Refinishing carpeted stair case


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Old 01-18-20, 12:54 PM
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Refinishing carpeted stair case

I am in the process of ripping up a carpeted staircase in order to stain and refinish wooden steps. To my dismay, I found that the carpenter had left a significant gap between the steps (risers and treads) and side “baseboard”. I have no idea why the Carpenter would’ve done that??? The stairs on the opposite side (with the spindles is nicely finished and stained, and I would like to keep that intact). What are my options here, apart from ripping it all up and redoing it??





 
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Old 01-18-20, 01:01 PM
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Putting pictures in your post.

Sounds like all you could do is cover the gap with a small piece of trim. When a carpenter knows what part of the steps will be carpeted, (covered) and which will not, he is often less particular on the areas that won't be seen.

It's possible a new skirt (or additional skirt) could be made but hard to say until we see the picture.
 
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Old 01-28-20, 01:08 PM
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See attachment below. My hopes are to Stain the treads, and paint skirt and risers white. Could I perhaps "bump' the existing skit inward, and fill the resulting gap between wall and skirt either with caulk (???? will be hard to perfect), or perhaps some other wood / metal bead??? No idea what might be available....

Also, I would like to add LED lighting to the stair case. I like the idea of a subtle light source recessed under the overhang of the treads. Ideally 110V connected to the switch controlling the two ceiling lights above the landings. I figured I would need to lift the treads anyway to refinish properly. Any thoughts, ideas or caveats?

Thanks so much!
 
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Old 01-28-20, 01:32 PM
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The carpenter didn't need to be as precise because he knew the stairs would get carpet. Normally treads that get stained are made of oak. While it would be best to replace the treads with oak, if you use those treads I'd just caulk the sides to the skirt board after the treads are finished and before the final coat of white is applied to the skirt.
 
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Old 01-28-20, 01:34 PM
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"Bumping" the skirt out will not hide the gaps. As Xsleeper said "an additional" skirt up against the existing. Cut it to the profile of the steps so it slides in/over the treads to cover the existing skirt and covers the gaps from above. The attached picture shows a skirt that has been cut to the profile of the steps. It is a bit hard to see because it is the same color and finish as the wall behind it, but if you expand the size you can just make out how the skirt is cut to the shape of the tread nosing. I used a 3/4 inch round rasp there.

It sits on top of the tread and butts up against the face of the riser.

The wall boards are at a slight different angle than the skirt, if that helps to see the skirt.
 
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Old 01-28-20, 01:46 PM
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Thanks for the replies. Couple of points. I do not have any oak in my house. The floor on the main level is maple, these stairs leading down into a basement where laminate will be used.

Guess it would be best to purchase unfinished maple treads, match them to main level floor and install them flush against the white skirt??

 
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Old 01-28-20, 02:53 PM
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You can do that but if the skirt is getting painted white I'm not sure you would really notice the caulk that marksr is suggesting.

Looks to me like your existing treads are poplar, which doesn't always stain up real well (not consistently anyway) and won't match your maple very well. It looks okay unfinished but when you go to apply the stain you will find out that it doesn't accept stain the same way as maple. And poplar is pretty soft wood for a staircase. New Maple or Douglas pine treads would be a better choice but will likely cost 2x as much. And I would highly recommend using a wood conditioner prior to staining them.
 
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Old 01-28-20, 03:04 PM
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Thank you. Solid advice as always!
 
 

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