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Old 11-11-2009, 06:21 PM   #1
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Top tread issue with my stairs.

The top tread in my new house is flush with the subfloor. When I told the project manager he informed me they order two types of stairs when they build a home. 1 for wood floors on the second floor and one for rug on the second floor.
This seems to be BS, I told him I may add wood floors later to which he said I could not with this type of stair.
Now I know I am right but I just want to get some other opinions.
Shouldn't my top tread be above level with the subfloor? OH and btw I paid for oak stairs so they are not pine that should be cover.
On their own website they show a nice stairway which is built the way I say and they tell me its built THAT way because they are using wrought iron balisters not wood.

Thanks for any comments or help.


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Old 11-11-2009, 06:35 PM   #2
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The Builder is correct.........

Based upon what I think you are describing.

You might be able to modify the stairs later if you change to wood on the second floor, but it won't necessarily be easy. It may require all new stringers, exactly what your Builder is telling you.

The reason is that code requires every step on a stair to have equal height, within 1/8-inch between adjacent steps and no more than 3/8-inch difference between shortest and tallest step located anywhere on the stairs. You may be able to add a 3/8-inch thickness wood floor to your second level at a future date without too many modifications. You may be able to rebuild your existing stairs by adding minor shimming under a few treads if the thin 3/8-inch wood floor upgrade violates building code limits - i.e. a 1/4-inch shim under the second tread from the top, a 1/8-inch shim under the third tread from the top.

Adding a 3/4-inch solid wood floor is almost certainly out of the question unless you also modify the first floor elevation as part of the upgrade or replace the stringers.


Last edited by MI-Roger; 11-11-2009 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:42 PM   #3
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One project I did, the customers had a choice of two different thicknesses of wood flooring, and two choices of carpet styles. This was something we had to ALWAYS keep in mind on every single unit. Each and every set of stringers had to be cut independently and unique, depending upon not only what the top floor was going to be covered with, but also what each respective lower floor was covered in..... AND what the intermediate landing (it led to a mid level bedroom) was covered with. This was an ongoing headache because as you have been told, you can't just swap floor coverings around at will.
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