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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I am installing retrofit treads over existing ones after removing the carpet in my staircase.
I read on various websites that wood expands perpendicular to the grain, not parallel to it, i.e. the wood would expand between the tread noses and risers, not between the strip boards.
Knowing that, is it necessary for me to leave an expansion gap between the treads and the strip boards?
(The new treads are made of planks of red oak glued together.)
Thanks in advance
 

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Should not be an issue. However … the treads can expand toward the front an unlimited amount. Depending on how tight you cut the risers, that “might” be something to think about. Can you post a picture of the installation instructions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Should not be an issue. However … the treads can expand toward the front an unlimited amount. Depending on how tight you cut the risers, that “might” be something to think about. Can you post a picture of the installation instructions?
No instructions came with the treads unfortunately. I do not know the thickness of the risers I will need yet, but knowing wood expands in a perpendicular direction, I’ll leave a 1/8” gap between risers and treads nose.
Wood Floor Flooring Wood stain Hardwood

Stairs Wood House Floor Flooring
 

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Ummm - watch your riser heights. It looks like you have a finished floor at the bottom so that riser/tread (and all the others) goes up 1/2" with the addition of the new tread on top - are you doing the upstairs in 1/2" also thus raising everything on the second floor up by 1/2"? (I'm guessing 1/2" - whatever the thickness of the new treads are.)

It looks like carpet on the 2nd floor and that carpet used to be on the stairs which means the risers/treads have all been installed for the two existing finished floor heights (1st floor and 2nd) - so that final step at the top will be 1/2" shorter than all the others.

If me, and not knowing the rest of the details, I'd pop off the existing treads and replace them with the new one. But, you are there and can measure and verify and mockup what you'll have using scraps to simulate the new surfaces on each tread.
 
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I agree with Domo. The rise on all of the steps should be the same. A half inch difference (more on the bottom step, less on the top one) can make a big difference and cause an unsafe condition. IIRC codes call for a maximum of +/- 1/8 inch of variation.
My approach would have been to remove the old treads and replace but it looks like you have already purchased the materials.
And, yes, cut the nose off of the existing treads.
 
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