10:12AM | 10/24/05
Member Since: 10/23/05
6 lifetime posts
I have a couple important questions before I begin my biggest project so far. I have ripped up the carpeting on my stairs and plan on installing maple stair treads(and risers) onto existing stairs. (2 x 11 treads).

First I would really appreciate some input on what type of adhesive to use to glue the pieces on. I really want to avoid any screws into the new wood, unless absolutely necessary.

Secondly I will be finishing the maple with a stain AND polyurethane. I wanted to confirm that i should leave the bottom of the tread, free of those 2 things, so that the adhesive will stick directly to the wood.

thanks, s

doug seibert

12:47PM | 10/24/05
Member Since: 08/10/02
842 lifetime posts
Adding the treads to the existing stairs may cause problems......

The Bottom step will be too tall and the top step will be too short......

This creates a safety hazard.....the rise on each step needs to be the same(or nearly the same)......


01:08PM | 10/24/05
Member Since: 10/23/05
6 lifetime posts
well, as luck would have it, ceramic tile and a subfloor was placed at the bottom, which makes the first stair 7", and adding laminate flooring and subfloor to the top of the stairs, also increased the height of the top stair. So adding an inch tread to each(except the very top step) will even all of them out to about 8".

Any Advice?

doug seibert

02:49PM | 10/24/05
Member Since: 08/10/02
842 lifetime posts
Knowing more about the existing carpeted stairs would help.....

are these plywood stairs......

do the existing treads have nosings.....

what are the walls/stringers/skirts.....and risers......How will these be treated?.

is the underside accessible......

Glue would generally NOT be strong enough alone.....

The nosing projection, rise and run are all code specifications......

what color are you staining the maple.....


03:28AM | 10/25/05
Member Since: 10/23/05
6 lifetime posts
Thanks for the reply. The stairs as they stand now are void of carpet, and we are now down to bare wood. The tread are 2 x 11's, and the risers are 3/4 inch plywood. The 2 x 11 protrudes 1 inch from the riser(a 1 inch nose)

The stairs are open underneath, but both sides are against a wall, so there are no skirt issues. The stringers will be sanded and painted the same color as the walls.

I have purchased 1 x 10 inch stair treads with the 1/2 inch for the nosing round at the end.(total depth 10.5 inches) Also, I have 1/2 inch thick maple risers.

In a perfect yet simple world, I would like to cut off the nose of the existing 2x11 so that it is flush with the riser, for a "perfectly" square (~90 degree) stair, place the riser so that it goes all the way up to the top of the existing 2x11(now cut to 2x10 once the nose is gone). Then place the new tread on top, (10.5 inch, plus a half inch riser behind it would again, give me a 1 inch overhang). The only thing exposed would be the new tread, and new riser, with no unsightly constructions grade wood to be seen with the naked eye.

The maple will be stained with a minwax stain, either a natural or other light color, since the top of the stairs meets with birch laminate. Then i plan to top the stain off with minwax fast drying polyurethane.

Any advice is welcome.




10:39AM | 10/26/05
Member Since: 06/20/05
53 lifetime posts
What you suggest about cutting off the rounded nose of the treads and attaching the hardwood over the top is what I have heard of people doing, and what I plan to do myself in the near future. I agree that you'll probably want to nail them.

The only tricky part is cutting the bull nose off right flush right the sides. I believe there is a recip saw blade for that.


12:10PM | 10/26/05
Member Since: 10/23/05
6 lifetime posts
Thanks for your input. It all makes to me, cutting off the nose flush with the riser.

I have gotten a few responses from people believing an oil based adhesive, specifically for hardwood, on the entire contact surface of the tread (33" x 10") would be more than enough to hold it.

I am also afraid of cracking the wood if I try to drill into it.

If i do decide to use screws, or nails, which would be better? Also, would adding glue in addition to the nails/screws, help avoid any creaking that might be caused by the old tread to new tread contact?



06:04AM | 10/27/05
Member Since: 10/23/05
6 lifetime posts
an error in my calculations has been brought to my attention. giving myself a 1 inch overhang on the top stair is fine, but then when i move to the next stair down, and put in the 1/2 inch riser, I am decreasing my overhang by that 1/2 inch.

Should I leave well enough alone and live with the 1/2 inch overhang, or try and add an additional strip in the back to make up the difference and maybe cover it with a cove molding or something?

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