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Old 11-28-2006, 04:35 PM   #1
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Stair help - Am I going about this correctly?


Hello,

I just removed all the carpet from my house and replaced it all with laminate flooring. The stairs also had the carpet removed.

Now I want to replace them with oak treads and white risers. I keep seeing to "nail the tread through the back of the riser" - but I don't have access to the back of my stairs. If I ripped out the ceiling of my pantry I could get to some of them - but still not all of them.

After the carpet was removed I basically have an ugly pine box on each step. I intended to get myself some hardwood plywood and cut risers/ paint them white- and use my brad nailer to attach them to the front of each of the "ugly pine box" steps.

Then I'd cut my treads to fit each step and apply tons of Liquid Nails to hold each tread to the top of each step.

This way each riser would be tucked behind the step in front of it. Is this the way I should proceed?

Will my stairs be unsafe without screws or nails holding the treads down?

Please help I have to take this project on THIS coming weekend.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 11-28-2006, 05:03 PM   #2
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Stair help - Am I going about this correctly?


You need to start at the bottom of the stairs and install the first riser. I like to use construction adhesive and finish nails. Also I like to let the riser protrude about 1/16 to1/8 above the first step. The reason for this is when you put the tread on it will sit tight to the riser and not leave a gap. After the first riser is put on then install the first step with plenty of construction adhesive and finish nails. Then the next riser, then next tread and so forth all the way up. You want the riser to sit on top of the tread.

Hope this helps, Dave.

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Old 11-28-2006, 05:39 PM   #3
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Stair help - Am I going about this correctly?


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You need to start at the bottom of the stairs and install the first riser. I like to use construction adhesive and finish nails. Also I like to let the riser protrude about 1/16 to1/8 above the first step. The reason for this is when you put the tread on it will sit tight to the riser and not leave a gap. After the first riser is put on then install the first step with plenty of construction adhesive and finish nails. Then the next riser, then next tread and so forth all the way up. You want the riser to sit on top of the tread.

Hope this helps, Dave.
Thanks Dave. Since I'm pretty new to this - exactly what nail do you recommend? Would a 2" brad nail do it? And how many do I need per tread? I would have to shoot them straight through the top of the tread and I'm afraid it would look bad.

Is there anything really wrong with letting the risers go behind each tread? That way I wouldn't have to worry about having any visible gaps.

Thanks again for the help!
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Old 11-28-2006, 05:43 PM   #4
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Stair help - Am I going about this correctly?


Actually it looks better with the riser on top of the tread. When you are walking up the stairs and looking down you will be able to see the gap/crack between the riser and tread. The other problem is when the humidity changes in your home throughout the year the treads will actually expand and contract. If you put the tread up tight to the front of the riser like you want then when the wood shrinks from low relative humidity the gap will get bigger. I've got some pictures I will post in a second.

edit: Yes a 2" finish nail or brad will do the trick.
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Last edited by Big Dave; 11-28-2006 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 11-28-2006, 05:50 PM   #5
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Stair help - Am I going about this correctly?


Here are a couple of pictures from a set of stairs I did awhile ago.



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Old 11-28-2006, 05:54 PM   #6
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Stair help - Am I going about this correctly?


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Actually it looks better with the riser on top of the tread. When you are walking up the stairs and looking down you will be able to see the gap/crack between the riser and tread. The other problem is when the humidity changes in your home throughout the year the treads will actually expand and contract. If you put the tread up tight to the front of the riser like you want then when the wood shrinks from low relative humidity the gap will get bigger. I've got some pictures I will post in a second.

edit: Yes a 2" finish nail or brad will do the trick.
Thanks again Dave, I'll give it a shot! Beautiful stair pics. Wish I could afford to have you do mine!
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Old 11-28-2006, 08:19 PM   #7
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Stair help - Am I going about this correctly?


If you are simply adding treads to an existing set of stairs (is that what's going on or are you rebuilding them from scratch?) you are going to run into trouble at the top (short riser) and bottom (tall riser). They'll both be out by the tread thickness, this is a serious tripping hazard.

Maybe I've misunderstood, that happened once before.
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Old 11-28-2006, 08:33 PM   #8
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Stair help - Am I going about this correctly?


Nope I think you do understand.

I guess I need to measure and see how much of a difference it's going to make. At the top of the stairs there is padding and laminate flooring. Not nearly as tall as the stair treads going in though.


Quote:
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If you are simply adding treads to an existing set of stairs (is that what's going on or are you rebuilding them from scratch?) you are going to run into trouble at the top (short riser) and bottom (tall riser). They'll both be out by the tread thickness, this is a serious tripping hazard.

Maybe I've misunderstood, that happened once before.
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Old 12-05-2006, 10:18 AM   #9
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Stair help - Am I going about this correctly?


I know I'm going to catch hell for this, but I used MDF treads. My wife wanted to paint them a dark color and I didn't want to pay the $30 per tread (oak) and then paint over them.

As you can see in the "before" pics I had some nice (ugly) pine boxes for steps after the carpet came off. So the steps were plenty strong. I just put the MDF bullnose treads over the top (after covering them in a thick coat of primer and floor paint). I used some birch plywood to make the risers from.

The top step was way deeper than all the others. I had to build the floor out some to keep the same overhang as all the other steps. But I got it figured out.

Anyway I have some gaps in my risers... I know. But it looks 100x better than it did before. I'm very happy with them. Thanks for the advice everyone. Here are the pics.
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Stair help - Am I going about this correctly?-before1.jpg   Stair help - Am I going about this correctly?-before2.jpg   Stair help - Am I going about this correctly?-after2.jpg   Stair help - Am I going about this correctly?-after4.jpg  
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Old 12-05-2006, 03:02 PM   #10
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Stair help - Am I going about this correctly?


How to handle my case then?

I have a case slightly different, my basement stairs from the builder has treads but no riser, how do I fix this?

My original thought was cut out perfect fit risers and fit them between steps as I have access to everywhere, I can nail the risers from both top and bottom of the treads....

Is this the right way or there is an easier way?....I don't want to rebuild the stair as the stair the builder built is quite solid...

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