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underwhere 11-12-2012 02:24 PM

Overhang on stairs too long? Solutions?
I just bought a new house and had hardwood floors put in.

The existing stairs were already red oak so my floor guy re-stained them but as soon as he saw them said that the stairs were not to code...that the overhang was way too long.

At first I thought since the house has been there for 30 years it wasn't a problem but after walking up and down them I realize that some of the overhang is flexing and fully capable of snapping off if someone fat was walking on the edges.

Strange thing: the overhang is different on different steps.


What are good options to support the steps?

Here is what I've come up with so far:
1. Using some sort of trim and nailing it to the riser. As thick as possible.
Maybe even some 1"x1" square pieces of wood. I'm not sure how effective this will be.

2. cutting pieces the exact shape of the existing riser and screwing them together...essentially doubling up on the riser. The downside of this would be shortened tread length.

3. Cutting pieces to screw into the riser but in the shape of an arch...essentially creating some support but hopefully not decreasing the tread where people are using it the most (in the center).

kwikfishron 11-12-2012 03:34 PM

199 Attachment(s)
How deep are the treads now?

Millertyme 11-12-2012 08:40 PM

Is the overhang the same on the returned ends?

underwhere 11-13-2012 10:00 AM


Originally Posted by kwikfishron (Post 1050519)
How deep are the treads now?

The treads are about 11.5 inches long.


Originally Posted by Millertyme (Post 1050833)
Is the overhang the same on the returned ends?

I don't think so.

mae-ling 11-13-2012 10:12 AM

what is hte rise of each step? are they all the same?

You may be able to add a piece to the risers to make them come out further. Would need new cove moulding (or flat moulding) on the sides and maybe the front. Could have the new risers stick out say 3/4" or 1/2" or whatever looks good and round the edge.

kwikfishron 11-13-2012 10:29 AM

199 Attachment(s)
I see no way to make what's there "code compliant". A 11 1/2" tread with a 2 1/4" nosing only leaves 9 1/4" nose to nose (10" min. for code in most areas).

Adding something to the riser would would be the only way to add more support other than removing all of the treads and cutting an inch off the back. 3/4" - 1 1/4" overhang is code for the nosing.

joecaption 11-13-2012 10:40 AM

Thinking outside the box, why not remove the cove moulding you have now and install something like this instead.

By gluing and using trim head screws to attach it, it would add the support needed but not effect the tread depth.

GBrackins 11-13-2012 11:23 AM

that was my thoughts as well Joe. Since the OP has a safety concern about the nosing by all means they should fix it.

I would like to address a comment that was made however in regards to code compliance. Sometimes people think an old home has to be brought up to code which is not always the case.

who says your stairs are not compliant? from Chapter 1 of the 2009 International Residential Code (your code may differ)

R102.7 Existing structures. The legal occupancy of any structure existing on the date of adoption of this code shall be permitted to continue without change, except as is specifically covered in this code, the International Property Maintenance Code or the International Fire Code, or as is deemed necessary by the building official for the general safety and welfare of the occupants and the public.

Stairs are not one of the issues specifically covered ... but by all means fix that which is unsafe.

you would need to verify stair requirements with your building official. A lot of states/local jurisdictions have modified the IRC requirements to allow different riser and thread measurements, i.e., the IRC requires a maximum 7-1/2" riser height and minimum 10" tread depth. Massachusetts has modified to allow 8-1/4" maximum riser height and 9" minimum tread depth.

BigJim 11-13-2012 11:33 AM

The reason the stairs are out of code is they could cause someone to hang their toe and fall.

Even with that type of support trim it is still a tripper. Also on the descent, as they are now, there is only 7 1/2 inches of actual supported tread.

mae-ling 11-13-2012 11:54 AM

Here treads do not need to be 10" that is just optimum.
Here we can go from about 9.25 to 13"

woodworkbykirk 11-13-2012 02:40 PM

kwik and big jim are both right. the other issue is that with such a large overhang the glue joint in the tread itself can fail causing the tread to crack and snap off. ive seen this on old homes.. not a fun fix.. requires injecting glue , long trim screws and pocket hole screws to keep it clean looking

Hammer450R 11-13-2012 03:29 PM

Pack out the risers with some 5/4

underwhere 11-13-2012 03:45 PM

Thanks for all the responses guys.

I had considered adding onto the riser.
Didn't even consider it a tripping hazard but I get that now. Just not sure what to do about it.

I may take a "trip" down to Home Depot to see what kind of thick trim they have. That may end up being my solution. I need this fixed fast before family comes for Thanksgiving.

BigJim 11-13-2012 05:08 PM

1 Attachment(s)
If these were my stairs I would buy 1Xwhatever it takes for adding a new riser in front of the existing one, space the riser out so you have the correct over hang, glue everywhere wood touches wood.

On the outside edge I would install stair brackets like the picture here, to hide the raw edge of the newly installed riser. You would have to buy and install new scotia mold as the existing would be too short by installing the stair brackets and riser. JMHO

Wildie 11-16-2012 06:52 PM

I don't understand the concern about tripping because of the extended nosing?
People manage on stairs with an open riser, without falling on their face.

Support under the nosing is all that is required!

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