How to Repair Wood Stair Treads

What You'll Need
Wood screws
wood filler
power drill
screw gun
wood board
electric saw
wood glue or nails
protective gloves
wood putty

Regardless of how beautiful they look, wood stair treads are a demanding piece of furniture that requires proper maintenance on a regular basis. Find some useful tips below on how to repair and replace the wood treads of your house, should they become too squeaky or worn-out.

Step 1–Identify the Squeaky Areas

Go up and down the staircase to find out the spot where a stair is squeaking.

Step 2 – Drill Screw Hole

Put a countersink bit on your drill and bore a hole in the squeaky area of the stair tread. The hole must lie on the cross-section of the tread and the stringer; also, it should be wide enough to allow the screw head to sink just below the tread level.

Step 3 – Fix the Wood Screw in Place

Insert the screw into the countersunk hole (the screw must be long enough to go at least 3/4 inches into the stringer). Take a screw gun and set it at low speed with strong torque. Keep drilling until the screw sinks just beneath the tread surface. Step on the stair tread to see if it is still squeaking. If it is, drive the screw deeper in, pulling the tread tighter to the stinger.

Step 4 – Cover up the Screw

Put a small amount of wood filler on a trowel and lay it across the screw hole. Add extra filler if necessary.

Replacing Stair Treads

Sometimes a stair tread will get so worn-out that no amount of repair-work can fix the problem, and you will simply have to replace the tread with a new one. Read below how to do it.

Step 1 – Remove the Old Tread

Place a chisel inside the dent between the riser and the tread, point it upwards and keep tapping its handle with a hammer until the tread comes out. Pull out any remaining nails and dust off the area.

Step 2 – Purchase a Wood Board and Cut New Tread

Go to your local wood supplies store and buy a board of the same material as the old tread. Place the board on a table cutter and cut it to size. Be extremely careful when working with the electric saw!

Step 3 – Fix the New Tread in Place

To install the new tread, you can use either wood glue or a hammer and nails.

If you choose the first option (which is aesthetically preferable), shop around for the glue that will best suit your purposes. Apply it to the tread edges in zigzagging lines with or without the use of a gun. Press the tread against the stair and wait for the glue to cure. Then clean any excess amounts of glue with the appropriate solvent. Be sure to wear protective gloves all the time.

A much stronger bond between the tread and the stair is achieved when you use steel nails, which should be long enough to go 1 inch into the riser and the stringers. Knock the nails down slightly below the tread level and cover them with wood putty of a suitable color.