevents injurious fall. They are usually supported by posts or mounted directly on walls. So when handrails are detached or not securely placed, this could pose danger to people using the stairs. Luckily, this is also an easy fix. You just need to tighten screws where the handrail is attached to to keep it in place. 

Damaged by pet 

Pets can cause damage to your stairs by scratching or chewing on the wood. While it doesn’t really pose any danger, it’s not a good sight on your staircase. You can try sanding or re-staining the damaged part to make it look good as new.  

Loose tread 

When squeaky stairs are not addressed immediately, this could lead to loose stair treads. This issue causes more creaks and stair movement. Unless fixed, this could become a serious problem so it’s best to fix this immediately. You can do this without professional help. Fixing this would be easier if you can access the underside of your stairs, But if you’re not confident you can address the problem on your own, it’s better to leave the job to the professionals. 

Wobbly post 

Like loosened handrails, wobbly posts can pose danger to anyone using the stairs. But more often than not, this problem requires a new post to be installed, and this requires the help of an experienced carpenter. 

Water damage 

Water damage in any part of your home is troublesome. And when your stairs get water damage, you’ll see warping of the wood. This requires immediate attention and professional help to be able to assess the extent of the damage. 

Broken treads or risers 

Cracked treads usually occur when it lacks support, or when there is change in humidity. However, this problem cannot be fixed by just gluing the pieces together. Repairing or replacing the damaged step needs to happen as soon as possible so as not to cause more damage to your staircase.  

When it comes to stair problems, iStairs can provide you with the expertise you need. We serve locations across Northern California with a toolkit of expertise, creative vision, and quality hardware. Tell us your problem by visiting or giving us a call, and we’ll restore your stairs in no time. 

How to Fix a Loose Wooden Step

Is there anything more annoying in this world than a loose wooden step in your staircase? Every time you pass by it, you hear a creaking sound. Not only is it irritating, but it is also a danger for the members of your household. Families with young kids running around the house can never leave this problem unfixed. It poses a severe threat to the safety of the kids, even the adults, of the family.  

We will show you how you can fix loose wooden steps on your own!

Step 1: Prepare the necessary materials.

These materials are essential for this Do-It-Yourself repair. You will need an air compressor, screws, drill, wood glue, woodblocks, carriage bolt, wrench, hammer, threaded rod, utility knife, and a pry bar.  

Step 2: Figure out where the loose wooden step is.  

The next thing to do is to determine the extent of the damage. Make sure you have pinpointed all the loose steps all at once so you can fix them together. It takes a lot of time to fix a loose step, so it is better to do it in one go. Be wary of squeaking sounds when you step on the stairs. Check the diagonal part of the stairs as well to check the stringers if they are damaged.  

Step 3: Clean the area you will be working on.

           To make sure the repair is seamless. You need to ensure that the area is clear of dirt. Use an air compressor to clean the space thoroughly. It is challenging to work on a stair step if the spaces are filled with debris.  

Step 4: Rip the drywall and remove the nails. 

           Using a hammer or pry bar, remove the drywall out. After which, proceed to remove the nails. Check out the bottom of the risers for nails as well. Once the innards are out in the open, it becomes easier to check where the damage is.  

Step 5: Drill the holes into the woodblocks. 

           The next step is to drill holes into the block of wood. Then, drill another hole that will fit a rounded headed bolt into the backside of the wood. You have to determine the correct width of the stairs to guarantee the correct measurement of the threaded rod and bolts. Leave room to tighten the threads into the coupling.  

Step 6: Insert the rods. 

Once the holes are ready, it is time to put the rod through the block into the countersunk bolt. After that, using wood glue and screws, attach the block to the wall-side stringer. Then, attach the block and bolt at the opposing side.  

Step 7: Tighten the bolts.  

Using a wrench, make sure that the bolts are tight. Call someone to help you guide with the risers and treads back in as you fix the rod.  

Step 8: Replace the drywall you removed. 

Install new drywall to finish off the repair. Caulk any loose joints in the area. Inspect the repair for any possible mistakes and test out the step if the repair is successful.   

With all these steps provided, you can fix loose steps on your own. However, we strongly recommend that you leave the matter to the experts. Why? First of all, not everyone has all the equipment necessary for this repair. Second, we are talking about the stairs in your house. There are numerous accidents each year caused by broken stair steps. You do not want to add to those statistics. Lastly, you have to admit that repairing a loose step is a hassle. It is better for you to sit back and relax and let the professionals take care of it. That way, you ensure not only the safety of your family but also the quality work.  

iStairs is a one-stop-shop for all your stairway needs. From repairs to installation, there is nothing we cannot do! Call us at 844- STAIR-4U to get a quote! 

Signs You Should Replace Your Staircase

Your staircase is an important part of your household. First and foremost, it gives you access to other parts of the home. It may look simple, and its use is as straightforward as it can be, but as a homeowner, you still need to take care of it. Generally, staircases are designed to endure heavy foot traffic. It is built to last for years. In some cases, they do. Other times, they don’t. 

