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Old 10-10-2013, 08:29 AM   #31
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Stair stringer question...


Here are pics of the entire staircase.





I plan on changing the railing as well, but for now I'm more concerned with the skirt board or stringer.

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Old 10-10-2013, 10:16 AM   #32
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Stair stringer question...


Vito, you have a beautiful staircase.
If I understand you correctly your objection
is the stair stringers you want them to be oak, right?

Here is my opinion for what it's worth If you
made the stringers oak like the stairs, there goes the
definition between the stairs and the stringers. The
white stringers, set off the oak stairs and and allow
them to shine.

I don't see that you have bullnose trim on your steps.
think about applying bullnose trim on the edges
of all your steps, then the trim molding under
the steps. This gives your steps even more definition.

Then the next thing is to apply nice molding up along
the stringers on the top. If you notice we dressed up
our bottom stringer even more by building it out a couple
of inches and adding new Sheetrock wall underneath it.

Paint all your stringers and moldings a semi-gloss white.

What will set this all off nicely -- is the stair brackets.

Here's how we did our stair brackets; First I cut out of paper
the shape I wanted...Then after we agreed on the shape of choice,
I cut them out of a light brown paper like oak tag, applied it
with double faced tape and stepped
back to view it all...after we were sure that we liked the
shape -- the head knot cut them out of oak. (you only need one
pattern to cut them all out)

Note: the brackets on the inside steps are the same as the outside
brackets only turned upside down. After instillation, I didn't like the
inside brackets stained, so I painted them.

If you like the ideas that I'm giving you here, the first thing you
need to focus on is the moldings going up the stringers. That is
going to make a dramatic difference in the look of your staircase.
We originally had just a quarter round piece of molding going
up our staircase, (on both sides) before we ran the new
stringer moldings.

If you like my ideas that fine, if not that's ok too...Maybe someone else
seeing this -- will get some ideas on how to dress up a boring staircase.

Sidebar:The head knot installed our rail years ago; at that time we stained
the whole thing dark walnut, Then several years ago I thought about
painting the spindles white...believe me, it was not an easy decision
as I love stained wood, but finally we took the plunge and painted them
white and I loved it, that's what set us down the road to dress up the
steps with moldings, and run nice moldings up the stringers, and add
the stair brackets.
Hope this helps.

edit: I looked again at you step, although you don't have
definite bull nose trim on each step like we have,
your edges are rounded, so ignore that advise to add bullnose
trim to each step.

Maybe Big Jim can jump in here to
give some more advise.

Last edited by Two Knots; 10-10-2013 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 10-10-2013, 01:27 PM   #33
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Stair stringer question...


Two Knots: Thank you for your very detailed and informative reply. You understand exactly what I want to do. I really appreciate all the time you took to reply, it must have taken a while to type all that.

I have to admit your idea about making the stringers white really has me thinking. You make a very good point about the white stringers setting off the oak stairs.

My only remaining concern would be the actual treads, a few of them squeak and I really want to get rid of it. I can see they used nails to install them. Should I put some screws in and cap them with oak plugs? Obviously I cannot glue them without removing the treads or else I would do that.
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Old 10-10-2013, 02:33 PM   #34
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Stair stringer question...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Knots View Post
Vito, you have a beautiful staircase.
If I understand you correctly your objection
is the stair stringers you want them to be oak, right?

Here is my opinion for what it's worth If you
made the stringers oak like the stairs, there goes the
definition between the stairs and the stringers. The
white stringers, set off the oak stairs and and allow
them to shine.

I don't see that you have bullnose trim on your steps.
think about applying bullnose trim on the edges
of all your steps, then the trim molding under
the steps. This gives your steps even more definition.

Then the next thing is to apply nice molding up along
the stringers on the top. If you notice we dressed up
our bottom stringer even more by building it out a couple
of inches and adding new Sheetrock wall underneath it.

Paint all your stringers and moldings a semi-gloss white.

What will set this all off nicely -- is the stair brackets.

Here's how we did our stair brackets; First I cut out of paper
the shape I wanted...Then after we agreed on the shape of choice,
I cut them out of a light brown paper like oak tag, applied it
with double faced tape and stepped
back to view it all...after we were sure that we liked the
shape -- the head knot cut them out of oak. (you only need one
pattern to cut them all out)

Note: the brackets on the inside steps are the same as the outside
brackets only turned upside down. After instillation, I didn't like the
inside brackets stained, so I painted them.

If you like the ideas that I'm giving you here, the first thing you
need to focus on is the moldings going up the stringers. That is
going to make a dramatic difference in the look of your staircase.
We originally had just a quarter round piece of molding going
up our staircase, (on both sides) before we ran the new
stringer moldings.

If you like my ideas that fine, if not that's ok too...Maybe someone else
seeing this -- will get some ideas on how to dress up a boring staircase.

Sidebar:The head knot installed our rail years ago; at that time we stained
the whole thing dark walnut, Then several years ago I thought about
painting the spindles white...believe me, it was not an easy decision
as I love stained wood, but finally we took the plunge and painted them
white and I loved it, that's what set us down the road to dress up the
steps with moldings, and run nice moldings up the stringers, and add
the stair brackets.
Hope this helps.

edit: I looked again at you step, although you don't have
definite bull nose trim on each step like we have,
your edges are rounded, so ignore that advise to add bullnose
trim to each step.

