How Much Do Hardwood Stairs Cost?

Typical Range:

$1,000 - $30,000

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated June 24, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The average cost of hardwood stairs is about $2,375. Hardwood stairs cost about $75 to $200 per stair, including labor and materials, and most homes have 10 to 20 stairs. Costs can range from $750 to over $30,000, depending on the type of wood, number and shape of stairs, and any structural work that needs done. 

Because they are durable, long-lasting, and easy to maintain, hardwood stairs are a popular choice for homeowners.

Average cost for hardwood stairs is $2,375, ranging from $750 to $30,000

2022 Notice: Material Prices Are Surging

Demand for siding and other building materials has grown over the past year. And as a result, manufacturers are increasing materials prices. Prices have gone up 5% to 10% this year, and many parts of the country are experiencing long delivery times. If you're planning a building project, we recommend starting as early as possible in the season, preparing for potential price fluctuations, and allowing extra time to order materials.

Cost to Install Hardwood Stairs

The average cost to install hardwood stairs varies depending on if you are installing a whole new set of stairs and railings or you’re just updating parts of the hardwood staircase.

Hardwood Steps and Treads

Hardwood stair treads and risers cost $1,800 to $2,500 to replace. Treads cost about $35 to $50 each, although you can find treads as low as $20 each or upward of $160 each for treads made with higher quality wood.

Handrails and Balusters

Wood handrails cost about $900 average, or $30 to $70 per linear foot. Balusters, often known as spindles in the railings, cost anywhere from $3 to $17 each or an average of $1,200 to $1,600.

Cost to Install Wood Stairs by Type

Building stairs and railings costs $920 to $2,900 on average. Prices will vary based on the type of hardwood. An oak staircase costs between $3,450 and $4,800. Most stairs are made of red oak, thanks to its durability and longevity.

Hardwood Type Cost per Step (Including Labor)
Oak $60 – $130
Maple $130 – $240
Hickory $120 – $220
Pine $80 – $180
Ash $100 – $210
Bamboo $140 – $360
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Hardwood Stair Cost Factors

The final cost of installing hardwood stairs depends on various factors. L-shaped staircases will be more expensive, or you can save money by opting for prefinished hardwood stairs. The cost can also depend on whether you choose to refinish existing wood stairs or completely replace them.

Replacing Carpet or Flooring

To start, removing carpet costs $75 to $300. A carpenter might not tackle this part of the job but you can hire a handyperson for $60 to $65 an hour.

Once the carpet is gone, you’ll pay $100 to $200 per step. For 10 to 12 steps, this costs $1,080 to $2,700, including carpet removal.

Staircase Style

Many staircases are straight, but more complex designs, like L- or U-shaped staircases, may cost at least $3,000 for the extra framing. Spiral staircases cost an average of $10,400, and floating stairs can cost $5,000 to $30,000.

Improving Subfloor or Structures

Updating the subfloor or structures costs around $1,000, or about $1.50 to $7 per square foot. The subfloor is the foundation for the hardwood, so it is important to choose a high-quality subfloor that will support the flooring. If the subfloors are in good condition, you may not need to repair or replace them.

Refinishing vs. Replacing

It costs $40 to $75 to refinish a step. For 10 to 12 steps, this costs $400 to $900. You can sand hardwood floors with a machine, but stairs are smaller and require more time and attention.

You could save money by refinishing your stairs and floors all at once instead of paying for them separately. Refinishing hardwood costs anywhere from $970 to $1,250 per 300 square feet.

Prefinished vs. Unfinished Wood

At first glance, it seems like unfinished wood is less expensive at $400 to $900 for about 10 steps, while prefinished wood costs about $700 to $1,000 for the same amount of steps. 

But prefinished steps come ready to install, where unfinished wood will need to be sanded and finished during installation, increasing the cost of labor. Unfinished wood is best if you want custom stairs, which can cost up to $30,000 for the finished project.

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DIY vs. Hire a Professional

Hiring a professional carpenter to install or replace hardwood stairs costs about $60 per stair or $50 to $100 per hour. In total, the labor for installing hardwood stairs will make up around 40% of the project cost.

We use our stairs every day, which means they experience a good amount of wear. A fall down the stairs can result in serious consequences, which is why you want to hire a professional for maximum safety. 

Not to mention, poor carpentry means replacing stairs sooner or even subsequent damage to your house. Find a stair contractor near you for an estimate and a staircase you’ll love.

FAQs

How do you install wood flooring on stairs?

A carpenter cuts pieces of hardwood flooring to fit the stairs. Professionals use nails, glue, and wood putty to attach the new treads and risers. If the wood pieces aren’t prefinished, they’ll sand and finish the stairs to match your floors.

Is hardwood on stairs slippery?

Wood stairs can be slippery, especially if you like to walk around in socks or if you have kids and pets in the house. You can make stairs safer by adding a layer of slip-resistant material or installing a carpet runner.

What is the best wood for indoor stairs?

There are many popular, reliable woods to consider for indoor stairs. One of the most common choices is red oak.

What is the best way to clean wooden stairs?

For everyday cleaning, you can use a vacuum without the beater bar or a broom to sweep up dirt and debris. For a deeper clean, you should use a cleaner designed specifically for hardwood floors and a microfiber cleaning cloth. Avoid using diluted vinegar or bleach, which can strip the protective sealant on hardwood treads.

What is a retrofit stair tread?

These treads allow you to add hardwood to your stairs without completely rebuilding a new frame. They’re often used to remodel carpeted stairs.

How much do exterior wooden stairs cost?

Outdoor wood stairs are usually connected to a deck and average $770 to $1,230. Installing a deck railing costs $93 per linear foot and is a necessary safety measure.

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