Wood Species

We offer our stair parts and other products in a great variety of wood species, to match or complement any installation. Our lumber warehouse is stocked with kiln-dried hardwoods from the finest lumber mills.  We can bring in almost any species not listed here.

PLAIN or FLAT SAWN:  This is the most common type of lumber, with typical grain patterns and “cathedrals” visible in most species.

QUARTERSAWN or RIFT & QUARTERSAWN:  Quartersawn lumber is specifically cut to show “flake” or “figuring” and is mostly specified for red or white oak.  Boards are narrower than plain sawn, and will include some rift sawn as well.

RIFT SAWN:  This is cut specifically to produce linear grain patterns, and is mostly specified for red or white oak.  It normally includes some quartersawn “flake” as well.

RUSTIC, CHARACTER OR KNOTTY GRADES:  These grades are typically sorted to include more variations in grain and color and may include knots.  The irregularities and knots make these grades unsuitable for handrail and treads.

African Mahogany

Creamy colored sapwood and reddish brown heartwood.  Often used for both interior and exterior products,  stained and painted.


Light brown with a red or yellowish tinge. The wood is fairly straight grained with a uniform texture.  Knotty Alder is a popular wood for doors, cabinetry, paneling, etc.
(aka American Ash)
Similar in appearance to European ash. The sapwood is light and the heartwood varies from greyish brown to light brown. The wood is generally straight grained with a coarse uniform texture.
The sapwood of American beech is white with a red tinge, while the heartwood is light to dark reddish brown. The wood is generally straight grained.
(aka Yellow Birch) Has white sapwood and light reddish brown heartwood. The wood is straight grained with a fine uniform texture.  “Red birch” is sorted for color from the same species.
Brazilian Cherry
(aka Jatoba)
Deep red, burgundy or orange tones, with a strong visible grain pattern.
Reddish color with an aromatic scent and numerous knots; otherwise straight and close grained.
(aka American Cherry)
The heartwood of cherry varies from rich red to reddish brown and will darken on exposure to light. In contrast, the sapwood is creamy white. The wood has a fine uniform straight grain and a smooth texture.
(aka Brazilian Teak)
The heartwood is usually medium to dark brown, with a reddish hue and streaks of lighter brown.
Douglas fir
Generally straight grained; pale cream to light orange-red in color.
Genuine Mahogany
Now considered an endangered species due to over-harvesting, it is strictly regulated and not widely available.  We recommend African Mahogany or Sapele as substitute species.
(aka Calico Hickory)
A beautiful mix of white sapwood and pale brown heartwood.  Coarse texture with mostly straight grain.
(aka Brazilian Walnut)
Heartwood is olive brown to blackish, often with lighter or darker striping and creamy sapwood.
Pale pink to tan in color and similar in appearance to mahogany, but environmentally sustainable. Medium texture and straight grain.
Maple - Hard & Soft
Hard Maple is known for it’s beautiful pale color, silky grain, strength and durability.  Soft Maple is lighter weight, a bit darker, and gray streaks are typical. 
Red oak
The sapwood of red oak is white to light brown and the heartwood is a pinkish reddish brown. The wood is mostly straight grained, with a coarse texture.
The sapwood is creamy white and may be streaked with the heartwood varying from pale yellowish brown to olive green. May be sorted as “Stain Grade” for more uniform color.  An ideal wood for interior painted products.
Santos mahogany
Color varies between light orange brown to a dark red or purplish brown.
Light to dark brown, hard and dense, with ribboned grain.
The sapwood is very light, and contrasts with deep reddish brown heartwood. Medium texture and uniform grain.
(aka American or Black Walnut)
The heartwood is a rich blend of browns, occasionally with a purplish cast and darker streaks.  It gets lighter over time, especially when exposed to sunlight. The wood is generally straight grained.
White oak
The sapwood of American white oak is light colored and the heartwood is light to dark brown. White oak is mostly straight grained with a medium to coarse texture.
White pine
Light, soft, straight grained and with very uniform texture. It is not as resinous as other pine woods.
Yellow pine
Distinctive grain pattern with an appealing golden color. Abundant and renewable.