I am interested in replacing the ends of the treads on my hardwood stairs. They are seperate pieces. The bottom 5 or so are exposed. They are really in bad shape. When I moved in there was shag carpet on them all the way down the side of the wall (o'boy the 70's). It is kind of hard to explain but the builder had tried to make some kind of design (in really cheap wood) on the exposed side. Anyway he cut holes in the HW end pieces. The staples from the rug broke up this cheap wood and the holes he cut in the HW look awful. Anyway these pieces appear to be nailed on. I have seen these pieces on sale at Home Depot (they are "Oak", no other description). My questions are: How do I find out what my stairs are made of? I always thought they were Oak, but aren't there different kinds of oak? How are these ends supposed to be attached? If I replace these ends will I be able to match the color of the stairs or will refinishing of the stairs be necessary.