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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, friends. Just pulled carpet off these stairs and want to add prefinished maple treads. There's currently a subfloor-looking piece of wood that covers the stringers, but the attached photo shows what it looks like when you pull that off.
My question is this: can I take a standard 1" new tread and use that by itself, or am I forever resigned to using a 3/4" retread that has to go on top of that subfloor?
Second part: can I nail these in too (and hope I don't splinter the prefinish), or do I need to just stick w/ adhesive?
Thanks in advance.
651228
 

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I would put the new treads directly to the stringers. No need for the plywood that's on there now. As far as attaching, I would use adhesive and brad nails. Put masking tape where the brads will go and shoot through the tape. While the tape is still on, fill the small hole with matching filler. The filler comes in small bars similar to a crayon. That way the filler is "only" in the brad hole.

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How much work are you willing to do to make this look right?
Your missing a skirt board, your left hand stringer should have had a spacer behind it for it to slip into.
Depending on the look your going for I'd remove those risers and replace with new KD clear pine or MDF that's been prefinished so your not having to fight when finishing them with the treads in the way.
 

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Joe ... the left skirt board is there, the right side could be open spindles.
I agree on removing the risers, install wood that matches the treads.
 

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The major issue for stairs is to match the original rise. I'd guess that the 3/4" ply PLUS the original carpet would be about 1" in total. Therefore, using a 1" tread should be okay without messing up the top floor to tread spacing... And, if the top floor is all carpet, OP could use 3/4" ply and the original carpet wrap to match heights while leaving the remaining treads as naked wood.

Comments from stair builders?
 

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With or with out the subfloor plywood depends on the rise of the top and bottom steps.
What are the risers now?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks a lot, everyone - really appreciate the insight. As far as I can tell, we’re actually MISSING some risers (see photo for a side view). I’m willing to do the work to get this right. If I pulled off these plywood treads, could I add 1/4” or 1/2” plywood under the new 1” treads to get me the height variance I need for just the few that aren’t equal to the others, or will that somehow make the stairs unstable? If I did that, I think I could do most with just the 1” tread as-is while using filler plywood for the others (assuming it won’t compromise the integrity of the stair for some reason).
Mike, thanks for the info on the tape - didn’t think of that.
 

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