How to Replace a Wood Spiral Stair Tread

  • 1-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-500
What You'll Need
Hole saw
Welding torch (possibly)
Replacement screws

Wood spiral stairs rarely get damaged, but if you need to replace one of the wood spiral stair treads, you do have a few options. These options depend on the construction of your stair, as well as whether you purchased your spiral stair as a kit, built it yourself, or it came with the house when you bought it. This article will examine the different methods for replacing a wood spiral stair tread. Depending on how your spiral stairs were assembled will determine the amount of work that you will have to replace the tread.

Step 1 - Repairing Construction Type: Metal on Metal

While it may sound odd for your wood spiral stair to have a metal on metal construction, many people find this method to be easiest when building a spiral stair themselves. It consists of a metal center pole and metal bases for the tread welded to the center pole. Then, a wooden tread is mounted over the metal tread base. If this is your situation, and just the wooden part of the tread needs to be replaced, simply unscrew the wood tread and remove it from the metal base. Use a pry bar if necessary.

Then, you can either purchase a replacement tread online, or you can purchase the wood yourself, stain and/or paint it and screw it back into the metal base. If it is the metal tread base that is a problem, then if the base is still structurally sound and it is just coming off the center pole, simply weld it back. If the metal base is beyond repair, you will need to purchase a replacement base, and have the replacement welded to the center pole.

Step 2 - Repairing Construction Type: Spiral Stair Kit

If your spiral stair was a kit that you purchased, then you have both good and bad news. The good news is, that you know exactly who to go to to get a replacement tread that matches your spiral stair. The bad news is, that the way a kit spiral stair is assembled, you will have to take apart the entire stair to change out one tread. The installation of the spiral stair simply had you drop alternating treads and spacers from the top of the center pole. Very easy assembly, but it will all have to be undone from the top, down to the level where you have the broken tread. This will require removing the handrail, then unscrew the balusters, newel posts, and remove treads and spacers as you work down. If your spiral stair is really damaged badly enough to need a tread replacement, you may want to weigh your options and think about replacing the entire staircase. It would only slightly be more labor to install an entirely new kit, and you won't have to worry about the next tread breaking soon after the first.

Step 3 - Repairing Construction Type: Unknown

If your home already had the wood spiral stair when you moved in, or a contractor installed the stair for you, you still have some options. If it is possible that the spiral stair was a kit, try finding the name of the manufacturer on the center pole or possibly the base plate. Most manufacturers like taking credit for their design, so it is a good bet that it is labeled somewhere. If you can locate a name, a quick Google search can help determine if they have a website or contact number.

If they do, see if you can order any replacement parts. If you have no idea who built your spiral stair, then your best bet is to see if you can determine how the tread is attached to the center pole. If the tread has a hole and has been dropped down to it's placement on the center pole, then you will have to take apart the entire staircase above the damaged tread, like Step #2. If it is nailed or screwed into the center pole, then you can just remove that tread and take it with you to your local lumber yard to get the same wood and similar cut.

Then cut out the proper diameter hole or notching for the tread to mount to the center pole. You can use a Hole Saw for this. You should also be able to duplicate the stain or paint as applicable on the tread by having it matched at a paint store.