New Hardwood Stairs - Carpentry - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Carpentry

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-21-2012, 06:03 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 39
Rewards Points: 39
Default

New Hardwood Stairs


Hi All,

I have just finished a large hardwood flooring project, and the last task is to install new treads/risers on 2 sets of stairs. The stairs had carpet on them, with actual treads and risers underneath (in bad shape). Everything has been pulled off (there was no subfloor underneath). I am wondering if I need to consider installing a sub floor before laying the new finish stairs. If I do, the riser height on the first stair will increase and the top stair will decrease, and I would rather not re-cut the stair stringers. However, this seems like a much better application to prevent squeaks (I am able to glue the finish boards across the whole length instead of just at the 3 stringer supports). Any thoughts/tips, is it worth it?

Thanks!

Advertisement

smrf1080 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2012, 06:08 PM   #2
Too Short? Cut it Again!
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 9,634
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

New Hardwood Stairs


Don't the stair treads slide into the stringer from the backside? I guess I am not sure what you mean by a subfloor for stair treads. Unless they are veneer or something they are usually dimensional to the finish thickness.

Advertisement

user1007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2012, 06:12 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 39
Rewards Points: 39
Default

New Hardwood Stairs


I am just saying on alot of other stairs I have seen there is plywood or some other subfloor screwed down under the finish floor
smrf1080 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2012, 06:56 PM   #4
Too Short? Cut it Again!
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 9,634
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

New Hardwood Stairs


I think what you are seeing is not so much a subfloor as a composite stair tread situation designed to save money on hardwood by using it only as the surface material on top of a plywood substrate? I guess technically it could be considered sub-flooring though.
user1007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2012, 07:17 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 39
Rewards Points: 39
Default

New Hardwood Stairs


I guess what I am referring to is techniques where the existing tread/riser base has the nose of the tread cut off flush with the riser. Then they can be screwed down for additional support before the new treads and risers are installed on top. I am wondering why these aren't removed and new ones just installed in place.

Are a bunch of these how-to's I am finding that do it this way incorrect? If not, how would the riser height of the first and last stair be adjusted to maintain the same rise on each stair?
smrf1080 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2012, 08:21 PM   #6
DIY staff

 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Kane county,Illinois
Posts: 22,276
Rewards Points: 3,192
Default

New Hardwood Stairs


You need to post a picture of the stairs---a close up of the skirt board/tread junction--and one from the underside of the stair case if there is an uncovered portion.

The age of the house would also be useful--

We have at least two stair masters here---and a bunch of advanced carpenters---so let us know what you have and you will get good instruction---

There are more bad 'how to ' videos on youtube ,than good ones---(there are some great ones--but if you are not knowledgeable--you could be mislead--
__________________
New members: Adding your location to your profile helps in many ways.--M--
oh'mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2012, 09:05 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 39
Rewards Points: 39
Default

New Hardwood Stairs


There is nothing complicated about my installation. Maybe I am not using the correct terminology. The two stringers (trim pieces) on the sides are remaining as-is. I have already removed the treads/risers that were under the carpet and plan on installing new treads and risers directly on the (3) frame supports (which I also thought were called stringers?).

My main curiosity has arose, however, with this other option people use which leaves the existing bases that were underneath the carpet, cut of the noses, and install new boards on top. (similar to this: http://www.woodsthebest.com/Stairs/i...ood-stairs.htm)

Also, I'm sure this question has been asked many times: riser then tread, or tread then riser?
smrf1080 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2012, 09:12 PM   #8
DIY staff

 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Kane county,Illinois
Posts: 22,276
Rewards Points: 3,192
Default

New Hardwood Stairs


That link would make for a short step at the top and a long one on the bottom---instant failure if inspected---

You have removed the treads? And you are looking at stringers made of 2x material?

Is there a 1x wood skirt board mounted to the wall?

Did the old treads just butt up to the drywall?
__________________
New members: Adding your location to your profile helps in many ways.--M--
oh'mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2012, 09:19 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 39
Rewards Points: 39
Default

New Hardwood Stairs


My stringers are remaining as-is.

That was my question, there are a lot of how-to's showing the existing "sub-treads" remaining. I was wondering how that would work.
smrf1080 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2012, 05:31 PM   #10
Stairguy
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New Bedford, MA
Posts: 622
Rewards Points: 500
Default

New Hardwood Stairs


I try not to apply treads over plywood. Your stringers will be plenty to support the stairs. If you put new treads over plywood they might end up squeaking. I suppose you could use a liquid nail between to prevent the squeak, but really...what's the point. Also hardwood will expand and contract during the different seasons, plywood is more stable, so the glue bond could be compromised. Try to replace the treads with the same thickness treads that you take off that way there are no height issues.
Millertyme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2012, 08:00 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 39
Rewards Points: 39
Default

New Hardwood Stairs


Thanks for all the comments thus far. Ok... went and took a closer look today, realized there is a slightly bigger issue with riser consistency. I have captioned pictures below.

