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Old 04-22-2012, 02:59 AM   #1
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how to repair these stairs?


We pulled up the carpet on the stairs of our 1950's house. Some of the treads have split and look rough. My goal is to get these sturdy and looking good enough for now and then when we redo the flooring, down the road, use some sort of false tread product that matches the new floor. I can't access underneath the stairs without cutting through the drywall (which is a possibility). When i look closely at where the treads meet the stringer, it looks like the treads aren't set in grooves on the stringers - does this mean I could just pry up the treads? then access underneath the treads from the top to reinforce and repair the treads as well?
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:35 AM   #2
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how to repair these stairs?


If the treads aren't mortised into the skirt boards, then yes you can pry them up and repair/replace.

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Old 04-22-2012, 09:04 PM   #3
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how to repair these stairs?


It's possible that the stairs were site built with a carriage and a stringer, if that is the case the tread can be pried up from the carriage without disturbing the stringer to any large degree, but the riser is likely nailed to the rear of the tread. Try prying the tread up and know that when you are done you are likely going to pull down the gypsum board beneath to attach the riser to the new tread and possibly shim the tread to eliminate creaks. good luck.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:29 PM   #4
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how to repair these stairs?


It looks like someone tryed to use soild wood treads instead of laminated.
Soild tends to crack and of cup.
Why not just remove those and install new treads. Not much more expencive then over threads and should hold up better.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:22 PM   #5
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how to repair these stairs?


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
It looks like someone tryed to use soild wood treads instead of laminated.
Soild tends to crack and of cup.
Why not just remove those and install new treads. Not much more expencive then over threads and should hold up better.
I agree. Stay ahead of the game and just get your stairs replaced and ready to meet the new flooring some day. Then again maybe that's not in the budget. I'm sure that you're aware by replacing any of the steps, to be prepared to stare at one or two odd colored steps for a while.

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Old 04-28-2012, 09:11 PM   #6
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how to repair these stairs?


it looks like the treads are mortised into the risers. I would try and get a look at them from underneath. That would tell you the whole story of how they were made and answer all of your questions.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:16 PM   #7
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how to repair these stairs?


Agreed. Or cut out the one that's split already.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:20 PM   #8
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how to repair these stairs?


I'm with fixrite. I think the treads have a tenon on the ends that go into the carriage. Rip it out and start again
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:21 PM   #9
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how to repair these stairs?


they are not housed stringers, if they were you wouldnt see a gap like that. Mortised and tenon is highly unlikely on a stair, especially looking at the quality of the treads. Id rip them up and put new ones.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:28 PM   #10
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how to repair these stairs?


Only one way to find out. Mortised stairs are unusual but it has nothing to do with the gap that you see. If it is mortised, it could pull away, leave a gap like that and still have the tenon supporting it.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:47 PM   #11
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how to repair these stairs?


Not meaning to sound like a broken record, but you WILL need to access the backside of the stairs to determine if they are mortised. To me they look like they are mortised and tenoned and wedged. My other house has just that kind. With all that said you will still need to determine its method of being built. Hope you have a good day.
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:55 AM   #12
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how to repair these stairs?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgins
Only one way to find out. Mortised stairs are unusual but it has nothing to do with the gap that you see. If it is mortised, it could pull away, leave a gap like that and still have the tenon supporting it.
This is the reason stairs are not usually put together using typical mortise and tenon joinery. Instead the stringers are routed and he tread is long and wedged from the bottom. This is more typical and is by far the best method. There is a difference.

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