You know all those carefully photoshopped images you see all over the internet and in glossy magazines? You won’t find any here, that’s part of our honest approach to staircases and to our customers. If you’re going to be spending your hard earned money on a new staircase – you’ll want to know exactly what you’re getting. It’s only fair, that’s why we have nothing to hide. Our Terms & Conditions are printed on the reverse of our Sales Agreement which is given to all customers when our designers visit. Unlike many Terms & Conditions they aren’t full of technical jargon to try and catch you out. Their purpose is to be informative so you know exactly what to expect and the specifications we work to. We also email a link to the latest version of our Terms & Conditions on our website and our Frequently Asked Questions page which prepares our customers for what they should expect during an installation. What’s more, there aren’t many companies we know of who will be honest and transparent enough to publish this information on their news page for any prospective customer to read. Thats because we want our customers to make an informed decision.
The majority of the staircases we install are oak, a beautiful hardwood prized for it’s warm colours. Oak, like other woods is a natural product and will therefore have variations in tone and grain. It may also feature individual characteristics such as medullary rays. We make no secret of this, in fact you will see examples of medullary rays on various photographs throughout our website (images 6, 28 of our gallery are good examples of this) and they are clearly shown on the handrail on the double page image spread over Page 4-5 in our brochure. You will also find a page in our blog feed dedicated to them which describes in greater detail what they are.
Many of the handrails in our installations are secured using a mechanical fixing; a screw into the handrail often through the opposite side of the newel post. This is covered using a visible pellet made from the corresponding timber and finished using the same lacquer. There may be some variation in the tone and grain of the pellet which may make the pellet more or less obvious. Again we make no secret of this process and photographs which show these visible pellets can be seen on page 2 and 7 of brochure and throughout our website (Images 13, 16, 60 & 90 are good examples of this).
Abbott-Wade use two styles of newel posts. Our preferred newel post is our precision mitred oak newel with 4 perfect face (read more here), with a solid oak core which not only looks better that alternative posts but is also more environmentally sustainable. Our customers also have the option of a laminated newel comprising two or more pieces of laminated oak as used our competitors but which may feature a visible join as seen in our gallery on p42 & p77.
Joins in cladding (see gallery image 20) may be visible in some staircase renovations where string lengths are longer than 2700mm. This is due to a maximum board lengths being restricted to 3000mm.
Decoration is something else to be considered. If you’re getting significant work with a structural element done to your home – beware companies who promise there will be no mess or damage. Even with the best care in the world; depending on how long a staircase has been installed, how it was fitted and whether it has adhered to adjacent plasterwork, the amount of damage could be almost unnoticeable or sufficient enough to require a visit by a plasterer to make good. Similarly there may be damage to wallpaper which has been set against stair parts to be removed. This varies from home to home but we don’t shy away from the fact that there may well be some making good to be done following the visit. We ensure we print this on the front of the Sales Agreement in addition to out Terms and Conditions to ensure it comes as no surprise to our customers.
Glass staircase balustrades are increasingly popular for more and more of our customers. We use 10mm toughened glass as standard in our installations and use an excellent glass supplier which manufactures our glass to the highest standards. We work to the standards set in the Glass & Glazing Federation’s Quality of Vision document which specifies that marks, inclusions and blemishes on glass may appear as long as they are not be visible from a distance of 3 meters, when viewed at 90 degrees in natural daylight, but not directly towards the sun and with no visible moisture on the surface of the glass and may contain minute particles and fine scratches no more than 25mm long.
Please Note: This news story has been amended and updated following the launch of our updated website in 2016