questions on stairs

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Old 03-05-03, 02:56 PM
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questions on stairs

I have a stairwell that leads up to a recently finished bonus room. The original stair treads are 2-2x6 decking boards laid together. After all the wall texturing and painting, these treads are trashed and I'd like to replace them with something nicer. Can I just use plywood cut to the right dimensions for the risers and treads or do I need to use the precut pine treads that already have the bullnose edge for the tread overhang? Also, I would like to cut a piece of 1-by to place against the wall adjacent to the stairs. What size of wood is normally used for this trim (1x10, 1x12?) Also, what method should I use to make the proper cuts for the rise and run of the stairs? I was thinking about just laying the 1-by edge on against the bare stringers and mark each step. Any help would be great!!
 
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Old 03-05-03, 05:16 PM
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Although plywood is inherently stronger than dimensional lumber of the same thickness you may want to go with the lumber. Most yards don't stock 1" plywood, and that's what you really need to use. Although 3/4" plywood isn't going to break, you will feel a certain amount of 'give'.

As far as the risers are concerned, have at it. If you're planning to stain, Birch plywood (usually readily available) will give a really nice look.

The side board is usually 1X12 - for the same reason you use 2X12 for stair stringer; you can get the full cut for rise and tread out of the board without running out of board.

On an existing house, I'd tack the board in place on the outside (balluster side) of the stairway and mark it to cut. Replace the treads and risers first.

One other consideration; if the original treads were 2X6 (true 1-1/2") - regular treads or plywood will give you and effectively steeper rise...
 
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Old 03-05-03, 06:09 PM
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In most states 5/4 deck boards are Minimum building code requirments which is 1 1/4 inch think. It is best to use 2 inch dimensional lumber on stair systems. Never heard of using plywood treads.
 
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Old 03-06-03, 06:39 PM
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5/4 Deck boards are a true 1" thick - the "5/4" refers to the size of the lumber before final milling, just as a 2X4 is neither 2" or 4".

3/4" plywood for treads is acceptable - but only for spans 16" or less.

"Standard" stair treads range from a true 1" to 1-1/4" thick.
 
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Old 03-07-03, 06:24 AM
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Thanks for the help. I think I've got a great handle on my project now thanks to you guys!

Eric
 
 

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