What Type of Wood Should I Use For My Stair Steps or Treads?

The most common stair tread or steps for standard stairway construction, will be made from construction standard lumber. This would include oriented strand board, plywood, 2 x 4, 2 x 6, 2 x 8, 2 x 10, 2 x 12, 2 x 14, 3 x 12, 3 x 14, 4 x 12, 4 x 14 and every once in a while a 6 x 12.

I honestly can't think of one type of lumber that couldn't be used for a stair tread or step, as long as it was thick enough support the weight of the stairway users.

The picture above provides you with an excellent example of what a oriented strand board stair tread would look like. Remember oriented strand board is a type of engineered lumber that can be used for risers also.

The picture above shows three different types of stair treads,

A - Consists of 2 - 2 x 6's

B- Consists of 3 - 2 x 4's

C- Consists of 1 - 2 x 12

Out of the three, the 2 x 12 would be the strongest, followed by the 2 x 6, then the 2 x 4. Most of the time, a solid piece of lumber will be structurally sturdier than two pieces and of course two pieces will be stronger than three.

There are a variety of different construction methods that can be used to connect separate pieces of lumber that will be used to create one stair tread. However, these methods will be time-consuming and remember, time is money.

Different Types of Stair Treads

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