How to Keep Your Staircase Clean for the Holiday Season
The holiday season is upon us, and we find ourselves asking where has this year gone? Whether you're ready for the holidays or not, we are less than two weeks away from Thanksgiving and a little less than six weeks away from Christmas. One of the inevitable things that happens during the holiday season is an influx of foot traffic in your home. This increased traffic affects every part of your home, especially your staircase.
Keeping a clean staircase can be challenging during the holidays. Stair railings are touched by new (sometimes dirty) hands, iron balusters are grabbed and knocked, and new stair parts added this year will begin seeing some wear and tear. Remember, every part of your staircase will begin seeing some wear and tear after the holiday season, but that doesn't mean that keeping your staircase clean will be an impossible task.
Here are our top tips for keeping your staircase clean for the holiday season.
Keep your staircase clear of random objects. Occasionally you'll decorate your staircase with garland, presents, or even ornaments for the holidays, so keeping an uncluttered staircase becomes an even bigger task. Make it a family effort to keep laundry, toys and various other things off of the staircase during the holiday season. This is not only going to make for a safer environment for your visitors, but it's also going to create a clutter-free look on one of the highest traffic areas in your home.
Sweep and/or vacuum stairs. If you have a carpeted staircase, you will want to use a vacuum to pick up unwanted dirt. You may need to use your vacuum attachments to get tight corners or cracks. If you have wood stairs, you will want to use a broom to sweep dirt and debris starting on the top step. Sweep dirt from the top step down to the next step, and so on. This way, you can pick up the dirt from all of your stairs on the floor at the bottom of your staircase. If you have a combination of carpet and wood on your staircase, you will have to use both a vacuum and a broom to clean it.
Dust your treads and balusters. Keeping your stair parts dust-free adds a clean feeling to your staircase that your guests will admire. Dust accumulates on wood stairs, wood balusters, newel posts and in a variety of other places depending on your stair design. Don't forget to check the nooks and crannies that you may forget about in a routine dusting. Also, you may need to use a rag to pick up the tough dirt that's accumulated on the treads. You'll see a huge difference in the look of your staircase after you give it a good dusting.
Keeping your staircase clean during the holiday season doesn't have to be an impossible task. If you stay on top of these three things, your staircase will be safe and inviting for all of your holiday guests.
Best Practices for Storing Your Stair Parts
So you've decided to begin a stair remodel or new staircase project, and the first step is figuring out exactly what you need to get started for your new stair design. After you've figured this part out, it's time to place your stair parts order. Once your order arrives, it probably contains stair railings, iron balusters, and maybe even some newel posts. But what's your next step after they arrive?
It's time to store them until you're able to begin your stair remodel or project.
- You always want to store your wooden stair parts, like your wood stairs or wood balusters, in a place that's free of moisture. Moisture isn't good for wooden parts, and it should be avoided at all costs. The wood itself can be damaged by coming in contact with moisture whether it's on the concrete floors in your basement or near the ventilation on your AC Unit.
- Never store your stair parts in a dusty or dirty place. Not only can the dirt damage the finishes on your new stair parts, but it can create an unnecessary cleaning task for you before you begin you stair remodel or project. We recommend that you keep your stair parts in their shipping boxes in a moisture-free closet.
- Whether you purchased cheap stair parts or stair parts that are top of the line, it's important that you keep them out of direct sunlight. Additionally, if the storage area for your stair parts is too warm, it can also damage the wood by causing it to dry out and crack. Our recommended storage temperature is around 70 degrees.
If you have any questions about storing your stair parts order, please reach out to us on our Contact page.
Modern Staircase Design Tips
Modern staircases are becoming more popular in the interior design world, forcing homebuilders and remodelers alike to pay attention to the trends. Staircase design is one of the most challenging parts of an architect's job when designing a new home, and with all of the advances in staircase architecture, it's only getting more complicated.
So if you're about to embark on a stair remodel or project, here are a few helpful tips to know about modern staircase design.
**Remember, staircase design must abide by your region's building code. Certain dimensions are required in many areas, as well as certain elements like guardrails.
