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They're all fixer-uppers
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a split level home and I need to replace a couple of stair treads. The stairway is a closed stringer stair - so I have no access to either side of the stringers as everything is enclosed by walls.

This is not my stairway, but it's similar



I'm really not sure how to approach replacing the treads - I imagine I can cut the old one out in pieces with a reciprocating or circular saw, but how would I get new stair treads in there?
 

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You have to get underneath it, to replace them. What is going on with the ones you need to replace? As for your stairs, really need a picture of yours, not some photo off the web. A little misleading.
 

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Look close at the treads, can you see the finish nails holding them down?
100% sure the treads are not dadoed into the side skirts?
If there just a line to line fit tread and you can find the nails you can drive the nail in with a small nail set and tap the tread up to get it out.
I'd keep the tread in one piece so I could use it as a template for the new one.
There's going to be some paint touch up on the skirts more likely.
Where the tread touches the riser I sometime cut it at a very slight angle so only a small area makes contact with the riser so you can get a tighter fit.
 
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Haverhill Trade 1965
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find the nails you can drive the nail in with a small nail set and tap the tread up to get it out.
I'd keep the tread in one piece so I could use it as a template for the new one.
There's going to be some paint touch up on the skirts more likely.
Where the tread touches the riser I sometime cut it at a very slight angle so only a small area makes contact with the riser so you can get a tighter fit.
You can also get a set of pin punches from tool / automotive stores. They come in many sizes and they are not tapered like a nailset so they don't make holes larger than the nail. Good for punching nails through if you have to reposition part of a door frame.
 

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They're all fixer-uppers
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks. I'll try to get a pic of the stairs, but I was at work when I thought of it and stock pics work plenty often for conveying enough info - if an actual pic is then necessary, it can be obtained.

I do have access from under the stairs via a crawl space, but one of treads I need to replace is the bottom one. There are two treads that are splitting, and I'm getting ready to refinish all the floors and paint the stringers/skirts/risers/ etc anyway.

I will look tongiht to see if the nails are visible.
 

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Stair Tread installation

As long as the treads are fitted between the skirts and not dadoed into them, both the removal and replacement is fairly simple and access to the underside of the stair is unnecessary. Here is a blog post http://www.woodstairs.com/tradepage/how-to-prevent-squeaky-stairs/ with some information. It deals specifically with preventing squeaky stairs but in so doing discusses some of the installation methods. There are other similar articles there as well.
 
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