Pic #1 - This is the stairs. Bottom and top landings used to be carpet, now we have hardwood installed on both floors. After looking at it closely today, the stairs couldn't have been within code before we teared them up. All the middle riser frame heights are 7-1/2" high.

Pic #2 - bottom riser is only 5-1/2" high (from top of floor to first cut in frame). We may have added a little due to the new flooring, but still was originally shorter than the others. With the first tread installed, this first step would be 6-1/2" as-it-is now.

Pic #3 - Top riser is 9" to subfloor of upper level, not including the shims. You can see the shims that were originally installed to try to make up a little.

So... Since we are doing everything new, it would be nice to get it right. If I shim every stair up 1 inch, I would be pretty happy. What is the best way to go about doing this? Any other options (other than re-cutting the frames, and tearing off the sheetrock on the ceiling below)?
Attached Thumbnails
New Hardwood Stairs-pic-1.jpg   New Hardwood Stairs-pic-2.jpg   New Hardwood Stairs-pic-3.jpg  
smrf1080 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2012, 08:35 PM   #12
Ole Wood Worker

 
BigJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Lookout Valley, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Posts: 7,854
Rewards Points: 2,804
Blog Entries: 1
Default

New Hardwood Stairs


I have had to correct stairs by adding shims also because the owner didn't want the added expense of a tear out and replace. I don't see anything wrong with that if the shims are glued top and bottom and secured properly. I could buy an adhesive called F-26 which is twice as tough as liquid nails that I used on my stairs. If you tried to remove a board using that product it would literally come up in splinters, it was that tough. Anywhere wood touches wood use glue.

You want all of your steps to be the same rise, you may have to refigure your rise and cut shims of different thicknesses progressively to achieve that.

One down side to using shims is the more wood the more chance of a squeak, but I never had a call back on a squeak the first time.

I always installed the riser board first.
__________________
New members: Please consider adding your location to your profile.

If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time!

Jim

Last edited by BigJim; 07-22-2012 at 08:40 PM. Reason: Added more information
BigJim is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to BigJim For This Useful Post:
oh'mike (07-22-2012)
Old 07-22-2012, 08:49 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 39
Rewards Points: 39
Default

New Hardwood Stairs


What type of wood would I use to shim a whole inch?

Is there any reason why I shouldn't install the tread first? This would lead to fewer cuts as I would not need to rip the new treads any.
smrf1080 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2012, 09:30 PM   #14
Ole Wood Worker

 
BigJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Lookout Valley, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Posts: 7,854
Rewards Points: 2,804
Blog Entries: 1
Default

New Hardwood Stairs


If you have 9 inches from the stringer to the sub floor 1 inch isn't going to correct it. With a 1 inch shim and a 1 inch thick tread you will still have 7 inches to the top of the subfloor, the extra thickness of the flooring up stairs will only add more to the height of that tread, if you are installing 3/4 inch flooring you will have a 7 3/4 inch rise. If carpet you will be adding an extra 1/2 inch. Your first step is 6 1/2 inches, you will need to figure the shims progressively to get all the risers the same.

As for the type of wood, poplar, oak, birch, ripped 2X4 or what have you. Be sure the shims are secured properly as a shim that thick the tread could mostly be attached just to the shim.

The reason I installed the riser first is with none mortise stringers I glued and nailed or screwed the bottom of the riser to the back of the tread for extra support, also with the riser sitting on top of the tread you have a better chance of seeing a slight gap as the wood breathes.

How wide are your treads now? If you do have to rip your treads cut a very slight bevel on the treads so the top edge of the tread will fit snug against the riser better.
__________________
New members: Please consider adding your location to your profile.

If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time!

Jim

Last edited by BigJim; 07-22-2012 at 09:44 PM. Reason: Added
BigJim is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2012, 09:55 PM   #15
Stairguy
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New Bedford, MA
Posts: 622
Rewards Points: 500
Default

New Hardwood Stairs


I believe,by code around here,is 3/8" variance between two treads. So you will need to start in the middle. Middle will get no shims. Then work down. Add 5/16 shims on the one own from the middle. Then go down one more and add 5/8 this time. Then down to the first step and add 1" shims. Then go from the middle up with the same shim pattern as the lowers.

Advertisement

Millertyme is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hardwood or Carpet on Stairs? RugbyLove Flooring 3 11-16-2011 04:19 PM
Transition of Hardwood Flooring on Stairs rkirby Flooring 1 02-02-2011 07:06 PM
Hardwood Stairs warnerww Flooring 9 04-24-2010 08:56 AM
Hardwood & Stairs budcam Flooring 4 09-16-2009 12:12 AM
Need to carpet hardwood stairs clasek Flooring 7 04-21-2009 12:00 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts