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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, looking for some advice here for where the hardwood transitions to the stairs.

I am replacing the existing floors in my 1967 home which are 1/4"x2" oak strips.

The subfloor is 6" diagonal plank so i will be reinforcing it with an additional layer of 5/8th ply followed by a 1/2" engineered floor.


So after removing the old oak, the new floor will be 7/8th of an inch higher
than the stair nosing.

5/8"ply + 1/2"hardwood - 1/4" old floor = 7/8th

Looking for some options and suggestions. I was thinking of getting some unfinished oak and building a nosing to go ontop of the existing nosing. Only problem is that would put the rise to almost 8". Would that be OK? All the rises are currently 7 1/4".

Location Ontario, Canada.

cheers!
 

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Having a hard time visualizing how your floor is 7/8" higher than the top of the first stair tread?? Pix? That said, your risers should all be the same or REALLY close. Ron
 

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If you are adding 7/8 inch to the bottom floor and not adding to the upstairs floor you will need to pull the treads and shim progressively to keep all the risers the same. If you are adding to both bottom and top floors, all you need to do is add the same thickness all the way up.

Man you are going to have some fun with all the doors downstairs or where ever you add the height.

I don't see why you are adding plywood, there should be enough there with the added flooring to remove any movement without the extra plywood.
 

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JOATMON
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If you are adding 7/8 inch to the bottom floor and not adding to the upstairs floor you will need to pull the treads and shim progressively to keep all the risers the same. If you are adding to both bottom and top floors, all you need to do is add the same thickness all the way up.

Man you are going to have some fun with all the doors downstairs or where ever you add the height.

I don't see why you are adding plywood, there should be enough there with the added flooring to remove any movement without the extra plywood.
Jim, I have the same sub-floor... diagonal 1x6 boards. I put 3/4" plywood on top....and have to admit....there is a significant improvement in stiffness.....significant....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all for the responses!

Having a hard time visualizing how your floor is 7/8" higher than the top of the first stair tread?? Pix? That said, your risers should all be the same or REALLY close. Ron
Hey sorry my phone is out for repair so I couldn't take a snap.

The stairs were all with a 7-1/4" rise, then i added subfloor and 1/2 engineered to the lower level and now the first step is about an inch shorter.

Now once I add the same plywood and engineered floor to the upstairs, the top step will be about an inch taller.

Jim, I have the same sub-floor... diagonal 1x6 boards. I put 3/4" plywood on top....and have to admit....there is a significant improvement in stiffness.....significant....
Yeah made a huge difference I found and its a big issue for me. Personally a bouncy/weak subfloor can really make a brand new stapled finished floor feel like a cheap floating piece of laminate.

I've come to the realization that I have to either settle for a shortened first step and a longer top step or cap all of the existing stairs to bring them up to within spec.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Am I understanding you didn't remove the original flooring?
I removed the original ~1/4" oak strips, then laid 5/8th" ply then laid 1/2" engineered (downstairs).

I'm in the process of removing the oak upstairs.

ps. my oak wasn't as nice as yours and was too thin else I would've considered refinishing like you did.
 

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Since you are adding the same thickness upstairs as down stairs all you will need to do is add that same thickness to your stair stringers then install new risers and treads over the shims.

How did you address the front door? The rest of the doors you can just trim but the front and back doors will need raising the whole jamb unless the door clears the flooring.
 

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JOATMON
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Since you are adding the same thickness upstairs as down stairs all you will need to do is add that same thickness to your stair stringers then install new risers and treads over the shims.

How did you address the front door? The rest of the doors you can just trim but the front and back doors will need raising the whole jamb unless the door clears the flooring.
Jim...is 7/8" of an inch difference on the bottom tread really a big deal? I doubt most people would notice.

If it was me (and you know how I am). I'd do the floor as the OP noted above...then on the top two treads, raise the last one to be even with the new floor...then pull the 2nd tread up and add about 1/2" to it.

I don't remember what code says...but I'm thinking 'by code', the rise is supposed to be within 1/4" of each other.
 

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Dawg, it is 1/4 inch in some areas and 3/8 inch in others. You would be amazed at how well your feet can detect a difference in rise, 7/8 inch would for sure be a stumbler and if anyone got hurt on the stairs the insurance people would just love to find that difference, they would not pay if the stairs are out of code.

At any place on your stairs, have someone lay a 1X10 or so on one of the treads flush with the front edge of the tread, without telling you which one, then close your eyes and walk up the stairs and see what happens, it may surprise you.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
How did you address the front door? The rest of the doors you can just trim but the front and back doors will need raising the whole jamb unless the door clears the flooring.
Got lucky with the front door. Added the ply and tiled the foyer but fortunately the door had a good sized lip so I had plenty of room.
 

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Got lucky with the front door. Added the ply and tiled the foyer but fortunately the door had a good sized lip so I had plenty of room.
Good deal, I am happy for you, that can be a real pain in some situations.
 

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I would have to agree the inch difference in rise on one step is a tripping hazard. That would bug me to no end just knowing it was there if it was in my home...
 

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JOATMON
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Do you have pics of the top landing? What if that area was at the current level and you used transitions to go up to the higher level?

I'm having to do that on the transition from my living room to the pub where it goes up 3/4".
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
now i'm thinking it might be better/easier if i dont add any plywood upstairs and just hardwood over the existing floor.

pictures attached, this is the old floor, haven't taken it out yet but its 5/16" thick so my reducer by the nosing will be a minimal 3/16" and shouldn't be noticeable.
 

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I would have to agree the inch difference in rise on one step is a tripping hazard. That would bug me to no end just knowing it was there if it was in my home...
Two points:

1. Anyone thinking of building or tweaking steps should watch this video. It shows what happens if you get the rise just a little off.


2. The rise difference can be a much bigger difference for someone else than it is for most of us, too--us it will mostly just trip. It can make older people take months to recover from serious bruising, or it can kill them. Falls are a leading killer of senior citizens.
 

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JOATMON
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Two points:

1. Anyone thinking of building or tweaking steps should watch this video. It shows what happens if you get the rise just a little off.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ap-22FjgoE4

2. The rise difference can be a much bigger difference for someone else than it is for most of us, too--us it will mostly just trip. It can make older people take months to recover from serious bruising, or it can kill them. Falls are a leading killer of senior citizens.
Wow.....point proven.

Interesting how the body can get used to a specific rise
 
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