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Old 09-10-2011, 02:46 PM   #1
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Leveling Stair Treads


I'm replacing my old stair treads and risers inside my house. After removing the carpet I was pleased to find I could remove the treads from the top side. The problem is after removing the first tread and testing a replacement, I notice that it's not level and angling down several degrees. I never noticed this walking on them. Should I worry about making them level? If so, what's the best easy way that will keep the stairs from making noise?

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Old 09-10-2011, 03:09 PM   #2
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Leveling Stair Treads


Welcome to the forum JDS.

Glue and Screws for the noise. When you say out of level are you talking about pitched forward or back and how far out are you talking?

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Old 09-10-2011, 04:24 PM   #3
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Leveling Stair Treads


I guess pitched forward. It seemed about a quarter inch down (going down the stair). Thinking with carpet it wasn't a big deal because of traction of the carpet. But with wood and having less traction, wondering if this creates a problem.
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:47 PM   #4
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Leveling Stair Treads


A quarter is to much. You can just use shims to level the tread. I wouldn’t try cutting the stringers. If you don’t know what you’re doing it can turn into trouble pretty quick.
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:54 PM   #5
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Leveling Stair Treads


Was thinking of shims but worried that the tread wouldn't have enough contact and make noise. Maybe not at first but over time. Guess time will tell. Having the riser off will help with placing the shims. Thanks for helping me think this through.
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Old 09-10-2011, 05:12 PM   #6
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Leveling Stair Treads


Shim in a couple of spots and use sub floor glue. When the glue hardens it will help support any voids.

Check back later I’m sure there will be other opinions on this.
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:34 PM   #7
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Leveling Stair Treads


how old are the stairs, older version of stringers are built with wedges to secure both the tread and the riser. No glue was ever used on the older stairs and it was a sign of quality workmanship.
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:50 PM   #8
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Leveling Stair Treads


About ten years. I've only pulled one up so far and none were used on it.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:26 PM   #9
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Leveling Stair Treads


when you pull up the old treads you should be able to see the rough stringers. Take a piece of 2x4 and sister it to the existing stringer. Make sure it is level and glue and nail/screw it to the side of the stringer. More than likely you will have at least 3 stringers under there. Keep in mind that if you level the nose of each tread by 1/4' in the front the 1st step rise might seem a little higher than it was before and the last step might feel a little smaller than it was before. I like to use premium PL400 for glue under the treads. Be generous because this will help with any squeaks.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:38 PM   #10
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Leveling Stair Treads


That's good advice. Thanks!
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:41 PM   #11
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Leveling Stair Treads


I know some will not agree but a tread that is out of level, with the front being the low side, is by far more comfortable to transcend. A step that is unlevel with the back being the low side feels very uncomfortable. Too much out of level and it will be uncomfortable and dangerous either way.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:48 PM   #12
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Leveling Stair Treads


i agree with Jiju, but this is an easy fix. Since you are already replacing the steps you should just get those suckers level while you have the chance. Good luck
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:35 PM   #13
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Going to stain the Oak treads. Any idea what would best to seal them with. Poly comes to mind but not sure it durable enough.
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDScalf View Post
Going to stain the Oak treads. Any idea what would best to seal them with. Poly comes to mind but not sure it durable enough.
Post a new thread in the painting section of this site if you want to pick those pros brains.
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:46 PM   #15
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K, thanks!

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