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Old 11-25-2010, 01:16 PM   #1
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installing oak stair treads advice


hey guys,
I am getting ready to replace old stair treads with new oak ones. What is the best method for installing them? I want to make sure they do not creak and are properly installed.

Do you do anything specific to prevent them from squeaking and creaking?

do you use liquid nails and also nails? Or are screws and plugs better?

If you using nails, what size and kind should I use?


Just looking for advice from others who have done it before with good results and have a method that works well.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

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Old 11-26-2010, 08:33 AM   #2
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installing oak stair treads advice


Do you have access to the underside of your stairs?

If so, I would cut some small blocks to attach to the side of the stringer,under the tread.
Bevel cut the 3 edges on the under side of your tread, as so you will get a better fit. All 4 sides of the riser.
Screw in your treads from the under side through the small blocks. I do the same process for the risers as well.
The first tread might have to be screwed and plugged on the top, because of limited access. I know of other ways to do this, but this is the way that works for me. Good Luck to you...........................................:thu mbsup:


If down the road you have a bit of a squeak issue, just go under the stairs and tighten up the screw or screws on the squeaky tread. But like I said Access is

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Old 11-26-2010, 09:13 AM   #3
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installing oak stair treads advice


Nail, and glue everywhere wood touches wood put glue. I used a construction adhesive except the ends and back edges, I used carpenters wood glue. Hand nails, I use 10d finishing nails, for my gun nails I used 2 1/2 inch. If you have trouble with the hand nails bending, cut the head off one nail and use it for a drill bit. Be careful, it gets very hot, also beware, the nail will soften and bend easy after a few treads.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:55 AM   #4
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installing oak stair treads advice


I would definitely encourage the use of glue everywhere wood is touching wood - this will help to eliminate any squeaking.

Have you purchased your stair treads yet?
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:49 PM   #5
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installing oak stair treads advice


DON'T use nails. they will squeak when the woods expands/contracts with humidity. Glue and screw unless you want to go overboard and rabbet the tread into the riser
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:44 PM   #6
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installing oak stair treads advice


mrgins,

Nails are fine as long as you use constructive adhesive. The nails mostly act as a clamp until the adhesive sets.

Squeaks have nothing to do with seasonal wood movement due to relative moisture content. The squeak is a result of the tread moving up and down against the nail when the tread is stepped on.

Rabbeting the risers into the treads is certainly nice but it is done to hide gaps from seasonal movement, not squeaks.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:37 AM   #7
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installing oak stair treads advice


Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Mathewson View Post
mrgins,

Nails are fine as long as you use constructive adhesive. The nails mostly act as a clamp until the adhesive sets.

Squeaks have nothing to do with seasonal wood movement due to relative moisture content. The squeak is a result of the tread moving up and down against the nail when the tread is stepped on.

Rabbeting the risers into the treads is certainly nice but it is done to hide gaps from seasonal movement, not squeaks.
I disagree, especially when we're talking about something that is stepped on. Glue bonds can fail over time. Why spare the expense of a screw when it is good back up in case of failure?
Yes, the rabbetting is over the top but not just to hide the gap, it also provides another solution to a potentially squeaky area
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:28 PM   #8
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Thanks,
I have seen treads with nails that haven't squeaked before. If I use screws I have to plug them too. So If I went with nails, I can use my nail gun with 2 1/2 nails. What kind of of gun would u suggest? Liquid nails.?

Can't get under stairs either.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:29 PM   #9
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Also , no I haven't purchased the treads yet. This weekend.
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Old 12-02-2010, 03:38 PM   #10
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installing oak stair treads advice


Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Mathewson View Post
mrgins,

Nails are fine as long as you use constructive adhesive. The nails mostly act as a clamp until the adhesive sets.

Squeaks have nothing to do with seasonal wood movement due to relative moisture content. The squeak is a result of the tread moving up and down against the nail when the tread is stepped on.

Rabbeting the risers into the treads is certainly nice but it is done to hide gaps from seasonal movement, not squeaks.
I agree with Keith, in my 41 years as a wood worker I never had any of the stairs I installed squeak. I did use a construction adhesive called F-26 and was the toughest adhesive I have ever used. I use Elmer's Wood Glue on the back edges and ends of the treads. I have several different nail guns, Senco being my favorite, Hitachi, Porter Cable, Bostitch, Pasload, Duofast and a few others.

Using screws leaves too big a hole to plug for my taste and if the wood will shrink from a nail it will shrink from a screw. I had rather the wood shrink from a nail and stay glued than the tread shrink and be captive of the screw and pop the glue joint. JMHO and experience.
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:47 PM   #11
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Thanks,
I have seen treads with nails that haven't squeaked before. If I use screws I have to plug them too. So If I went with nails, I can use my nail gun with 2 1/2 nails. What kind of of gun would u suggest? Liquid nails.?

Can't get under stairs either.
I use trim screws. I've seen plenty of creaking stairs in my time so that's why I use them
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:26 PM   #12
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installing oak stair treads advice


mrgins,

If your system works for you then by all means keep doing it.

The way I install them is much like Jiju1943. One of the biggest considerations is to make sure that the stringer is clean, if it isn't then the adhesive sticks to the dust and not the stringer. I use PL premium Polyurethane Starting at the bottom apply a bead of adhesive about the same diameter as the size of the tube, coat the back edge of the tread (the part that butts against the riser) with yellow glue and set in place. Kneel on the tread to distribute the adhesive, then drive screws from the back of the riser into the tread. Finally fire 6 nails into the tread to hold it in place.

Personally I wouldn't consider using trim head screws. As mentioned before they leave a large hole.

Last edited by Keith Mathewson; 12-02-2010 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:39 AM   #13
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installing oak stair treads advice


Keith Mathewson,
Thanks for your help, tips and advice. I think I am going to go that route.
Two more questions for you.

Can the screws from the riser into the back side of the tread be tackled from the top. Or do you need access underneath. Is that why you start at the bottom to be able to get to the backside. What kind of screws do you recommend for that part of the job.

Secondly, will I run into problems if I use my nail gun with 2 1/2 in finish nails?

Thanks again for all your help.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:52 AM   #14
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installing oak stair treads advice


I use 1 1/2" Kreg screws. Starting at the bottom you can reach around and drive the screws.

2 1/2" nails work well.

How are you going to fit the treads? The cuts are never perfectly square. I like the Collins jig http://www.collinstool.com/base.php?...gauge_ends.htm
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:00 PM   #15
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installing oak stair treads advice


Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Mathewson View Post
mrgins,

If your system works for you then by all means keep doing it.

The way I install them is much like Jiju1943. One of the biggest considerations is to make sure that the stringer is clean, if it isn't then the adhesive sticks to the dust and not the stringer. I use PL premium Polyurethane Starting at the bottom apply a bead of adhesive about the same diameter as the size of the tube, coat the back edge of the tread (the part that butts against the riser) with yellow glue and set in place. Kneel on the tread to distribute the adhesive, then drive screws from the back of the riser into the tread. Finally fire 6 nails into the tread to hold it in place.

Personally I wouldn't consider using trim head screws. As mentioned before they leave a large hole.
I had thought of this, but he only has a little bit of room to work in. I don't know if he has an angled drill/driver.
I hate to keep pushing the trim screws, but I'm assuming there will be a carpet runner on these stairs that would hide them

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