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Old 02-24-2013, 11:33 AM   #1
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Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?


What size cove molding is typically used for triming out stair treads with a mitered 1/2" thick stair bracket also installed? I am installing mitered stair brackets to cover the ends of new retro risers I am installing with new retro treads.

The treads and cove will be stained and the risers and outside stringer/skirt will be painted. Below are some example pics to show what I am thinking about doing. It is hard for me to tell from the pictures what size cove was likely used. I believe my cove choices are 3/4 x 3/4, 1/2 x 1/2, 1/2 x 3/4, or no cove at all. My initial thoughts are that 3/4" deep cove would be bad because it would project out to the edge of the 1 1/4" return nosing (1/2" bracket + 3/4" cove depth)

I don't have an eye or talent for designing stairs so I prefer to design things the traditional way a professional installer would do it. I don't want it to look goofy or DIYish. Thanks for your thoughts...
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Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?-tread-bracket_11-001.jpg   Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?-tread-bracket_12.jpg   Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?-tread-bracket2-001.jpg  

Last edited by hkeiner; 02-24-2013 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:42 AM   #2
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Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?


need to know what your distance is from the stringer to where the nosing starts. depending on that distance you might not be able to use cove.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:55 AM   #3
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Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?


Im a dummy and should have re-read your post as you gave all that info. Are these brackets actually going to be mitered? If they are going to be mitered then your riser also needs to be mitered on the open end to receive the mitered brackets. If the risers are just straight cut (can see end grain) and run flush with the outside of the stringer then you will what we call at my company "face applied brackets". Also with mitered brackets the bottom part of the bracket will slide under the back side of the return on the tread thats below that bracket if you understand what I mean.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:34 PM   #4
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Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?


Yes, I plan to miter the tread brackets to risers, which are being installed as part of my project to change from carpeted stairs to wood treads. I am just in the planning/design phase. I have removed the old carpet so far but I have not purchased or installed anything yet because I have not yet decided on the final design.

At this stage of of the planning, I do know that I will not remove the old stringers, treads, or risers. Instead I will install new 3/4" risers over the old risers and retro treads over the old treads. I also know that I do not want the butt ends of the new risers to show, so I believe my best option is to miter the new risers to tread brackets. The thing that I do not know is what size cove a professional installer would use to trim out steps with a 1/2" thick stair bracket. I am not a big fan of the 'tread bracket' look but it seems I don't have any options to avoid them if I want mitered corners.

Below are pics of the stairs before and after the carpet was removed. If wondering why I am using 3/4" thick new risers for this project, it is because I need to cover a gap between the tiled floor and the bottom step riser. I do not have replacement tiles to 'fix' the tile floor so using a 3/4" thick riser on the bottom step (and thus on all of the steps) will do this. I didn't want to add just a baseboard trim or quarter round along the bottom edge of the bottom riser to cover the gap. I wouldn't like that look.
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Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?-img_2996.jpg   Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?-img_3010.jpg   Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?-img_3031.jpg  

Last edited by hkeiner; 02-24-2013 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:51 PM   #5
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Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?


I just wanted to tell you that a face applied bracket would cover the end grain of those risers is you were not to miter the ends of the new risers. The problem though you are going to run into is lets say you already have 3/4" risers. If you add 3/4" risers to the face of those now your bracket will need to cover 1 1/2" worth of bracket. The area on the bracket where that will be a problem is at the front bottom of the risers. Another thing that in my opinion wont look good is that you will have double stacked treads. So your brackets will butt up against the underside of your current tread. Your new tread will sit ontop of the hold tread but your cove (if you go and use that will also butt up to the underside of your old tread. I just dont think that will look right. I will give you another problem you will run into. By looking at those first pictures of those finished stairs I can tell that the risers and brackets are painted. I can also tell that since those brackets (where the tread return runs past the back end of the tread) dont run in between the backside of the returns and the stringers, that those brackets are in deed face applied. Let me give you an idea of how I build my open stairs at work. Theres 2 types of bracket stairs. Face applied and miter. When we build a miter bracket stair we miter the risers. On a standard open stair (no brackets) we would also miter the open stringer so when its built the stringer and risers come together to form your 90 degrees. Nothing you didnt already know. But on a bracket stair the stringer does not get mitered at all. When built the stringer sits behind the risers. Our brackets are 1/4" thich so we have the stringer sitting in 1/4" from the outside of the riser. In doing that our stringer is also sitting in 1/4" from the inside of the return back where the return runs past the back part of the tread. So when the brackets are applied, you would miter the front edge to recieve the miter thats on the risers. The back part of the bracket gets cut 1/16" to an 1/8" infront of where the return nosing begins and then the front edge of that bracket will slide in bedind your next treads return and get cut flush with the underside. give me a close up of the side of your stair and ill show you what I mean.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:06 PM   #6
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Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?


