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Cost Effective Oak Stairs

Posted: 17th February 2020 in Advice

A lot of people buying a staircase desire a white oak staircase, however the cost of a white oak staircase can be exponentially more expensive than a standard specification staircase.

However, it’s possible to have a striking staircase without having the whole staircase in white oak, which makes the cost significantly cheaper.

Within your property, the joinery won’t all be hardwood.
For example; an oak floor and painted skirting boards or oak doors and painted door frames is the norm.

The same applies to a staircase, although you can order the entire staircase in oak, it’s possible to have some components in oak and paint the others.

It’s important to appreciate that not all oak components cost the same, to make an oak staircase cost effective, the best way is to only order some components in oak and to understand which bits add the most cost.

Stair component prices compared in White Oak & Pine

ItemPineWhite OakAdditional cost for Oak instead of PinePercentage difference

String, 4200mm long















Post, 90x90mm and 1500mm long





Post Cap, Pyramid for 90x90mm post





Handrail, HDR Profile, 4200mm long





Bottomrail, Trademark Profile, 4200mm long





Spindle, Square 41x41mm and 900mm long





n.b. These are just the base prices for each component, costs fitted to staircase may vary.

Which Components are the most expensive?

The table above shows which components add the most cost, the corresponding diagram also shows which component is which.

The most cost effective way to add partial oak is the Post Caps, followed by Handrail, Bottomrail then posts.
Where as strings and spindles normally add the most significant cost.

Just having White Oak, Handrail, Bottomrail & Caps can look very striking as per the picture at the top of this page whilst adding minimal cost.

However the additional cost will depend on the number of each component(s) on the staircase in question, for example, some stairs will have a lot more posts than others.

Why do some components cost more?

Generally the longer and wider the component the more it costs, this is because it needs to come from a more prime part of the tree.
Strings are the most expensive for this reason.
Post Caps are the cheapest option as they’re so small so can come from offcuts.

Example Straight Staircase:

Example Staircase pricing

The example staircase shown to the right is a typical straight staircase, with square posts and handrails up one side.

Base price; £303.67 +VAT

Strings, Treads & Risers

Additional cost for oak strings instead of pine; £360 +VAT

Additional cost for pine treads instead of MDF; £51 +VAT
Additional cost for oak treads instead of MDF; £234 +VAT

Additional cost for pine veneered risers instead of ply; £25 +VAT
Additional cost for pine risers instead of ply; £51 +VAT
Additional cost for oak veneered risers instead of ply; £30 +VAT
Additional cost for oak risers instead of ply; £297 +VAT

Posts, Caps, Handrail, Bottomrail & Spindles

Additional cost for oak posts instead of pine; £82 +VAT
Additional cost for oak post caps instead of pine; £4 +VAT
Additional cost for oak handrail instead of pine; £40 +VAT
Additional cost for oak bottomrail instead of pine; £33 +VAT
Additional cost for oak spindles instead of pine; £72 +VAT

Please note; prices correct at time of writing in January 2020.

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