EXTERNAL TIMBER STAIRCASES: WHY WOOD QUALITY MATTERS15 May 2018
There is a certain attractive appeal about timber that a lot of people find irresistible. Whether it is the combination of its rusticity and the fact that it can be shaped, tooled, and refined to a very fine standard, or simply because it is a product of nature that exudes its own appeal, timber has always been one of the most favoured building material for nearly all cultures.
Staircases are just some of the many important structures that are built almost entirely from timber – a practice that dates back to the Medieval Period of Western architecture. While indoor staircases may benefit from a wide assortment of finer woods, external timber staircases are best built from solid, hardy wood.
Although it is recommended to build external staircases with high-quality timber, there is the often the concern about price and practicality, which is why it is advised to use wrought iron balustrading for outside staircases.
If you are considering installing an external timber staircase for your house and are having a difficult time deciding on the right type of wood to use, then here are just some of the many advantages that quality timber has which will benefit your staircase overtime:
- Hardiness – quality timber is hardy, as can be seen by many timber or log cabins that are seemingly impervious to the ravages of the elements. Although, even quality timber isn’t exactly ‘weathering proof’, but it is capable of taking a good beating even if left untreated. However, timber treated specifically for outdoor applications will of course last longer and require less upkeep than untreated hardwood.
- Heft – timber is undoubtedly heavy. This heft not only adds to the appeal of timber, but it also ensures that the staircases and structures built from it are sturdy and long-lasting. Oftentimes, the problem with average quality cut wood is that is prone to warping, cracking or splintering, especially when untreated, whereas quality timber will only warp, crack, splinter or split after enormous force is applied for long periods of time. That is why it is not advised to store heavy objects on timber staircases.
This makes quality timber more than ideal for a structure such as an external staircase that will see regular and heavy traffic.
- Versatility – compared to steel, iron, and concrete, which are not as aesthetically pleasing than quality timber; hardwoods in the hands of skilled artisans have more flexibility and versatility in design and style of external staircases.
If you would like some help planning and installing a quality timber external staircase for your home, then visit us here at Planet Stairs, we are happy to help.
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