Wood type & finish for interior wood handrail
I am having a new railing made with wrought iron balusters in matte black and a wood handrail. The staircase treads are red oak with a natural polyurethane finish.
I'm not sure I want to use oak for the handrail.....what wood type would you recommend that has a nice consistent grain and may go well with natural red oak? I'm looking at mahogony or brazilian cherry as 2 possible options.....any advice?
Also, is it ok if I have a darker finish on the handrail (for a little contrast from the natural finish on the stair treads), or would it be best if the handrail is the same finish as the stairs?
Please feel free to post your railing pictures, especially if your wood handrail is a different finish than your stair treads.
Thank you all for your help!