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Old 04-16-2012, 11:26 PM   #1
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Staircase risers


I am remodelling the basement stairs. I have ripped off the existing treads and risers to expose the 3 stringers.

I have red oak for the treads which is bullnosed and will overhang the risers, and 3/4" painted MDF for the risers.

The problem is, I cut all the risers to the height of the left stringer, but it would seem the riser is 4mm too tall on the right side even though the riser is perfectly square and sits flush to the bottom of each stringer.

So oddly the treads do sit flat and square on each stringer, but when I add the riser you can see that it isnt flush with the top of each stringer.

Is it acceptable to cut the risers short, so that the top of the riser is flush with the tread above (top of the stringer), but not actually sitting on the stringer? Then this gap will be covered by the tread that butts up to it.

It will mean that the riser is decorative, but not weight bearing.


Last edited by jeh; 04-16-2012 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:35 PM   #2
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If your using MDF they were not going to hold anything up or support anything anyway. It will work fine.


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Old 04-17-2012, 08:01 PM   #3
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its also standard practice to install scotia molding under the tread where it meets the riser to hide any gaps plus dress it up a little more
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:45 PM   #4
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Flush risers up with top of the tread cuts on the stringers.then put in your treads and butt them to he risers. The treads will cover any gaps. But you should check to see if the three stringers are level by putting a 4'level across them. You may need to shim each tread so they are level. You could start by nailing you riser on level, that will take care of the front of he tread, then just shim the back. also, I don't think mdf is the greatest material to use for risers. Risers take a beating and mdf is not suitable for such abuse.
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