What type of wood is this

We decided to start taking the burgundy shaggy carpet off the stairs and were expecting partical board but it seams that there is wood here.
We are thinking of painintng the stairs and spindles white then placing a runner. But would like to know if this type of wood as we discovered here could be stained and varnished ?
what type of wood is this
what type of wood is this
what type of wood is this
Or should we just recalled the whole stairs again with a lighter carpet?
Decissions decissions. Any advice on what this is would be great.
  15 answers
  • Loribeth Loribeth on Jan 02, 2015
    Looks like pine to me. Pine is a softer wood, and was often used on stairs, especially when they were going to be covered with carpet. You can sand them and stain them pretty much any color if you like, or you can carpet them. It's your call. They look great stained, but they will show wear much faster than oak or another hardwood. Another option is to replace the treads with a hardwood.

  • John John on Jan 02, 2015
    It's either fir or pine

  • NEJ NEJ on Jan 02, 2015
    This looks like Fir to us. Seeing that you are in Canada that would make sense. Fir is a harder species in the evergreens, typically used in millwork for stairs, newel posts etc. as it is very durable. It is absolutely beautiful sanded, and either oiled or stained. Very rich and mellow tones. Not a wood that wants to be covered with paint.

    • Angelika F Angelika F on Jan 02, 2015
      @NEJ If FIR is very durable then i really think this is pine because it's easy to dent it as per below comment from Swan Road Designs

  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Jan 02, 2015
    If you can dent it or make a mark in it with a fingernail, then it's most likely pine. This can't be done with hardwoods. And, yes, pine can be sanded, stained and finished.

  • Gail Gail on Jan 03, 2015
    Can't add much to what everyone has said. If when they were built and meant to be carpeted certainly a soft wood. If your planning on a runner that would protect the wood. Whatever you like the look of better. I have had houses with both and I find stairs with runners more of a pain to clean. Basically have to dust the wooden edges then vacuum the runner.

  • Monique Clouatre Monique Clouatre on Jan 03, 2015
    To me it looks like oak that could be sanded and paint, or varnish. Good job to do.

    • Sharyn Sharyn on Jan 03, 2015
      @Monique Clouatre I also think it looks like the oak my floors are made of.

  • Louella Holroyd Louella Holroyd on Jan 03, 2015
    I agree with Monique, the spindles look like oak, and can be beautifully stained. I would probably paint the stairs, because of the soft wood, and stain the spindles. Could look really fabulous. There is a hard floor finish used on gym floors I think you can buy at Sherwin Williams.

  • Barbara Burnham Barbara Burnham on Jan 03, 2015
    I thought I was nuts when I started reading fir, pine, etc. Then I got to Monique and Luella and was "right on ladies"!! That is undoubtedly oak. I really like stair cases with the rails and tread stained darker (more forgiving to scuffs and wear) and the risers either painted or used with creative touches. One I saw was painted off white with black lettering that was a bible verse the family liked or it could be a short poem or sentence that is heartfelt or thought provoking (for example: be kind, laugh, give, love, smile, hug, etc.)

  • Angelika F Angelika F on Jan 03, 2015
    Had a contractor take a look and the banisters and spindles with trim are oak but the steps themselves are pine. Typical use to homes that are build with carpeted stairs here.

  • Kelly S Kelly S on Jan 03, 2015
    There are a myriad of staircase remakes on this site.Type in stairs or staircase in the search box at the top. We put 1/4" ash plywood on the risers, replaced the OSB treads with ash treads to match the ash wood flooring that we have installed in the house. this was after hours of ripping out the carpet, padding and staples. I actually like the ones that have a darker tread and a lighter riser color. The color, if you decide to paint, will depend on what you like in the rest of the house and what your family's lifestyle is. We chose ash because it is very durable and has held up well against the wear and tear of 2 different largish dogs. We put stair tread rugs on the steps so it wouldn't be too slippery for us and the dogs.

  • Shawnda Shawnda on Jan 03, 2015
    The spindles are oak, the stairs are pine or for.

  • Shawnda Shawnda on Jan 03, 2015

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Jan 05, 2015
    Post is oak. Can't see the stringers. If oak, don't paint. You could always stain them darker or lighter for that matter. Have 100+ year old home. The floors on 3rd floor are fir. Nothing soft about them - apparently fir hardens up as it ages according to trades. Think I would stain the treads. You could always paint later. Like the idea of a runner - all colours, patterns to choose from.