Buckeye Hardwood Stairs

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Stairway Systems

The craft of building stairs dates to 6000 B.C. and was developed as an addition to the outside of a building. Staircases quickly became superior defensive positions in these early buildings and by the eleventh century, the narrow interior stairway was developed in England. it is said that these first interior stairways took into account the ability of the right (or left) handed swordsman to defend or attack while holding the railing with his off hand.

After the defensive stairway came the grand central stairway of the great buildings of the fourteenth century. By the seventeenth century examples of stair systems with social comfort in mind became common in residences.

At this time compacted dirt floors were the norm for the first floor of most homes. Stairs to a second story created a need for flooring that could be suspended above these main floors. Hence the birth of hardwood flooring. Without stairs there was no need for flooring.

Sleeping on the second story-with its staircase–called for wood planks, fastened to perpendicular timbers, the very first hardwood floors. The staircase to the second floor afforded an easier way to defend against unwanted intruders as well as access.

Presently staircases have evolved into becoming centerpieces in many homes (think “Gone with the Wind”) Buckeye Hardwood has embraced the building, rebuilding, refinishing, and the resurfacing of stair systems. Each stair system is its own, unique project. No one solution encompasses all the variables to redo a set of steps. The staircase is a combination of structural elements, balustrades, newels, skirt boards, handrails, risers, and treads. These individual parts are joined with generally accepted geometric formulas so that they combine to take into account the normal height and gait of the occupants. From how the stairs “walk”(rise/run of the treads/risers), height of the handrails, spacing of the balustrades, and headroom stairs in many ways are the mathematics of our time. Having read volumes on staircases, many printed in the late nineteenth century, I am fascinated at how the formulas for building steps have been tweaked to accommodate the taller populations over the years.

Buckeye Hardwood is equipped and knowledgeable in all facets of the building of stairs–as well as the hardwood floors on the landings and levels to which they ascend and descend.

All content and photographs copyright © 2005 Buckeye Hardwood.

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