How to Install Rubber Stair Treads

Lead Image for How to Install Rubber Stair Treads
  • 8-10 hours
  • Beginner
  • 40-100
What You'll Need
Carpenters pencil
Epoxy nose caulk
Contact cement
Hand roller
Metal straight edge
Utility knife
Measuring tape
Rubber treads

Rubber stair treads can prevent many accidents. It’s all too easy to slip on stairs, and falling down them can result in serious injuries. Rubber stair treads will greatly improve safety on the stairs. It’s not difficult to install rubber stair treads; you just need to know the proper way to go about things.

Step 1 - Preparation

You need to make sure that the stairs are thoroughly clean. Sweep them. If there’s any grease or dirt on the stairs, scrub them clean with a proper cleaner. Allow the stairs to dry.

You’ll find that the rubber stair treads will be larger than the stairs; they’re meant to be oversized. You’ll need to measure the stairs with a tape measure then cut the rubber stair treads to the proper size. Do this by using a carpenter’s pencil and a metal straight edge to draw the lines. Cut with a utility knife or a linoleum knife. Use the straight edge again to keep the line clean.

Step 2 - Cement

Dry fit the rubber stair treads after cutting to be certain that that fit well before you proceed. If you’ve been careful with your measuring and cutting there should be no problem. Spread the cement on the underside of the stair tread. This should include the inside of the nose of the tread. You don’t need to cover every inch with glue but there should be enough to ensure the rubber stair treads will be secure on the stair.

Also under the nose of the rubber stair treads, you should place small pea-sized balls of epoxy nose caulk. These will expand to push out the air and stop the potential of the rubber stair treads cracking later.

Step 3 - Fitting

Hold the rubber stair treads from the back, the side opposite the nose. Push the nose into place then lower the rubber stair treads over the wooden tread. Keep pushing hard on the nose to see that it butts up against the wood. Press down on the tread, slowly working backward toward the riser. As well as pushing down you should also push back so that the rubber stair tread is right against the riser. Keep pushing until there are no gaps and the rubber stair tread is flat against the stair surface.

Step 4 - Rolling

To finish installing the rubber stair treads, take a hand roller and run it over the rubber stair tread and also over the nose of the tread. Doing this will eliminate any air pockets and ensure you have a completely flat surface. Press down hard and work from the front of the stair toward the back. Working this way will give you the firmness you need with the rubber stair tread. Allow the treads to dry for several hours before you use the stairs. Failure to do this can cause the rubber stair treads to end up skewed on the stairs.