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How do I install trim around stair treads?


General Lee's Avatar
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07-25-08, 07:41 PM   #1  
How do I install trim around stair treads?

I replaced a stairway with new oak treads and risers. The stairs butt up to a wall on both sides, leading to the basement. With this project I am also replacing the drywall on these walls.

I have been cutting the drywall to fit "around" the stairs which also have a one inch bull nose over hang. Due to cutting out the drywall it is not the best fit where it runs along the tread, around the bull nose and down the riser.

How can I trim out around the treads and risers to cover the *rough* cut drywall edges so everything looks neat and professional. Anyone have any ideas, which trim to use and what cuts are necessary?

 
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07-25-08, 07:55 PM   #2  
If you would have done things in a different order, you probably wouldn't have a problem. If the drywall were done first, your "rough cuts" would have all been covered by the treads and risers. But maybe you've come to that conclusion as well!

First, is it possible to remove the treads and risers, or are they all glued and screwed down?

 
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07-25-08, 08:44 PM   #3  
Yeah, I have come to that conclusion however I had different ideas at times for this project. I even had to frame in and close in one side of the wall. (it was open with a railing only leading into the basement)

The treads are already glued and nailed down. They are even stained and finished, so pulling them up is not an option.

I had it in my mind that I wanted the stairs to "look" like they were built into the wall and had planned on trimming them out and not just butting them to the drywall. But now here I am........

 
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07-26-08, 05:36 AM   #4  
That's kind of a bummer. But I know how some of those projects go... they start out small and somehow expand to epic proportions.

The best thing to do would have been to put a skirt along the wall prior to the installation of your treads and risers. The drywall would then have had a straight edge to butt up to. But now that you can't do that, I think maybe the best thing to do would be to make yourself some skirt pieces for each step, and butt them together. So you'd have the look of a skirt, but it would be put together from multiple pieces.

You'd start with a chalk line that is maybe 1 1/2" above the step. You could use oak veneer MDF to save a little money, cutting it into rips that are roughly 9 3/8" wide. You'd start with a piece that runs from the cusp of one tread to the cusp of the next- maybe 12" long or so. Careful measuring and cutting will enable you to make one that fits perfectly. Using a framing square may help you in measuring, and transferring the marks onto the piece as you hold it directly above where it will go, with the bottom edge of the piece on the chalk line. Cut the piece to it's approximate size using the tool of your choice. Be sure you cut it long, leaving the line at first. If you cut it too small, it's scrap. You have to be patient and make several test fits, making adjustments where needed. A curved rasp will probably come in handy to finish your radius. If you're handy with a router, that could work as well. A grinder with a sanding disk works well to "grind" off and shape wood once you've rough cut it to an approximate size. Once you have the piece fitting perfectly, fit it into place temporarily, mark it's edges with a pencil. Then mark the back side with a number, and mark the location that it fits. Do that about 23 more times and you'll have your stairs trimmed out. You could use the first piece as a template, provided it is a close match to the others, but I'm guessing that each one will be a little different. Dry fit each one, then remove them- it will make it easier if you can test each piece without having one installed on either side of it. Once they have all been made, dry fit the entire thing and see how it looks. Once you like it, install them all.

Once all the pieces have been installed (you'll likely have to glue these to the drywall with some PL200) You can install a piece of panel moulding over the top as a cap. It's a decorative moulding that is made to cover a 3/4 edge.

 
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07-26-08, 08:49 AM   #5  
Stairs

I have read the suggestions above. I am wondering if it would be practical to mask the treads and risers next to the wall and fill in the drywall gaps with joint compound, sand, paint, and remove the masking tape. Hard to decide without seeing a photo of the project.

 
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07-26-08, 09:18 AM   #6  
Posted By: Wirepuller38 I have read the suggestions above. I am wondering if it would be practical to mask the treads and risers next to the wall and fill in the drywall gaps with joint compound, sand, paint, and remove the masking tape. Hard to decide without seeing a photo of the project.
This is what I've thought about doing. My biggest gaps are around the bull nose.

Xsleeper - Do you think a wide enough piece of crown molding would work? Basically I would still have to notch the radius for the bull nose and once the riser piece is above the tread just bring the tread piece to to that piece?? I don't know, just trying to think of the easiest solution. I seriously had a brain fart when I did this. The thing is, in my old home the stairs were pre-fabbed I assumed and the treads went inside the skirt board. Thats why I had this in mind, but I totally screwed that up.

 
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07-28-08, 04:19 PM   #7  
Posted By: XSleeper That's kind of a bummer. But I know how some of those projects go... they start out small and somehow expand to epic proportions.

The best thing to do would have been to put a skirt along the wall prior to the installation of your treads and risers. The drywall would then have had a straight edge to butt up to. But now that you can't do that, I think maybe the best thing to do would be to make yourself some skirt pieces for each step, and butt them together. So you'd have the look of a skirt, but it would be put together from multiple pieces.

You'd start with a chalk line that is maybe 1 1/2" above the step. You could use oak veneer MDF to save a little money, cutting it into rips that are roughly 9 3/8" wide. You'd start with a piece that runs from the cusp of one tread to the cusp of the next- maybe 12" long or so. Careful measuring and cutting will enable you to make one that fits perfectly. Using a framing square may help you in measuring, and transferring the marks onto the piece as you hold it directly above where it will go, with the bottom edge of the piece on the chalk line. Cut the piece to it's approximate size using the tool of your choice. Be sure you cut it long, leaving the line at first. If you cut it too small, it's scrap. You have to be patient and make several test fits, making adjustments where needed. A curved rasp will probably come in handy to finish your radius. If you're handy with a router, that could work as well. A grinder with a sanding disk works well to "grind" off and shape wood once you've rough cut it to an approximate size. Once you have the piece fitting perfectly, fit it into place temporarily, mark it's edges with a pencil. Then mark the back side with a number, and mark the location that it fits. Do that about 23 more times and you'll have your stairs trimmed out. You could use the first piece as a template, provided it is a close match to the others, but I'm guessing that each one will be a little different. Dry fit each one, then remove them- it will make it easier if you can test each piece without having one installed on either side of it. Once they have all been made, dry fit the entire thing and see how it looks. Once you like it, install them all.

Once all the pieces have been installed (you'll likely have to glue these to the drywall with some PL200) You can install a piece of panel moulding over the top as a cap. It's a decorative moulding that is made to cover a 3/4 edge.
I 'm just an average DIYer, Could you post up some pics or an example of this technique? I need a visual to make sure I'm understanding it. I appreciate it.

 
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07-28-08, 07:36 PM   #8  
Patching the drywall would surely be easier, but what I was trying to describe is making a skirt for the side walls of the staircase. Usually the skirt is one or two long pieces, and it goes BEHIND the treads and risers, or they are dado-ed into the skirt. But since you got the cart in front of the horse, if you want a skirt, you'll have to piece it together out of individually cut pieces. In order to look good, they would have to fit exactly. Finish work like this would probably be for the "exceptional DIY'er", not just an average one. But maybe if you re-read those notes again, it will make more sense with a pic.


 
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07-29-08, 03:37 PM   #9  
Xsleeper - thank you, your diagram definitely helped. Instructions are clear now Thanks again for taking the time to draw that and post it up.

 
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