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Old 09-10-2013, 02:04 PM   #1
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Redo stairs


I am planning to redo my stairs with oak threads
However, what material should I use for the risers?
I want the risers in white, so no need to use oak. I was thinking about MDF (it has a very smooth surface)
If MDF is OK, what thickness should I use?
If not, what is best to use, and which thickness?

Last question: Should the riser rests on the thread, hence it can hide the nails (if the riser is thick enough…)?

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Old 09-10-2013, 08:44 PM   #2
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Redo stairs


3/4 poplar or pine. Mdf wont hold up for the long haul

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Old 09-10-2013, 09:25 PM   #3
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I install the riser then the tread so your not looking at a gap facing up the stairs.
If you set the nails and fill the holes with painters putty you should not see any nails.
Cut the back of the treads at a very slight angle and there going to sit tighter against the risers.
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:32 PM   #4
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I agree with both of the above posters. I like poplar best. Mdo is pretty good too but pricy.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:03 AM   #5
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Redo stairs


Edit: I apologize, I kinda of rambled a bit

I'm in the process of doing the exact same thing actually, but using brazilian ebony on the stairs.

Wouldn't a 3/4" piece extend the tread of the stair a bit too much? For the risers I'm using 1/4" ply/luan and have held up to 5 people including two very energetic toddlers. The only issue I had is one of quality where the wetness of the white paint caused the first layer to separate and bubble up so had to go buy more Definitely cut it to cover the entire tread including the 3/4" or so width of the stair nose. It makes a much cleaner look.

I would start from the top down. Cut the old nose off the stairs, then attach the riser covers (whichever you choose) and then the new hardwood. Depending on how your treads are attached to your stringers (mine were notched into the stringers), a multi-tool will be useful to make a flush cut as well as finishing off cutting off the nose where the circular saw couldn't reach all the way to the stringer. Putty, sand, and repaint the cut-off areas along the stringer, then proceed with the hardwood.

I rushed and blew past filling in the gaps where I cut the nose off along the stringer and it's so much more of a pain to do it afterwards as you now have to be careful not to damage the new wood!
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Old 09-20-2013, 12:29 PM   #6
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What are my options to keep the thickness of the treads as minimum as possible?
It seems pre-cut oak treads are usually 1" thick.....Can I find thinner?
Could I also consider finding oak planks - thinner, like may be 1/2"- and make a bullnose with a router?
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:15 PM   #7
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the only step that you'll *maybe* notice the difference is the very first at the bottom. All of the others will be proportionally higher. That being said, you could use thinner flooring that's 5/8" to 1/2" yeah. If you have the skills to make a bullnose, go for it. The nose would be smaller than original as I believe it uses 3/4". You'll have 5/8 to 1/2" nosing instead which may look odd.

EDIT: Pre-cuts are 3/4" standard which is approximately the thickness of your original stairnose.

You may be able to purchase pre-fabbed stairnosing for thinner flooring as well. I bought that for mine. I'll attach a cross section so you can see the difference when i get home. it's actually thicker to account for the nose.

Last edited by dengle; 09-20-2013 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:32 PM   #8
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You can get false treads at 1/2" I even saw some at 3/8". They come a full 1" nosing and cove attached. Ideal and lj smith have them
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:23 AM   #9
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I understand it’s best to glue and nail new oak treads when you redo stairs – I’ve read somewhere that the Loctite PL premium was a good glue
But what is the best method to apply it: beads or spread the glue on the whole surface with a notched trowel?
If spreading is better, what is the recommended shape and size of the notches (V-shape or square shape? Size?)

Thanks
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:47 AM   #10
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As an old woodworker, full spread is always best when gluing wood to wood. I have no idea what size of notch to use in your application.
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:30 AM   #11
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I nailed and glued mine. If the initial builders were as sloppy as mine, paint overspray is everywhere on the old treads. You'll want to use an orbital/belt sander to at least scuff that so it sticks better. I skipped that on one step (it was late and forgot) and now it pops just a tiny bit as it shifts slightly on the edges where the paint was thickest.

As for nailing, I used a powernail palm nailer for the back-most tread to get flooring nails in there ( may have to predrill holes a bit depending on the hardness of the wood) and then the next plank was far enough out that I could use the regular flooring nailer I have into the tongue of the next piece. I put a bead of adhesive along the bottom of the tongue of each piece to help hold them together (as well as the nose piece).

If you go the full spread route, just make sure not to put too much along seams/edges as you don't want it squirting out and getting in the cracks between the pieces when you press it down fully as it will be obvious depending on the color of the wood.

For weights to help hold the wood down during gluing, I've found several reams of paper and/or 5 gallon buckets of water works pretty well. The paper was more convenient as you could technically step on them in a pinch to get up or down the stairs.
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Millertyme View Post
You can get false treads at 1/2" I even saw some at 3/8". They come a full 1" nosing and cove attached. Ideal and lj smith have them
I found the retrotreads at Lowes...i'll use that

http://www.youngmanufacturing.com/products/retrotread/

I've also bought the retrorisers, hoping they will be high enough
I was planning to go from bottom to top, and to put the riser on top of the tread. But Looks like people are suggesting differently....
If i put the riser first and then the tread against it, the riser won't be high enough
In that case i would need different risers....but i want to keep them thin (~1/4")
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Old 10-04-2013, 05:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dengle View Post
Edit: I apologize, I kinda of rambled a bit

I'm in the process of doing the exact same thing actually, but using brazilian ebony on the stairs.

Wouldn't a 3/4" piece extend the tread of the stair a bit too much? For the risers I'm using 1/4" ply/luan and have held up to 5 people including two very energetic toddlers. The only issue I had is one of quality where the wetness of the white paint caused the first layer to separate and bubble up so had to go buy more Definitely cut it to cover the entire tread including the 3/4" or so width of the stair nose. It makes a much cleaner look.

I would start from the top down. Cut the old nose off the stairs, then attach the riser covers (whichever you choose) and then the new hardwood. Depending on how your treads are attached to your stringers (mine were notched into the stringers), a multi-tool will be useful to make a flush cut as well as finishing off cutting off the nose where the circular saw couldn't reach all the way to the stringer. Putty, sand, and repaint the cut-off areas along the stringer, then proceed with the hardwood.

I rushed and blew past filling in the gaps where I cut the nose off along the stringer and it's so much more of a pain to do it afterwards as you now have to be careful not to damage the new wood!
What is best to fill the cut-off areas of the stringer? wood filler or regular spackling paste?
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:28 AM   #14
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I tried regular spackle on a wainscoting joint or two and it cracked within a week. Go with wood putty in my opinion. If you're really good with caulk you might be able to use that but I make a mess with that stuff.
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Old 10-04-2013, 12:14 PM   #15
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Redo stairs


I was looking at the nail sizes at Lowes
Some people recommended 10d finish nails, but I only saw the 10d size in 3" long....It's too long for my applicaiton
I also looked at the nail gun section, and I saw 15 gauge or 16 gauge nail guns

What is the best nail size I should use for the retrotreads, which is 5/8" thick? regular nails (10d or 8d or 6d.....I will pre-drill) or nail gun (15g or 16g)
http://youngmanufacturing.com/products/retrotread

Thanks

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