We have listed five signs you should look out for if it’s time to replace your staircase. 

1.      Water damage 

Whether natural calamities or man-made errors cause flooding, it is bound to cause severe destruction to your home. It can compromise the quality of the material used in the construction of the house. For instance, if your stairs are made of wood, water damage can cause unevenness and warping. It may result in the softening of the wood, making it unsuitable material for the staircase. 

2.      Creaking stairs 

Creaking stairs do not necessarily mean peril to you and your family, but they are absolutely annoying! The sound it produces bothers a lot, especially at night. You do not want this kind of annoyance in your home. If it can be fixed right away, why sacrifice a good night sleep over it? 

3.      Broken handrails 

Broken handrails are very dangerous. It does not matter whether you have kids in the home. Even adults can fall off the stairs by accident! Having a multi-level home, you need to ensure the safety of everyone in your household. Your rails should be sturdy and dependable. Flimsy rails are a big no-no! 

4.      Damaged understructure 

On the outside, your stairs may look perfect. However, an inspection of your stairs should go beyond the exterior looks. You should pay attention as well to the understructure of the stairs. Damaged understructure puts your life in harm’s way. The thing can collapse suddenly, and people can be seriously hurt. Look for professionals who can advise you on the matter. Let them inspect the structural integrity of the stairs as well as other issues that need to be checked. 

5.      Pest Infestation 

A lot of pests can do damage to your home. There are termites, rodents, ants, and many others. These pests can damage materials such as wood and MDF. It is prudent to call on pest infestation control regularly to make sure that your home is not affected. If your stairs are severely damaged already, do not skimp on it. Have it immediately replaced before it leads to bigger damage. 

If you ever encounter these problems, look no further. iStairs is a one-stop-shop for all your staircase carpentry needs. We will assist you from design to installation. Our years of experience will prove the quality of our products and service. You need not worry about a thing because we can do everything for you. However, if you are interested in design, you can also choose to DIY your staircase. We also offer products that allow you to do it yourself! Whatever it is you need, we can deliver! 

How to Protect Your Stairs During a Major Home Renovation

You’ll probably want to do a home remodeling project or a major renovation from time to time.  

Maybe you’ll want some new kitchen counters installed or to break down a wall upstairs to have a larger bedroom or give your bath a brand-new set of tiles. 

One thing we can tell you now is that whenever you do have a massive home project such as a renovation, redecoration, or remodeling, you’ll want to protect your hardwood surfaces. Most especially, you’ll want to protect your hardwood stairs. 

Why is this so? 

  • Imagine all the foot traffic coming and going into the work area. You can expect not just workers and craftsmen coming in and out tromping around in their work boots.  
  • Major projects are also likely to involve a great deal of equipment and heavy supplies needed to get the job done. You’ll want to protect your hardwood surfaces against scrapes, chips, and gouges resulting from all this stuff from being dragged across the floor or your stairs. 
  • Even for some home projects that may just be limited to downstairs, you’ll also likely be coming and going to check on the progress yourself. Which means you (and your other family members) will also be tracking dirty prints up and down the stairs. 
  • Other things you should be anticipating are spillages, tracks of paint, adhesives, varnish, or other substances and materials used for your home project.  

What Will I Be Needing to Protect My Stairs? 

Here are a few things you need before starting your home renovation project.  

  • Polyethylene plastic sheets 
  • Duct tape 
  • Painter’s tape 
  • Foamboard 
  • Masking tape 
  • Kraft paper 
  • Rubber-backed runners 

You can all these at your local hardware supplies store. You’ll want to get a lot of the paper, board, and the sheets, especially if you anticipate a constant mess happening en route to the work area. 

How Do I Now Lay Down Some Protection for My Stairs? 

Figure out where the foot traffic will be flowing from your door to the work area. Cover a path with the polyethylene plastic sheets. 

Make sure you secure these with duct tape, and even turn a foot or so up the baseboard or walls and secure those edges with painter’s tape. 

For areas where you anticipate a lot of construction, equipment, or heavy material, lay down sheets of the half-inch foam board insulation, secure them in place with duct tape, and place another layer of plastic on top of that. 

Next, lay sheets of the kraft paper, especially those areas with carpet in traffic areas. Make sure the paper overlaps the seams in the plastic. Secure them further with tape to avoid them slipping or ripping easily. 

Lastly, use the rubber-backed runners for high-traffic areas between your front door and/or garage door and the work area. 

A Final Word 

Major home projects– renovations, remodeling, and redesigns– can be particularly troublesome in that you can expect a lot of dust a quite a bit of a mess while it’s going on. 

Without a doubt, this will create a mess on your floors and stairs, so you’re going to need to give these hardwood surfaces some protection against dirty boots, spillages, and heavy equipment moving about. 

Your contractor may be top-notch, but don’t rely on them to look after the well-being of your floors and staircase. That’s something you should take responsibility for yourself. 

