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Old 10-01-2011, 01:17 PM   #1
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Installing skirtboards


I am thinking of replacing the existing stairs (risers and treads).
I would like to add skirtboards. I have been reading over the existing threads on this site and have seen several ways of doing this.
I am thinking of installing the risers first, skirtboard second and the the treads last.
Assuming the stringers are on top of sheet rock how much space do I need on the stringer for the tread if I install the skirtboard first?
I understand that if the sheet rock is on top of the stringer then I would be screwed.

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Old 10-01-2011, 05:25 PM   #2
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Installing skirtboards


Skirt first, risers second, then the treads.

I’d want at least an inch of bearing on the treads. You could always add a nailer if need be.

There’s a thread here somewhere showing a good way to make a template for the skirt. Hopefully someone will post it.

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Old 10-01-2011, 06:04 PM   #3
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Installing skirtboards


What is a nailer?
I have been to my local home depot and cannot find skirtboards. Is it called something else or can i use something else in place of it.
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:00 PM   #4
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Installing skirtboards


Yes, I doubt you will find this at home depot. You need to pick up whatever material you wish to use, may require a visit to a lumberyard.

Then you need to cut out for your stairs, you need to determine the rise/run measurement you will need for the boards. As mentioned above you can make a template to help you. I found it came up with a google search.

Last edited by chrisBC; 10-01-2011 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:01 PM   #5
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Installing skirtboards


We may not be on the same page. Post a picture of what have and another of what you would like it to look like and we’ll try to get you there.
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:25 PM   #6
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Installing skirtboards


I have not taken the stairs apart yet, so not much too look at. Just trying to get an idea of what I will need to do. I don't want to take apart the stairs and then get stuck and not know what to do. I would like to have all materials before I start.
That's why I ask what a nailer is.
I have seen the posts here with how to make a template. Not too hard.
I was thinking maybe I could buy a stringer and use that as a template. I could always return it when I'm done.

Would I be able to double up (add another stringer) on each side if I do not have enough of a clearing for the tread once I add the skirt?
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Old 10-01-2011, 09:15 PM   #7
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Installing skirtboards


I think what is meant by nailers is to add blocking to your existing stringers to nail the treads too.

I don't think buying a stringer and tracing it out would work for you. Stairs are built by dividing your "total rise" of the staircase by each individual riser needed, giving you a very exact rise, and there are proportioning rules to end up with your run-the chances you can buy a stringer that will match your rise/run exactly are pretty slim. You need to trace is to match what you have, otherwise you may have problems getting it to fit properly.
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Old 10-01-2011, 09:59 PM   #8
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Installing skirtboards


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Originally Posted by chrisBC View Post
I think what is meant by nailers is to add blocking to your existing stringers to nail the treads too.

I don't think buying a stringer and tracing it out would work for you. Stairs are built by dividing your "total rise" of the staircase by each individual riser needed, giving you a very exact rise, and there are proportioning rules to end up with your run-the chances you can buy a stringer that will match your rise/run exactly are pretty slim. You need to trace is to match what you have, otherwise you may have problems getting it to fit properly.


OK. I understand. It does not look too difficult to do a template.
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:53 PM   #9
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Installing skirtboards


Do you know how to figure the run and rise to cut your stringers? Can you see under your stairs? If so are the treads and risers mortised in or are there just stringers with the risers and treads fastened to them? If there are just stringers you can use the stringers again if they are in good shape or you can use one of them as a pattern to cut new stringers.

Once you have the stringers cut, nail a 2X4 on the two outside stringers flush with the bottom edge of the stringers. This will serve a spacer for sheet rock and for the skirt to fit beside the stringers.

After the stringers are installed and the sheet rock is installed, you are ready for the skirt boards (which are usually 1X12s), after the skirt boards are installed, the risers are installed then the treads.

The skirt boards (1X12s) lay down on the 2X4 you nailed on the two outside stringers.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:37 AM   #10
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Installing skirtboards


home depot wont sell "skirtboard" stock, all thats used for skirtboard is 3/4"x 11 1/4" mdf, you can buy 12" mdf or buy a full sheet and rip it down, same for risers
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Old 10-02-2011, 12:04 PM   #11
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Installing skirtboards


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Originally Posted by wooworkbykirk View Post
home depot wont sell "skirtboard" stock, all thats used for skirtboard is 3/4"x 11 1/4" mdf, you can buy 12" mdf or buy a full sheet and rip it down, same for risers
That's what I figured. But I thought maybe they had it with a nice design or something. I could always use moulding on top for a nicer look. Or maybe in a lumber yard they have something better.
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Old 10-02-2011, 12:06 PM   #12
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Installing skirtboards


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Originally Posted by jiju1943 View Post
Do you know how to figure the run and rise to cut your stringers? Can you see under your stairs? If so are the treads and risers mortised in or are there just stringers with the risers and treads fastened to them? If there are just stringers you can use the stringers again if they are in good shape or you can use one of them as a pattern to cut new stringers.

Once you have the stringers cut, nail a 2X4 on the two outside stringers flush with the bottom edge of the stringers. This will serve a spacer for sheet rock and for the skirt to fit beside the stringers.

After the stringers are installed and the sheet rock is installed, you are ready for the skirt boards (which are usually 1X12s), after the skirt boards are installed, the risers are installed then the treads.

The skirt boards (1X12s) lay down on the 2X4 you nailed on the two outside stringers.
The stringers are already installed, I am just replacing the treads and risers and trying to add skirtboards.
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Old 10-02-2011, 12:15 PM   #13
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Installing skirtboards


I have access to under the stairs and found out that the stringers are on top of the sheetrock. Good news for me.
The stringers are 1 3/4". If I add skirtboards, that will leave me with 1" clearance for the treads.
Is that enough for stability?
I can always add the nailers as suggested above (much easier than sistering up another set of stringers) if 1" is not enough for tread stability.

Another question comes up: I have a landing and understand that I can use a Landing tread. They have the landing tread at Home Depot and I noticed there is a groove in it as though there is a special landing with a tongue to add to it. I did not see it there though. Is there a special name for it?
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Old 10-02-2011, 05:15 PM   #14
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Installing skirtboards


If you have full access to the stringers once you have the treads and risers off just cut the stringer free install the skirt then reattach the stringer. Much easier (and faster) than notching around it.
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Old 10-02-2011, 07:11 PM   #15
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Installing skirtboards


Is 1" clearance on the stringer enough for the tread?

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