Jason,

Thanks for your interest in my project. I was not able to follow all that you said and I am not yet clear on what problem I may have, but if there is a problem I do appreciate your pointing it out to me. I attached a few more pics that may help explain the situation. Let me know what you think. Thanks.

The first pic shows how the front and side nosing of the existing tread will be removed so that the sides are flush with the existing riser and the existing outside stringer. On this particular step, I had removed the tread completely (to see what was underneath) and then replaced it with new wood. For the other treads, I will be using a saw to cut off the front and side nosing leaving the main part of the treads alone. The existing riser is mitered to the outside stringer. My plan is to miter the new 3/4" thick riser to the new 1/2" thick tread bracket. While the riser is thicker than the tread bracket, I believe they can still be mitered OK because the part of the miter cut on the riser that does not meet the miter cut on the bracket will be hidden on the inside.

The second pic shows the run of stairs from the rear side.

The third pic shows some dimensions of the existing treads and risers and how I plan to install the new treads and risers. My drawing does not show the tread bracket placement and any detail mitering, dados, or other cutting that will be done. It was too hard to show these in the graphic.
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Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?-img_3034.jpg   Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?-img_3022.jpg   Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?-clipboard01.jpg  

Last edited by hkeiner; 02-24-2013 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:50 PM   #7
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Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason34 View Post
I just wanted to tell you that a face applied bracket would cover the end grain of those risers is you were not to miter the ends of the new risers. The problem though you are going to run into is lets say you already have 3/4" risers. If you add 3/4" risers to the face of those now your bracket will need to cover 1 1/2" worth of bracket. The area on the bracket where that will be a problem is at the front bottom of the risers. Another thing that in my opinion wont look good is that you will have double stacked treads. So your brackets will butt up against the underside of your current tread. Your new tread will sit ontop of the hold tread but your cove (if you go and use that will also butt up to the underside of your old tread. I just dont think that will look right. I will give you another problem you will run into. By looking at those first pictures of those finished stairs I can tell that the risers and brackets are painted. I can also tell that since those brackets (where the tread return runs past the back end of the tread) dont run in between the backside of the returns and the stringers, that those brackets are in deed face applied. Let me give you an idea of how I build my open stairs at work. Theres 2 types of bracket stairs. Face applied and miter. When we build a miter bracket stair we miter the risers. On a standard open stair (no brackets) we would also miter the open stringer so when its built the stringer and risers come together to form your 90 degrees. Nothing you didnt already know. But on a bracket stair the stringer does not get mitered at all. When built the stringer sits behind the risers. Our brackets are 1/4" thich so we have the stringer sitting in 1/4" from the outside of the riser. In doing that our stringer is also sitting in 1/4" from the inside of the return back where the return runs past the back part of the tread. So when the brackets are applied, you would miter the front edge to recieve the miter thats on the risers. The back part of the bracket gets cut 1/16" to an 1/8" infront of where the return nosing begins and then the front edge of that bracket will slide in bedind your next treads return and get cut flush with the underside. give me a close up of the side of your stair and ill show you what I mean.
Jason he is cutting the nosing off the old treads when the new ones are installed you won't see any of the old tread or riser. Are you referring to the skirt board here instead of the stringer or does your stringer show?

If the bracket isn't wide enough to hide all of the old work go with a thinner riser. If the only reason you are using the 3/4 inch risers is to cover the gap in the tile why not run 1/4 round around the base of the first step. Also if your return on your treads isn't wide enough to run the scotia mold you can widen the width of the return the extra thickness of the bracket. You would have to cut the tread there where the return goes to make the 45 out further for the extra width of the return. I never dealt with brackets thicker than 5/16 inch and most times they were 1/4 inch thick.

