To what extent can a staircase be renovated?

When redecorating your home one of the biggest elements you may which to change is the staircase and there are two ways in which that can be done, either you can replace the entire staircase or you can opt for a staircase renovation. Depending on the extent to which you want to alter your staircase and the condition that the current stairs are in it may be easier and more cost effective to renovate you existing staircase. However, to what extent can a staircase be renovated?

Newel Posts – A staircases newel posts can either be lined, replaced, or partly replaced. Lining an existing staircase involves applying newel liners to the sides of the newel, creating a square newel with a new outer layer. This involves applying a liner to each side of the newel, which creates joins where one liner meats another.

Replacing the newel entirely gives a lot more options but also can create added fuss. The newels that are on the stairs themselves need to be joined to the staircase stringer so that they give the right amount of support and if the newel post goes through the wall or is attached to the wall it can create added plaster work.

Partly replacing newel posts involves cutting the top section of a newel post off and then attaching a new section of newel post on top. This gives the added flexibility of replacing the newel however you don’t need to worry about rejoining the newel to the stringer. However, with joining two newel sections together there will be a join which will need to be filled and painted over. Therefor this option isn’t appropriate for hardwood newels.

Newel Caps – Newel caps are probably the easiest component on a staircase to replace. The old cap is simply taken off and a new one inserted.

Baserail – a staircase baserail can easily be removed and replace in most cases.

Handrail – the handrail can be replaced in most cases, as long as the newel posts it is being attached to are stable and in good condition.

Spindles – Spindles again can, in most cases, be replaced easily. Depending on the spindles you may need to replace the handrail and baserail. This depends on the groove on the handrail and baserail and whether it is the same width and the spindles.

Glass Balustrade – Glass balustrades can be fitted to most staircases. In almost all cases both the handrail and the baserail need to also be changed so to accommodate the glass thickness.

Stringer – the stringer of a staircase can not be replaced however it can be lined. This involves adding a thin section of timber, around 9mm, to the outside of the stringer. The outside face can easier be lined however the insides are a much more difficult process as they need to be individually cut out to fit each step.

Feature step – a feature step can be added an existing staircase, but certain things need to be done in order for this to be done. If there is an existing feature step and you want to replace it then it is simply a case of swapping the two, which shouldn’t affect much else on the stairs. If your staircase doesn’t have a feature step, then this would mean that you need to replace the newel post and remove a part of the stringer to accommodate that.