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Old 10-18-2010, 12:24 PM   #1
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Resurfacing steps (carpet to wood)

Edited for conciseness:

We have crappy, 30-year-old, commercial-grade carpet on our steps (3 flights' worth).

Is engineered wood better than solid wood for this application?

Also thinking about ceramic tiles for the landings (1 on each flight, about 20 sq/ft me thinks). Good idea? Bad idea?

Is it better to buy pre-made stairs that I cut to fit, or is it worth the cost savings to get planks?

What about moulding? Necessary? Will the absence of stringers lead to scratched/chipped paint?

Ok I think that's all. Any helps is greatly appreciated.


Last edited by oakback; 10-18-2010 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:15 PM   #2
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One thing to consider is that adding 3/4" of hardwood will change the rise on your treads. The bottom one will become a tripping hazard. It will be taller than the others and particularly noticeable coming down the stairs.
Something I've done is to shim under the second, third, etc treads with 5/8", then 1/2", then 3/8", etc to "feather" the difference out. It isn't right, but the brain senses the steps being similar and reduces the tripping possibilities.

I have made my own treads and nosings from left-over hardwood flooring from a job. Chamfer the nosings and biscuits as joinery method, then round over and coat with a Polyurethane.


Short of cutting off a body part, the worst that can happen in woodworking is manufacturing really nice looking kindling. --- Quoted from lenaitch

Last edited by jlhaslip; 10-18-2010 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:19 PM   #3
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(I edited my first post to more specifics)

What is the typical difference in thickness between wood floor and carpet+padding?
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:12 AM   #4
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After doing the math, it looks like new 1" treads will increase the step height by 1/4" (over the current carpet thickness). Is this enough to be a problem?

edit: n/m, I'll just go with the shimming idea, I like that a lot.

Last edited by oakback; 10-20-2010 at 09:41 AM.
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