You can miter the 1/4 inch bracket to fit the mitered edge of a 3/4 inch riser if you want to.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:17 PM   #8
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Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?


Quote:
If the bracket isn't wide enough to hide all of the old work go with a thinner riser. If the only reason you are using the 3/4 inch risers is to cover the gap in the tile why not run 1/4 round around the base of the first step. Also if your return on your treads isn't wide enough to run the scotia mold you can widen the width of the return the extra thickness of the bracket. You would have to cut the tread there where the return goes to make the 45 out further for the extra width of the return. I never dealt with brackets thicker than 5/16 inch and most times they were 1/4 inch thick. .
The bracket will hide the old work OK. I just wanted to add some cove beneath the treads for a better appearance. I didn't want to run a 1/4 round or baseboard along the base of the first step to hide the tile gap. I don't like the look much and I think most stairways do not have a trim along the base.

The treads come with the returns already installed and they are 1 1/4 wide (i.e., protuding 1 1/4" from the outside edge of the stringer/skirt). Since the inside edge of the tread's return must sit against the outside edge of the stringer/skirt, not sure how to "widen the return". Probably wouldn't want to do it even if I knew.

I think finding a thiner bracket is a very good idea. While my wife liked the 1/2" thick one (as shown in my first post) the most, I think I am going to look around a bit more for a thinner one. If I find one that my wife approves, then I'll have a bit more space for the cove. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:45 PM   #9
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Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?


All the stairs I ever installed where any floor except, for carpet was installed, had shoe mold or 1/4 round. You are welcome for the tips.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:56 AM   #10
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Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?


Is the tread going to come out further than it was. If it is going to be careful cause the height code for railing goes from nosing to railing ( I'm pretty sure min is 34 but don't quote me litte help on that one guys) so just make sure before u go too far
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:32 AM   #11
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Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?


The thickness of your brackets wont affect the reveal you have on the return nosing if you add 1/2" to the length of your new treads. Looking at the pictures i can see that your old returns ran flush with the face of the stringer. By lengthening your treads and riders by a 1/2" will mean your brackets will butt up against the underside of the tread and not the return itself. This also means that your return will stick out a 1/2" as well at the back end of the return where your brackets will then slide in behind it. Understand?
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:38 AM   #12
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Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?


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The thickness of your brackets wont affect the reveal you have on the return nosing if you add 1/2" to the length of your new treads. Looking at the pictures i can see that your old returns ran flush with the face of the stringer. By lengthening your treads and riders by a 1/2" will mean your brackets will butt up against the underside of the tread and not the return itself. This also means that your return will stick out a 1/2" as well at the back end of the return where your brackets will then slide in behind it. Understand?
Not being picky, but like you said cut the tread a 1/2 inch longer, this will leave a 1/2 inch hole where the return doesn't touch the skirt board at the rear. Could you elaborate a little how the bracket will fill this hole and look right especially if the bracket and tread are two different types wood.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:03 AM   #13
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Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?


Because on mitered brackets you r brackets will slide in behind that gap like i had said before. If he was doing face applied brackets then you dont have that gap but then the bracket would be underneath the return instead of under the tread.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:32 AM   #14
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Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?


Quote:
Is the tread going to come out further than it was. If it is going to be careful cause the height code for railing goes from nosing to railing ( I'm pretty sure min is 34 but don't quote me litte help on that one guys) so just make sure before u go too far
Thanks for pointing this out but I do not expect a problem with the new railing. My install of the new treads, risers, and other bits will be according to code and I am going to have a new over-the-post handrail installed by a professional installer after I finish my part of the install. The new railing design will require a bit more skill/experience than I have to ensure no errors or bad cuts when installing the various components of the new railing (e.g., starting newel, top of stairs newel, iron balusters, starting easing at bottom, left handed gooseneck at top, etc.) .
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:23 PM   #15
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Preferred cove molding size when using tread brackets?


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Because on mitered brackets you r brackets will slide in behind that gap like i had said before. If he was doing face applied brackets then you dont have that gap but then the bracket would be underneath the return instead of under the tread.
Do you have any pictures of these methods, I have around 40 years under my belt but don't fully understand. When you say mitered brackets I envision the front edge to be mitered, is this what you refer to mitered brackets.

Sorry to side track your thread hkeiner.
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