Re-doing ugly stairs

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Old 12-19-06, 09:34 PM
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Re-doing ugly stairs

I have a fairly new home in a development in Pennsylvania, so I am assuming that standard construction techniques were used.

I have 2 staircases that are made of the standard yellow pine treads and risers. I don't want to carpet the steps-instead I want to re-do them to have Oak treads and marble tile risers. I am considering 2 methods to accomplish this. But, there are potential problems with each.

Option 1: I could remove and replace the treads and risers with new material. For most of the staircase, this would be easy. I would simply pull the treads and risers out the back-the same way they were put in. But, toward the top of the staircase, I would have to cut the stringer from the front in order to get out the last 2 treads. The main I-beam for the house is in the way. But, would the act of cutting the stringer hurt the structural stability of my staircases?

Option 2: I could simply cover the old steps with my desired material. But, 3/4" oak flooring and marble tile is rather heavy. Would the additonal weight create a problem for my stairs?

For a couple reasons, I think I would prefer option 2, but any thoughts?
 
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Old 12-19-06, 10:34 PM
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I'm not a stair expert by any means, but I know about structural issues. Do not cut the stringer. It will most certainly compromise the structural integrity of the stairs.

Your option 2 seems like a better option, but you have to not only figure the weight (which probably won't be that big of a deal), but the issue of what kind of dimensional changes that will have on the size of your treads, as well as the rise.
 
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Old 12-20-06, 03:58 AM
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You will most likely have to remove the existing treads and risers. One way is to cut them into three sections, removing the middle first and then the two sides. Install bullnose oak treads and properly sized risers. I wouldn't tile the risers, however. A staircase flexes a little when weight is applied, so you know what will happen to your grout lines and tile over time.
 
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Old 12-23-06, 10:03 AM
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Option 1: I could remove and replace the treads and risers with new material. For most of the staircase, this would be easy. I would simply pull the treads and risers out the back-the same way they were put in. But, toward the top of the staircase, I would have to cut the stringer from the front in order to get out the last 2 treads. The main I-beam for the house is in the way. But, would the act of cutting the stringer hurt the structural stability of my staircases?
I'm not sure I am picturing in my mind exactly what you have as interferance, but all those treads and risers should have been installed in pairs (riser,then tread) from the bottom to the top of the staircase while standing on the steps themselves. To remove them would just be the opposite.

0ption 2: I could simply cover the old steps with my desired material. But, 3/4" oak flooring and marble tile is rather heavy. Would the additonal weight create a problem for my stairs?
The weight is'nt the issue here. It's whether or not your old treads and risers are glued (the risers are most likely not). When you start adding layers upon layers then the "sub layer" has to be glued to prevent so much play and squeaking. Risers are not usually glued, but in this case, if you approached it this way that is, then I would insist on it.

Keep in mind also- you would have to rip off the old tread's bullnose flush with the verticle riser.

Also keep in mind that in doing it this way you would be eliminating the balance of rise and smoothness of the steps. In other words- your very first step at the bottom will be 3/4" higher in rise height, and your very last step at the top would be 3/4" shorter in height. The shortness is not so much a big deal, but the higher one at the bottom would not pass code.
 

Last edited by vett82ce; 12-24-06 at 07:30 AM.
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