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Help!Need advice on wood for stair railing and treads

13 years ago

We are building quite a large semi-circular stairway which will be a focal point of our entry. It will be free-floating for the most part and white painted, with medium/dark stained wood railing and treads. The look I want is simple and beautiful. What kind of wood? I like the rich look of walnut. The stair guy is pushing for hickory or oak. They have too much grain for me and read too rustic. He also likes maple. I love the floors in a restaurant here and I thought they were walnut. I called and believe it or not, they are dark-stained maple. They are beautiful, but our builder said maple doesn't take stain well. The ones I like are solid and have been installed for about 20 years and are still gorgeous. Any knowledge of staining maple? Advice?

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