Choosing a handrail style

Handrails are subtle and understated parts of your homes. It is one of those things that people don’t really care about unless they are very particular about design. Handrails can elevate the look of your home. Changing the color, material, and style can instantly dictate the vibe you are trying to give off. Choosing the design of your handrail is more important than you think. It’s not merely about design, but also about the safety. You should not just brush off the idea of giving a hard look of this seemingly unimportant aspect of your home.  

Here are some pointers to consider in choosing the right handrail style for you.  

1.    Look for inspirations online.  

You have to decide on what look you are going for. Do you want a minimalist home? Do you want an eccentric artsy abode? Do you prefer a shocking pop of color in every area of your house? These questions will help you determine what style you should be looking for.  

If you are into a minimalist aesthetic, maybe you should choose a material like glass or design with clean lines. 

If you are a little bit adventurous, then you can perhaps opt for a dashing red handrail. 

2.    Consider the members of your household.  

This is a vital thing to take note of. If you have little kids inside the house, you must consider this factor in choosing your handrail. You need softer materials and safer styles. You probably should veer away from materials like glass and metal, and pointy edges.  

3.    Set a specific budget. 

It is a common mistake of homeowners to choose their design first and not consider the budget they have. You have to note that different styles and materials have different cost. You might really like a particular model, but the amount you need to have this implemented could be outrageous. Remind yourself that style, function, and practicality are all parts of the equation.  

4.    Choose a trusted supplier.  

You may not realize it now, but handrail is an essential part of your home. It adds value, safety, and style. You need to have experts who will ensure the quality of their work, especially if you have kids. Imagine the tragedy of your kids running around and pushing each other down the stairs, and the handrail suddenly falls off. An improperly installed handrail can lead to accidents and injuries.  

If you are building a home or redecorating, iStairs, Inc. is a company you can surely rely on. We offer different styles for different budget and needs. We serve both residential and commercial clients. We even have custom-made stairs available to suit your specific needs. You can visit our showroom to see the range of styles that we have. You can also call us at 844-STAIR-4U or visit our Facebook and Twitter for information about our services. You can get a cost estimate of your project by simply submitting our form. Update the look of your home today, and turn it from drab to fab! 

How to Spice up your Sacramento Stair Decor

The staircase is an essential part of your home. You use it multiple times a day to go up and down, but it rarely gets the same treatment as you do with the other parts of the house. 

But stairs have moved from just a transitional space to a statement piece. Because once you enter a house, one of the first things you will notice is the staircase.  

Designers—and even homeowners themselves—are now making it a focal point of a house’s design and are stepping up their stair decor. 

In building houses, it has also become a critical decision to choose which design and material will be used in making your staircase. There are many options available in the market—wood, metal, concrete, stone, and glass. 

For existing homes, this could be a challenge, but it’s not entirely impossible to spruce up your staircase. 

Here are some simple to flashy tips to style the space to make it an architectural feature of your home and get plenty of attention it deserves. 

Highlight the original architectural elements 

If your house has a staircase with beautiful railings or trims, there’s no need to remodel it—just leave the original details intact and play it up. Make it stand out by painting its surroundings with contrasting colors. That way, your staircase will really stand out. 

Go all out with balusters 

Balusters—sometimes simply called guards or spindles—are a great feature on traditional staircases. You can go for wood or metal. Depending on the style of baluster you choose, your stairs can go from classical to modern, elegant, and unique. 

Change the handrails 

If your aim is not to go over the top with your staircase, try spicing up the handrails. There are a lot of beautiful decorative handrail caps in the market to give your stairs some subtle accents. 

Make an impression with risers 

Unleash your creative side by DIY-ing the decors on the risers. You can introduce color and pattern with tile, paint, or wallpaper on the stair risers. Be bold with the colors you choose, stencil patterns on to your new staircase, apply wallpaper, or simply paint your own runner. 

Opt for a graphic carpet 

Draw attention to your stairs with pattern and color. Pick a runner that suits your style—traditional or eclectic, colorful or plain—to accentuate your stairs.  

Focus on the wall 

Create a visual treat to your staircase by covering the wall with wallpaper, wood, or brick. Wall treatment behind your stairs adds beautiful texture and visual impact that will definitely make a big statement in that part of your home. You can also opt to add molding to give your stairs an elegant look.  

Another classic way to fill up walls is by hanging photos or artwork. Making a gallery wall is a popular way to decorate your staircase. Show off your family photos, milestones, or art collection by hanging them on your wall. You can also go for one big art piece or mirror to accentuate the stairs. 

There are a ton of ways to decorate your stairs. If you’re looking for minor changes in your staircase, shop at iStairs for your staircase projects. 

Here at iStairs, we provide you with a large amount of stair parts supply choices ranging from wrought iron to almost any hardwood species, square and turned rail systems, and multiple handrail profiles. 

Contractors, remodeling specialists, and DIY home enthusiasts are welcome! Just tell us what you need, and we’ll help you achieve your staircase goals. 

Give us a call for more details about the products and services we offer, and we’ll gladly assist you.