Exposing Brick and Replacing Stairs

In addition to renovating the first floor living and dining room, we are completely gutting the second floor. This initially small facelift grew into a huge renovation of the first two floors. With older homes, unfortunately that is usually the case - a small job turns into a big one in a matter of days. 2 main features we are changing in this 100 year old house are 2 sets of stairs, and exposing the southern brick wall in the downstairs hall that leads upstairs. This drawing illustrates where we are exposing the brick, as well as the new stair design, which is being manufactured by a Toronto stair company - Royal Oak Stairs.

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Stairs are tricky to design yourself- it's always best to get the help of a professional who understands the final outcome you are trying to achieve. It is also vital that your stairs follow the OBC, which is sometimes difficult in an older home. We designed this 'guard' made of interior lists, which will double as a railing and an art installation. After meeting with the manufacturer, we have sent in our final measurements and here are some photos that inspired us when creating our new white oak stairs.



Although it was the more expensive option, white oak stairs will match the new engineered hardwood perfectly compared to a red oak stair that is stained to look like white oak. There were endless choices for stair profiles, but we decided to keep it as modern and clean as possible, which is why we went with a 'waterfall' profile - which just means no nosing on each stair.

Here are the pictures of our hallway before the stairs are replaced. We were so happy to find that the brick was in good shape.


The process of exposing brick walls is fairly straight forward, but there are some steps you must take in order to achieve that move-in ready state. After demolition (whacking away at the plaster until it falls off), we wash the brick as best as possible, and because we intend to paint it, we first have to seal it with a strong primer called 'Bulls Eye'.


Hopefully to finish with this look..


First coat already on!


The benefit of exposing brick is that it exposes the historical charm of a renovated house. It can add texture, warmth and potentially colour to any space. Spaces by Jacflash feels like having exposed brick is a 'must have' for city living.