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Old 05-24-2013, 08:43 AM   #16
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Stair Blocking - Why did they do this?


Just for some general interest..... Back when builders tried to do right, (Ya know, they made those houses than have stood solidly for a hundred years... or more... without one single clip or hanger.), instead of just passing a "code", the average stairway had only two (2) stringers, and the treads were made thick enough (2" or more) to carry the weight of people. Stringers, BTW, were often 3" thick.

Greed has crept in, and speed and/or shaving material to net more $ has become king.

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Old 05-24-2013, 10:01 AM   #17
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Stair Blocking - Why did they do this?


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Originally Posted by tony.g View Post
Toronto;

The blocking behind the stairs is a traditional way of reducing the tendency of the stairs to squeak. They are usually glued and screwed on.
But mostly they are found on stairs with thinner treads and risers, and usually those made of softwood rather than hardwood. Seeing the thickness and the material yours are made of, I would assume they will be overkill, and that the joiners who made them were just accustomed to doing that detail.
Thanks. I did think that the reason given before that they are being used to fasten the stairs together because there are no visible fasteners was dubious. With the risers glued to the treads, screwed on the horizontal and glued and then glued to the stringers clearly the blocking had some other purpose, While they do contribute somewhat to the stairs being fastened together what you say being the primary reason for them makes a lot more sense.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:06 AM   #18
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Stair Blocking - Why did they do this?


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Originally Posted by Willie T View Post
Just for some general interest..... Back when builders tried to do right, (Ya know, they made those houses than have stood solidly for a hundred years... or more... without one single clip or hanger.), instead of just passing a "code", the average stairway had only two (2) stringers, and the treads were made thick enough (2" or more) to carry the weight of people. Stringers, BTW, were often 3" thick.

Greed has crept in, and speed and/or shaving material to net more $ has become king.
I agree with you somewhat, but one has to remember also that they did not have stronger stringer material at that time which allowed the stringers to be thinner and that there likely wasn't much analysis done about what stair design was overkill or not. Also, the thickness of the treads really depends on the density and other properties of the wood. What you can get away with even in a 1" finished hickory you can't get away with in other woods.

On the other hand I do like the quote by Mike Holmes that the building code is the worst possible method of building but following its minimum requirements ensures you can't get sued successfully.
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:00 PM   #19
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Stair Blocking - Why did they do this?


The pinicale of stair building was the 18th century and contrary to Willie's belief most treads were not more than 1 1/8" and nearly all were housed stringer construction. We have many surviving stairbooks dating back to the sixteen hundreds to draw upon. While Hickory is a strong wood there are several other species which perform just as well. While I do agree that standards are falling, the stair shown is well made but not as we'll made as I would expect to see coming from a stairshop.
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:25 PM   #20
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Stair Blocking - Why did they do this?


Tony nailed it, the blocks are there to help eliminate squeaks. Often times, with prefabbed stairs, the risers are not glued to the bottom of the treads, they usually get pocket screwed from behind then glue blocked after. For such a wide stair and only 3 steps you could just support underneath with 2x4s under the treads to the subfloor to deflect the weight every cople feet.
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:58 PM   #21
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Stair Blocking - Why did they do this?


TORONTO..... Regardless of the technical junk and criticisim, I think those stairs look great.


(I don't really mean code junk, yes rise ought to be equal, yes there's a safe relationship between tread depth vs rise etc etc.... and I'm sure the code has exhaustively studied every trip and fall and concluded rules on nosing, even though many have come to different conclusions. And I know it is one of the AHJ favorite things to know and check) Guess I just think some of it is just a self perpetuating job for code writters.

That sir is beutiful wood.


EDIT: And I would not be scared to help carry a piano up to your second floor... I'll get the piano bench.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:58 PM   #22
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Stair Blocking - Why did they do this?


I honestly don't see anything wrong with those stairs other than the fact that the rise might be too much and the treads might not be deep enough. You don't have to have a overhang on a stair in order for them to pass code in the States. We build those types of stairs atleast once a month. The reason for stairs that don't have nosing is to allow the carpet to cover the front edge of the stair easier. Others will instead install either a champfer strip or cover moulding to help ease the wrapping. The front edge of the treads should atleast be rounded alittle even if its just a 1/8" round over on the top edge just so its less likely to chip away. All of our stairs get shipped out with some sort of round over if its not calling for our standard type.
I forgot to mention that the reason for the blocking is to help prevent the stair from squeaking down the road. Lets say theres a glue bead where the underside of the tread meets the underneath riser. Over time that glue might let loose. If theres no block the tread might cup thus causing it to squeak when you walk on it.


Last edited by Jason34; 05-30-2013 at 04:30 PM. Reason: add more
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