Hardwood & Stairs

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Old 01-03-16, 06:45 PM
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Question Hardwood & Stairs

Hello,

I am hoping I could get some feedback from those who read this forum. We are considering doing some flooring upgrades in the next few months. Specifically having the stairs that lead to the 2nd floor bedrooms done with hardwood. Then the respective bedrooms done with carpet.

My first question regarding the stairs. Is it common (or even possible) to have the stairs done with hardwood? I know in some previous research there was a bit of confusion, from local outlets if this was possible. This was basically with local flooring stores that I talked with.

Which leads me to my second qestion. Would a local flooring/carpet store (excluding the big box retailers) be the best people to speak to for this work? Again, specifically for the hardwood on the stairs. As I know there is no difficulty getting carpet done pretty much by anyone. If the "flooring store" is not the best choice. What suggestions or recommendations can you provide as to who may do this work?

We really want to do this. But also need to make sure we are hiring the proper "skilled worker" to complete this.

Thanks for any help you can offer.
 
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Old 01-04-16, 02:54 AM
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The consruction of the stairs themselves will tell if you can remove and replace the treads and risers or if you have to go with an overlay. Some staircases are built on site with stringers and treads. Others are built off site, brought in and simply installed as a unit which can not be broken down. Another thing to consider is how you are to treat the top landing so that it blends in with the stairs. Is the upstairs carpeted or hardwood. A final question is weather the stairs are open tread design (with balusters on one side) or closed thread (with drywall on both sides) or a combination of the two.

Send us a picture of what you have, it will help begin the conversation. Keep in mind photos will need to be scaled down for to be able to be uploaded and with that, upload one at a time. Here are some directions. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
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Old 01-04-16, 04:14 AM
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Once you've answered the above questions and are ready to proceed - if you prefinish the wood prior to installation you'll cut down on the amount of time the stairs are out of service .... the final coat of poly should always be applied after installation.
 
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Old 01-04-16, 02:31 PM
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Hardwood & Stairs

Thanks so much for the reply and thoughts.

A quick summary of what's currently there. As of right now the stairs are currently carpert to the top landing. Whhich is also carpeted. In turn the respective bedrooms have their "own carpeting" installed.

The thought was to only do the stairs and landing. Then have the berooms with wall to wall carpeting. The simple reason beeing that I am not a big fan of hardwood in bedrooms (living on the Northeast the floors get cold LOL). Although we have it in many other areas of the home.

As to the "stair build". Unfortunately I can't tell how they were constructed on site with stringers/treads. Or brough in and simply installed. If I was to guess (based on the basement stairs). I am thinking they were built onsite but can't verify because of the existing carpet mentioned above.

The current stairs are "closed thread" with drywall on both walls as you go to the 2nd floor bedroom area. With a handrail (attached to wall) on right as you go up.

I appreciate any additional feedback or suggestions you may have.
 
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Old 01-05-16, 02:41 AM
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Do you know if the stairs have always been covered with carpet? the age of the house? Here in the southeast most stairs are built on site with the only prebuilt stairs I've seen were ones with unique configurations. Is it feasible to peel back the carpet on one tread to see what is underneath? I assume you can't get a look see from the bottom side.
 
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Old 01-05-16, 04:46 AM
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Yes, it is time to pull back at least one tread of carpet to get a look at what you have underneath. The carpet on the bottom step will be tacked on the first riser close to the floor. Pull to free the carpet from the staples and the rest of the carpet should lift off to reveal the first tread. Look for visible nail holes on less than stainable wood (either MDF or plywood) which would indicate built on site.
 
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Old 01-05-16, 06:39 AM
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Hardwood & Stairs

The stairs have always been carpeted. As were all the rooms until we replaced a few with hardwood. The house is about 20 yrs old and we are the second owner. I am about 99% sure the stairs were built on site.

Going with the belief they were build on site. Would it be feasible (or possible) to have these stairs redone with hardwood? Replacing the existing carpet that's in place. Or is it best to stay with carpet as currently exists?

Also, as to having work like this done. Is it typically something a local flooring store can handle? Or instead is it necessary to find a "craftsman" as this would require a different skill set, being stairs. And may not be something that a flooring installer may be versed on.

Thanks for the input and help.
 
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Old 01-05-16, 08:56 AM
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It's hard to say just what would be involved to install hardwood treads without first seeing what is there. Just replacing the carpet would be less work and presumably cheaper. Most any decent finish carpenter can do the work. I don't know if floor installers do much stairs or not. On all the new construction homes I've painted, the floor guys usually installed the hardwood floor but the trim carpenter always did the stair case.
 
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Old 01-05-16, 09:17 AM
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I definitely understand and agree with the comment about carpet being less work. And most likely cheaper. The initial thought was to do carpet again on the stairs. Then have the bedrooms carpeted separately as exists now to keep within a budget. As I am sure hardwood will be significantly more.

The hardwood on the stairs is what brought me to this forum. One to see if it's possible, common or practical. Then to find out who may actually do this work. As MarkSr mentions, I had my doubts also that it would be a flooring store. I had the same thoughts, that the flooring guys do the flooring. It was a question who would/could do the stairs. The suggestion of a good finish carpenter is a great idea. I think the stairs would require a different skill set. With the "flooring installer" specializing in the floor aspect.

I may have to do some further investigation to find out whats under the carpet. But a guess has me thinking MDF or Plywood attached with nails or similar. Also, will have to do some research to find a skilled finish carpenter that may be able to undertake this project. Which may be the more difficult part.

Appreciate any additional thoughts or comments.
Thank You.!
 
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Old 01-05-16, 09:27 AM
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The majority of the new residential construction homes I've worked on used either plywood or 2x12s for the treads. i don't recall any that used MDF .... but not all builders use the same exact practices or materials.

Personally I like hardwood but one benefit of carpet on stairs is if someone falls - the hit isn't as severe although generally that is only a concern with young children and some of the elderly.
 
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Old 01-05-16, 01:58 PM
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I'd steer clear of the flooring guys being any help on the stair treads. Different set of skills, even though I do both, most of the flooring installers are minimum wage guys. You can ask around at the local lumber yards if they have a recommendation. You can also check with realtors who specialize in new construction. They could probably hook you up (although they probably would want a commission).

They also make stair "caps" which are more DIY friendly. You can look into them. They are basically prefinished steps that you install over whatever you have there already.
 
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Old 01-24-16, 06:13 AM
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This is possible. In so far as who to get to do it. I would find somebody who has experience doing this AND I would ask to see some of the jobs that he/she has done. If the cuts aren't precise you will be seeing joint gaps. Also, there are building codes regarding stair run and rise dimensions so you want somebody that knows about these when selecting tread dimensions. It's a somewhat labor intensive process so it may seem expensive. Also, depending on your house inhabitants, discuss the finishing process......my neighbor could not use the stairs for 3 days. Prefinishing may not be best for the installer but may work out better for you.
Something else to keep in mind...hardwood stairs can be slippery if you have on the wrong footwear so carpet runners can be a good idea...or fully carpeted stairs which you already have.
 

Last edited by JIMMIEM; 01-24-16 at 07:45 AM. Reason: add info
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