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Dennisb6 01-15-2011 10:13 AM

Treads and risers
You are hearing from a man with ten thumbs. I live in Knoxville Tn. and want to remodel my house before I retire three years from now. I want to install new treads on my staircase. I saw a video that explains how to do this. They first cut off the existing bullnose flush with the riser. They then cut 1/8th inch prepainted material to fit over the riser and nailed it in place. They did this from the bottom riser to the top riser. They then nailed prefinished treads on to the old treads.
My problem with this is that my top stair bullnose is level with the upstairs subfloor. Should I cut the old bullnose off and then not have one on the upstairs subfloor? If I leave the old bullnose on it means that the top riser will not be as vertically high as the others. There will be a short step between the top tread and the upstairs subfloor. Am I making sense?
Anyway, I am leaning toward removing the top bullnose from the upstairs subfloor then nailing some sort of molding over the riser and subfloor. If you have a better plan I would sure appreciate hearing from you.

Keith Mathewson 01-15-2011 11:20 AM

Any time you add material to existing treads you change the riser height at the first step and the last. The first will be too tall and the last too short. With the effort it would take to cut off the nosing etc. you could take a sawsall and remove everything and put in new treads and risers.

Millertyme 01-15-2011 12:58 PM

I agree with Keith. Sometimes a short cut ends up being a long cut. Also, you may not think an addition 3/4" or 1" on the last step is a big deal, but you will notice it and it can be a hazard if you are not expecting it...not to mention not to code.

If you intend on going through with your plan you can add 3/4" hardwood on top of the subfloor (if you are going with 3/4" treads, which in your case I would). Then the nosing will butt into the hardwood.

wombosi 01-16-2011 08:06 AM

frankly this sounds like a bad idea to me.
why do you want to do this? what is so wrong with your existing treads? why not just refinish them?

if you want to go to all that trouble of cutting nosings off, why not just remove the entire tread and install new treads with nosings?

do you have notched stringers or housed stringers?

Dennisb6 01-17-2011 08:24 AM

Thanks for the advise
The reason that I want to replace the treads is the old treads looks like they were nailed on with very large nails. I counter sunk them and covered the holes with wood filler but quite frankly it looks like hell. I can't stain over the nail holes without it being very obvious. Some of the existing risers look like the carpenter used scrap wood that was laying around and they hid it with carpeting. Anyway, I want to thank everyone for the advise.

Dwoodsmith 01-17-2011 06:13 PM

Just take them off and replace them. You'll end up doing that anyway. If you tear off then replace one tread at a time, the stringers will remain stable. I would start at the top. That way I would n't damage a new tread with my backswing or crowbar or whatever's needed to get those old ones off.

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