1. The materials you choose will play a big role in creating the perfect modern staircase.
Whether you decide to incorporate glass or wide oak treads, your the options are endless for your modern stair remodel. Just be sure to keep in mind that glass treads, although beautiful, become very slippery with only a drop of water. Plus, there's a privacy issue because they're see through.
2. Incorporate modern design elements.
Thin iron balusters, wide treads, and "open" staircases are all very on trend in the modern staircase world. Finding stair parts can be more difficult for this type of stair remodel, so be sure to check out our online store for everything you need.
3. Make your staircase a design focal point in your home.
Your staircase is one of the most high traffic areas in your home, so why not make it a stunning, modern centerpiece? If you're building a new home, you have more control over the location of your new staircase, but if you're embarking on a stair remodel, you might have to work a little harder to make this happen.
If you want to try out a staircase design before making your purchase, be sure and check out our Stair Design Tool. Keep in mind that you can find all of the stair parts you need on our website. From your friends at Direct Stair Parts, good luck with your modern staircase design project!
What You Need to Consider for Your Wooden Staircase
One of the most difficult parts of a stair remodel is deciding what kind of wooden stair parts you should use to complete your project. There are many factors that make each type of wood different, and your options can easily overwhelm you. Hopefully we can help you avoid some of the stress and anxiety that comes with any stair remodel or project by explaining the basics of selecting the best wood for you.
The most important thing that you’ll need to consider is what you intend to do with the wood stair parts that you’ll purchase, and this decision will usually depend on what you want your finished staircase to look like.
The are many options and themes that you can consider, however, they will all be limited by the type/grade of wood that you select for your project. When making your selection, you will want to focus on four particular grade factors: carpet grade, paint grade, stain grade, and finish grade.
Carpet grade woods usually vary drastically in color and can contain voids and knots. They are the most cost effective, but usually lack aesthetic appeal. This particular grade is referred to as “carpet grade” because it is usually covered with carpet because of its poor quality.
Paint grade woods are similar to carpet grade woods in that they too can vary in color. However, they usually contain less knotting and pitting. This wood also lacks quality and aesthetic appeal and is typically covered with a paint finish, which is why it is referred to as “paint grade."
The final two grades are very high quality. Stain grade woods, for example, contain a uniform grain and have fewer knots. These woods are great for staining, and they are considered the minimum for a finished staircase.
The best grades are called finish grades and include hardwoods like oak, cherry, or maple. These woods can also be stained, and they contain the fewest flaws when compared to the other grades.
If you can come up with a firm idea of what you want your finished project to look like, you’ll be well on your way to finding the best woods and finishes for your stair remodel.
If you’re looking for ideas for additional stair parts, feel free to visit our website to get your creative juices flowing. We have detailed diagrams and instructions for any aspect of your stair remodel, and we will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. We wish you the best of luck!
Iron Balusters or Wood Balusters
So which one is better, wood or iron balusters?
One of the first questions you have to answer once you've embarked on your stair remodel or project is whether you'll go with wood or iron balusters. Each design has a totally different feel, and there are pros and cons to each. Custom stair parts have become so popular in the stair design world that this decision is becoming harder and harder, so we're going to compare wood and iron balusters to help you make a more informed decision.
Customization: Iron can be molded into a variety of different shapes, while wood is more limited. Yes, you can have wood balusters carved to fit your needs, but the variety of iron balusters already out there for you to choose from is much higher. Plus iron is much stronger than wood, so iron balusters can be molded into thinner shapes than wood.
Usage: Outdoors, it is certainly better to use iron balusters in place of wood because they can withstand the elements much better. Although you have the option to use wood balusters indoors, iron can still handle heavier usage than wood. Wood has the tendency to wear out quicker and lose its shine in as little as six months.
Durability: Iron is a much stronger material than wood, making it a more durable product. Wood is susceptible to termites, cracking, warping, and more, which means they'll need to be replaced more frequently.
So if you're deciding between wood or iron balusters, keep in mind that either one would be a great choice from a design perspective. One thing to keep in mind? Iron balusters are more customizable and can withstand heavier usage. But for whatever you decide, we've got both wood balusters and iron balusters available in our online catalog.