Our house came fully carpeted - even the master bath...yay. We of course ripped it out and chose wide plank oak floors throughout the house - except the bathrooms. I liked the style of the stair case and rails, but it wasn't to code so we had to take it all down and start from scratch. Because the house has such clean, modern lines, I didn't want the standard bull nose edge on the stairs. The previous railing was made from redwood. Again I chose oak for it's hardiness, but I stained it charcoal to match the knots in the oak floors and to create some nice contrast. I love the way it turned out.