Mixing walnut floors with a hickory staircase

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  #1  
Old 09-10-12, 11:24 AM
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Mixing walnut floors with a hickory staircase

I'm in process of installing 1/2" pre-finished engineered walnut floors on a second level. I'm also planning how i'll be doing the stairs that lead down to the first floor.

As I see it, here are my options:

1. Use the engineered wood for the stair treads
2. Buy pre made walnut treads
3. Buy pre made hickory treads and stain them dark chocolate

I don't want to do option 1 because I need 6 left return treads, which means I'll have to make them myself out of stair nose pieces, which is NOT easy and takes a lot of time.

Option 2 is the ideal but too expensive.

How about option 3? If I can match the stain perfectly, would you really be able to tell the difference between walnut and hickory?

I also plan to use white painted risers of some sort.

As soon as the floors upstairs are a little more done, I'll add pictures.

Thanks all!
 
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Old 09-10-12, 01:04 PM
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If I can match the stain perfectly, would you really be able to tell the difference between walnut and hickory?
If the grain matches, then yes. But is the walnut a uniform dark brown?

Can you pick up some scraps of cured hickory, similar to the treads, to experiment on? All the way through applying the finish, which will also change the appearance?
 
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Old 09-10-12, 01:09 PM
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You'll probably find it less expensive and more readily available to use oak treads and stain them dark.
 
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Old 09-10-12, 02:48 PM
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I'm not sure if I've ever stained any hickory although I have stained oak to match walnut. You could always use the bottom side of the treads to test your stain. Using an oil base stain generally darkens the stain color.

Most of the painted risers I've done have been either poplar or plywood. If you prime and apply 1 coat of enamel before installation it will make it easier on you. I also like to stain and apply 2 coats of poly prior to installation - it's quicker/easier and less down time for the stairs.
 
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Old 09-12-12, 10:03 AM
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thanks everyone - I like the idea of staining Oak to match the chocolate walnut color. The reason I proposed hickory is that my walnut is very varied in color & lightness from plank to plank, much like hickory. I still plan to provide some images today/tomorrow.
 
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Old 09-12-12, 10:07 AM
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Using an oil base stain generally darkens the stain color.
I meant to say - using an oil base poly generally darkens the stain color.
 
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