Maybe Big Jim can jump in here to
give some more advise.
There is nothing I could add, I agree with you.
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Old 10-10-2013, 02:35 PM   #35
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Stair stringer question...


Quote:
Originally Posted by VitoB View Post
Two Knots: Thank you for your very detailed and informative reply. You understand exactly what I want to do. I really appreciate all the time you took to reply, it must have taken a while to type all that.

I have to admit your idea about making the stringers white really has me thinking. You make a very good point about the white stringers setting off the oak stairs.

My only remaining concern would be the actual treads, a few of them squeak and I really want to get rid of it. I can see they used nails to install them. Should I put some screws in and cap them with oak plugs? Obviously I cannot glue them without removing the treads or else I would do that.
Is there a way to access the stairs from below?
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:31 PM   #36
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Stair stringer question...


Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
Is there a way to access the stairs from below?
Unfortunately I cannot access them from below.
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Old 10-10-2013, 04:52 PM   #37
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Stair stringer question...


The reason I asked about access from the bottom is it would be easier and more efficient from underneath. The only options I can think of right off hand is trim screws, 10d finish nails or long 15 gauge trim nails. Wood rubbing against wood is what causes squeaks or a nail that is pulling loose and being pushed back in and out by the flexing of the tread.
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Old 10-10-2013, 05:35 PM   #38
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Stair stringer question...


Hey Jim, I looked at your profile, You have built some awesome
complicated staircases, wow!

Perhaps you can advise Vito on how to make
some great looking molding to bend around his 'curvy stringers' up
and down his staircase. I would like to learn as well...
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Old 10-10-2013, 07:44 PM   #39
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Stair stringer question...


Thanks TK, actually no more than the radius is, regular small base cap can be used on the skirts. The bad thing is his sheet rock is butted into his skirts instead of under the skirt, which make the profile a little too thin for regular trim, at the best, he could go with a very small trim which IMHO wouldn't look good.

Under the tread nosing and under the landing tread usually scotia molding is used.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:10 PM   #40
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Stair stringer question...


I personally don't like all natural stairs. I always like the risers, balusters and stringers to be painted. I believe it gives the stair more visual appeal. Only exception for me is when the house has natural trim. If you do decide to paint the oak risers you should seal the grain with grain filler first or you will see the pores in the oak (not to be confused with wood filler). As for the squeaks, I would use an oak scotia under the nose of the treads with a bead of construction adhesive. You may need to put a relief on the scotia to avoid squeeze out. I'm not sure if the squeak is in the front of the tread though. Otherwise i like the trim head screws with 1/4" plugs.
As far as tread brackets go, they are typically applied on the open stringer before the stringer is mitered that way you do not see a butt joint as your walking up the stair. Applying them after the stair is already built, as in your case, will screw up your overhang and will look like an after thought.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:54 AM   #41
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Stair stringer question...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Millertyme View Post
I personally don't like all natural stairs. I always like the risers, balusters and stringers to be painted. I believe it gives the stair more visual appeal. Only exception for me is when the house has natural trim. If you do decide to paint the oak risers you should seal the grain with grain filler first or you will see the pores in the oak (not to be confused with wood filler). As for the squeaks, I would use an oak scotia under the nose of the treads with a bead of construction adhesive. You may need to put a relief on the scotia to avoid squeeze out. I'm not sure if the squeak is in the front of the tread though. Otherwise i like the trim head screws with 1/4" plugs.
As far as tread brackets go, they are typically applied on the open stringer before the stringer is mitered that way you do not see a butt joint as your walking up the stair. Applying them after the stair is already built, as in your case, will screw up your overhang and will look like an after thought.
All the trim in my home (windows, doors) is currently white, so I am liking the idea of painting the stringers white. Not sure I would want to paint the balusters or risers white, but the stringers would look good. Now I need to convince the boss (my wife) that it will look good, you know how that goes sometimes.

I am assuming trim screws are used because the screw head is smaller and easier to cover.

I like the idea of applying the scotia molding between the tread and riser. I think it would add a nice finishing touch.
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:49 AM   #42
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Stair stringer question...


Here's a pic of the stairs I built for my house. I decided to do something I've never seen before with the balusters.
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Stair stringer question...-image-2880695154.jpg   Stair stringer question...-image-2754233142.jpg  
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:02 AM   #43
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Stair stringer question...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Millertyme View Post
Here's a pic of the stairs I built for my house. I decided to do something I've never seen before with the balusters.
Very nice work! It is very unique to not have the balusters all the same, I think it looks good.

There is something I don't understand about my treads. The end of the treads that overhang on the same side the railing is have a weird kind of curve to them. Almost like a half moon shape. I'm looking at pics of curved staircases and I don't see that anywhere, the treads are usually just straight.

I am not talking about the actual curve that is routed to soften the edge.

Not sure if you can see it from my pics. I find it looks kind of weird.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:13 AM   #44
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Stair stringer question...


They should have a curve to match the curve of the stringer. That you will have the same overhang
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:43 AM   #45
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Stair stringer question...


If you know where the squeaks are you could try drilling a small hole in the tread about 1/8" deeper than the tread thickness into the supporting timbers, (stringers). use a syringe, (like the ones used to fill printer ink cartridges), filled with a good liquid wood glue to inject as much glue in as possible. Then you can put a trim head finish screw in the hole, (countersunk a little), and fill with matching oak filler.

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