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Old 03-20-2008, 01:27 AM   #1
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What type of wood to replace stair steps?


I am planning to replace some steps on an exterior stair. Of course these steps take considerable abuse, having furniture an appliances hauled up them. Is there any special type of wood I should consider for this job?

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Old 03-20-2008, 08:25 AM   #2
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What type of wood to replace stair steps?


Exterior Stair case. I assume that you mean outside (subject to the weahter elements?).

What are the current stairs and step treads made out of now?
Why exactly do you want to replace them?
What area of the country do you live in?

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Old 03-20-2008, 08:53 AM   #3
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What type of wood to replace stair steps?


Apologies for hijacking the OP's post, but I've got the same question myself.
Mr. Atlantic:

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What are the current stairs and step treads made out of now?
Wood. Not sure what kind.

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Why exactly do you want to replace them?
They're rotting, literally falling apart - both steps and stringers.

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What area of the country do you live in?
Right smack in the middle of North America's largest rain forest.
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Old 03-20-2008, 09:03 AM   #4
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What type of wood to replace stair steps?


In that case: Rotted stringer and stair treads...what condition is the landing framework?

With that much rot, I'd consider ripping it all down. Inspectiing the footings (post supports and stringer landing) for proper construction and depth. Usually, older footings are not up to current code.

So, generally, it is best to rip it all down, and start from new, using Pressure Treated Lumber for the framing and stringers, galvanized fasteners, copper flashing, etc...
And one of these for the treads: PT boards, composite material, or a rot & pest resistant wood species.
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:18 PM   #5
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What type of wood to replace stair steps?


My weather is typical southern california (sunny and dry except for wet winters) except I'm a few blocks from the beach so it gets humid at night. Lots of termites!

I would guess the cutout stringers are made of pressure treated wood, because they aren't rotted. The steps have a kind of rough surface like wood grain. But I've never seen cut wood with a rough grainy surface like that.

The top step is getting squeaky, it is the only step with no cutouts to rest on, someone substituted some triangular pieces of wood, which are splitting and failing. I plan to replace the step and triangular pieces and hold them in tightly with wood screws. Should I get pressure treated wood? Whatever it is, it has to be strong enough to handle furniture and refrigerators.
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Old 04-16-2008, 08:20 AM   #6
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What type of wood to replace stair steps?


Pressure treated is the cheap-o option. Other than that, your options are cedar, redwood, composite, and Ipe.

I'd personally go for Ipe. It is ultra-durable, will last over 50 years, and is beautiful to boot. It is priced neck and neck with composite. It is a little tougher to install just because it is tougher to cut and you should pre-drill screw holes.
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Old 04-16-2008, 06:24 PM   #7
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What type of wood to replace stair steps?


I think for steps I'll go with composite. I think the other steps are composite. For the triangles I think I'll cut some pt pieces, treat them and screw them in.

I've never worked with either type of material before.
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:22 PM   #8
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What type of wood to replace stair steps?


Forget composite. I'm going to go with good quality western cedar. I've heard that is rot and bug resistant. Also I'm going to prime and paint it.

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