Hardwood on stairs

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Old 09-04-02, 06:18 AM
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Hardwood on stairs

Slowly but surely I am replacing the carpeting with longstrip oak flooring (3/4" x 2 1/4" planks) in the bedrooms upstairs. 3 down, 1 to go! After the 4th bedroom, I am considering doing the hallway and then possibly the steps.

How are the steps usually done?

Tear out existing treds and replace with solid oak treds or use long strips over top of the existing treds?

There is no trim on either side of the steps, just drywall, how do you finish that off?

How do you finish the risers? Some have said to use oack vaneer plywood.

Thanks.
 
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Old 09-04-02, 08:18 AM
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We just replaced our carpeted stairs with hardwood, along with putting hardwwod in the living room and dining room. We removed the particle board treads that were under the carpet, and put in solid wood treads and risers.

You can either use oak plywood risers to match the treads, or use plywood and paint it. Our installer cut all the pieces (risers and treads), finished them in the garage, then installed.

Since you don't currently have skirtboards, you might consider adding them - we will have to repair a few scratches in the skirtboard, but I think that's easier than repairing drywall.

It looks absolutely beautiful when it's done! I was worried that the steps would be slippery, but even our old dog doesn't seem to have any trouble (and he does have trouble standing up on the floor).

Have fun!
 
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Old 09-04-02, 08:26 AM
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Thanks for the reply!

I have already thought about the skirt boards. They will be stained to match the trimwork.

I am curious. Did they cut and install the skirt boards and then the treads and risers, or the other way around?

How did they fasten the treads and risers? Did they use glue/adhesive to the stringers?

My application will be fairly simple and will need skirt boards on both sides. At the bottom is a one step landing.

My thoughts for installation:

1) cut and install skirt boards
2) install risers (from bottom up, one at a time)
3) install treads (alternating with risers)
 
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Old 09-04-02, 01:17 PM
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The skirtboards were installed first. We were fortunate that the outside stringers were an inch from the wall, so the skirt boards didn't need to be cut on the bottom - they just slid in between the stringer and the wall.

The contractor had a jig to get the right dimensions on the stair treads.

I wasn't there while he installed the stairs, but the treads are in front of the risers, so starting at the bottom makes sense. The riser goes on first, then the tread.

THe treads and risers are nailed, and looking at it from underneath, it looks like he used some sort of glue as well, at least on the treads. There are also shims between the treads and the stringers; a couple of the treads were not perfectly flat.

Are you putting wood at the top of the stairs, too? If so, be sure to account for the fact that your top step will increase in height by the thickness of the floor.

Try a search to see what sort of stair-building tips you can find on the web, and good luck!
 
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Old 09-04-02, 01:29 PM
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Hmmmm...

I did find some reference for trimming out stairs, and it was pretty good. I feel that the stringer are not against the drywall, so the skirt boards may be easier than I anticipated.

I never would have thought about shims, but it may be hard to install because the underside is finished.

The reference explained how to make a jig with 2 pieces of plywood and wingnuts. ALso use them for the risers.

3/4" oak plank in the hall at top of stairs, so I will have to find some type of nose peice to make the transition. It should be about the thinkness of padding and carpet.

Thanks for the input!
 
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Old 09-11-02, 09:11 AM
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Klute, I have some photos of our hardwood stairs! I'm not real pleased with the way they show up (I'm new to this whole web page thing), but I think you'll get the idea.

http://pages.ivillage.com/annkh/photoalbum/id1.html

The floor is prefinished Brazilian Cherry; the steps and risers are BC as well, but site-finished.
 
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Old 09-11-02, 01:27 PM
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Is that Cherry wood from Brazil or wood stained with the name Brazilian Cherry.

Either way, it is very nice.

Do you have 2 staircases or just one? It looks like 2 different one.

You appliacation is almost indentical to mine, with drywall and skirt boards on both sides.

BTW, how did they transition the top step with the flooring on that level?
 
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Old 09-11-02, 02:54 PM
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It is Brazilian Cherry wood (the real thing), unstained. The color on the photo of the stairs shows up pretty light - the stairs are actually closer in color to the closeup.

It's just one set of stairs, from the foyer to the upper level in our split, so it's only 7 steps. The closeup is meant to show the 1/8" gap between the riser and the skirtboard (the installer didn't do a very good job measuring).

The top step is a T&G bullnose, about 5" wide - not a regular stair tread.

You mentioned that the new flooring will be about the same height as the existing carpet and pad, which is likely true, but remember that you also have carpet and pad on the steps, so when that is removed, your top step will be taller.

They screwed this up on our stairs (along with several other things), so that the top step height is 8", the next 5 steps are 7-1/4", and the bottom step is 7". This is very disconcerting when going up or down - we have tripped on that top step several times (especially when carrying groceries!). What they should have done was add a 1/2" piece of plywood under each stair tread, to bring them all closer to the same height (the stair codes I found specifiy a maximum differential between the tallest and shortest steps to be 3/8").
 
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