How to Design Underside of Stairs

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Old 07-09-09, 01:09 PM
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How to Design Underside of Stairs

We recently bought a house and it had an open stair design (where you can see through the stairs). I ripped off the carpet from the stairs leading to 2nd floor, installed a riser on each stair, then laid the carpet back down on the stairs to get us by for the next few months until we order new carpet for the entire house. Now I have the task of closing off the underside of the stairs (which leads to the basement) and make it look nice. The area to cover is 12 feet long.

How would you do this? Would you buy a 12 foot piece of drywall and screw that in, then paint it? Would you use some kind of panelling? Any suggestions? The side walls going down stairs have a faux finish wallpaper. Any advice/suggestions would be appreciated.
 
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Old 07-09-09, 07:09 PM
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Is there really enough room to get a 12x4 piece of anything down there without cutting it? How about Luan?
 
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Old 07-10-09, 03:27 PM
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If it is leading to the basement, you may have to use 5/8" fire rated sheetrock. I have had to do that before on remodels. But definitely do it in smaller pieces and finish the joints.
 
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Old 07-11-09, 06:57 PM
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you need 5/8" fire rated drywall going to basement? what exactly is code on that? My furnace is not located in my basement if that matters. My drywall guy never mentioned anything about 5/8" fire rated going to basement. I did have fire rated installed on wall between garage and house.

I have same open stair design, but only open on one side. The other side butts up against a wall. so I am interested in replies to this. I have to figure out how to frame it up so that drywall can go below the steps (that is what I had planned on using). didn't know where drywall should go if you are looking at steps from side. would some kind of molding go at the interface where stringer meets the drywall below stairs? should drywall be flush with bottom of stringer and have drywall guys blend it to make it smooth, or should it be recessed and moulding go on the inside corner, or have them mount it to the bottom of stringer with it sticking out even with side and then put some kind of outside moulding? I was thinking the last option.
 
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Old 07-11-09, 06:59 PM
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sorry, when I re-read the OP I see he had open risers. I don't have that at all. I just meant open so that you are looking at a stringer that doesnt have anything below it. you can look at the bottom of the risers/treads.
 
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Old 07-12-09, 03:44 AM
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Basically, as our inspector tells it, you can have the fireproof sheetrock on the walls to protect against infilration, but if your staircase isn't covered, a fire could potentially use it as a chimney once it burns through the wood. Not sure of the code section, only that he said do it, and he either passed or failed.
 
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