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Old 12-03-2009, 05:51 PM   #1
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Wood stairs without a skirt, thoughts?


Hi all

We bought a new condo and are using engineered maple for all the floors. We are torn on whether to do the stairs in carper or wood.

If the builder does our stairs in wood, they said their wood be no skirt... the treads would be flush against the drywall. Any thoughts on this look? They'd be using the same engineered planks for the treads, along with nosing, and then we thought we'd have the rises painted white.

I'm thinking it will look something like the attached images (not our stairs), except painted risers and no skirt.

Just wondering it no skirt will look wierd?
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Wood stairs without a skirt, thoughts?-img_7108.jpg  

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Old 12-03-2009, 06:27 PM   #2
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Wood stairs without a skirt, thoughts?


Painted risers look nice. I've done a stair similar to what you are describing on a remodel project. White risers will get kicked and show wear more quickly over time. Why no skirt? If it was me I'd want a skirt board.

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Old 12-03-2009, 06:37 PM   #3
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Wood stairs without a skirt, thoughts?


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Painted risers look nice. I've done a stair similar to what you are describing on a remodel project. White risers will get kicked and show wear more quickly over time. Why no skirt? If it was me I'd want a skirt board.
Yeah we thought the painted risers would be nice to break up all the look of the wood. The risers in wood looks nice, too, but kind of looks heavy on all the wood.

We would prefer a skirt, but that's not offered by the builder. Just stairs against the drywall. I'll attach some shots of the actual stairway in the condo. The floors will be wood (no tile). One of these pictures is a mockup I did of the stairs in Photoshop with white risers and no skirt.

The other option we are considering is just to do the stairs in rug and do the landings between the two flights of stairs in wood as well to match the other floors.
Wood stairs without a skirt, thoughts?-dsc00733.jpg

Wood stairs without a skirt, thoughts?-dsc00733a.jpg

Wood stairs without a skirt, thoughts?-3496gqf.jpg

Wood stairs without a skirt, thoughts?-f3at4x.jpg
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:56 PM   #4
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Wood stairs without a skirt, thoughts?


if you have kids carpet is quieter and less bruising if they tumble. pay attention to the builder if he wants no skirt sounds lazy to me. ask to see a set he's done and if they squeak
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:39 PM   #5
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Wood stairs without a skirt, thoughts?


I've done several stairways without skirts. The looked very finished & the homeowners were very happy with them.
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:58 PM   #6
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Wood stairs without a skirt, thoughts?


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I've done several stairways without skirts. The looked very finished & the homeowners were very happy with them.
Nice to know, thanks for mentioning that.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:26 PM   #7
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Wood stairs without a skirt, thoughts?


I'm really curious as to how the builder is going to handle the rounded part of the first step. He could order prefinished stair nosing for the straight edges, but the rounded one? as to the "no skirt part"...if your drywall is straight and the installer is carefull with the cuts, he might pull it off. can't trally use too much caulking of wood putty there, now can you?
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:34 PM   #8
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I'm really curious as to how the builder is going to handle the rounded part of the first step. He could order prefinished stair nosing for the straight edges, but the rounded one? as to the "no skirt part"...if your drywall is straight and the installer is carefull with the cuts, he might pull it off. can't trally use too much caulking of wood putty there, now can you?
Good catch msv. The builder did address the question of the first step. Because it is rounded, they are going to have to fashion a solid piece for that whole step. That first step in wood would actually be the most expensive part. They suggested we could do the first step in wood and the middle landing in planks, and the rest of the treads/risers in rug... but I have yet to see a set-up like that and think it might look strange.

The drywall has a slight texture to it. I've googled images for wood stairs and have found a few that don't have skirts.
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:01 AM   #9
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Wood stairs without a skirt, thoughts?


you want to do at least the first set of steps in wood, or none at all. that way you'd have a nice transition from wood to carpet in between stories. u don't want to alternate too much wood and carpet. Go wood to landings(at least), with white raisers. good paint will not get dirty that easy and fast, and if it does, paint touch up is a breeze(just keep some extra paint).
good luck.
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:12 AM   #10
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Wood stairs without a skirt, thoughts?


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you want to do at least the first set of steps in wood, or none at all. that way you'd have a nice transition from wood to carpet in between stories. u don't want to alternate too much wood and carpet. Go wood to landings(at least), with white raisers. good paint will not get dirty that easy and fast, and if it does, paint touch up is a breeze(just keep some extra paint).
good luck.
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msv, the second story of the house would have wood floors in all the rooms except tiled bathrooms. same for first story. so the only carpet to be seen in the whole house would be on the stairs (not counting a storage closet). would you think this be another reason to do all wood on the stairs, both flights and the mid landings?

carpet on the stairs is starting to feel out of place is the rest of the house is using wood
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:20 AM   #11
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Wood stairs without a skirt, thoughts?


thought you were gonna keep carpet upstairs. if not, don't you think that having carpet only on the raisers would look kinda funny(bad funny)?
i'd go wood all the way. but again....it's a matter of personal taste.
good luck.
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:56 PM   #12
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Wood stairs without a skirt, thoughts?


You could go wood all the way. The treads should really be solid wood and not flooring material. It doesn't take much talent to do wood stairs but it sounds like your builder doesn't have the skilled labor to do it. Wood skirt boards would look nice too and they are extremely simply to do if you own a framing square. Now going this route does add to material cost, but shouldn't add excessively to it. You can purchase stairs treads in many species and the risers and skirts are just made from standard stock. With a little extra time you could even router the treads into the skirt boards for and extra professional look. As long as the treads and risers are secured well and construction adhesive is used they shouldn't squeak. You should be able to walk from top to bottom and back up without a single squeak. I think it would go nice with what you described as your place. Take measurements to make sure that when the job is done that the rise is the same on all the steps. I have found while redoing stairs that the original builder of the stringers did not account for future floor coverings and that the top riser is often an inch taller while the bottom one is an inch shorter than all the rest. Not a safe situation.

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