DIY Home Improvement Forum banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

· Registered
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We have a very creaky stairs from the first floor to the second. I decided to try to work on the creak from under and opened up a bit of the ceiling.
I see a few things which stand out...

1) The risers all have dados to accept a rabbeted tread. They weren't utilized. The treads all all just butt up against the risers with a few nails hammered in from the back.

2) The "glue blocks" towards the front of the steps are maybe too small for a stair which lacks a middle stringer.

3) The treads are pulling away from some of the risers and gaps can be seen.

4) Treads are in poor condition, cracks from being dried out and not finished all of these years have taken their toll. (Covered by carpet)

5) As you can see in some of the pictures. there seems to be an edge glued strip of wood where the treads butts up against the riser. (seen from underneath) This furthers my suspicion that somebody cut all of the treads too short, perhaps chopping off the rabbet as well? And the did some on-site improvisation? Or was this actually a method for turning a strip of wood 90 degrees and gluing it to give the tread a little more rigidity on the back half where it isn't well supported by a riser.

Question is, is this set of stairs worth trying to fix (the creaking) or it is just a losing battle?
1) Can I drive screws through the back side of the risers and into the treads to restore some rigidity? This will be tricky on some as the treads are too low in some places and the bottom of the riser isn't always flush with the underside of the tread.

2) To help the front of the steps can I add some more blocks and wedges similar to this video to help the creak:

3) Will wood putty fill the dried cracks enough to make a refinish job acceptable?

4) Does it seem this set of stairs was built inadequately or are these issues par for the course given the age?



· retired framer
72,117 Posts
I would start by adding screws thru the riser into the tread .
A stepped bit is nice where you get a bigger hole for the shank of the screw and a smaller hole for the tread but that can be done with two bits.
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.