Installing Stair Treads: Step-By-Step Instructions

What You'll Need
Vinyl or rubber stair treads
Carpenter's pencil
Linoleum knife
Contact Cement
Hand roller
Metal straight edge

While a slick or slippery staircase can lead to serious injury, stair treads can help reduce the likelihood of an accident. Stair treads are inexpensive vinyl or rubber coverings that are attached to the slick wood surface of your stairs. Follow these steps for easy stair tread installation.

Before you start, make sure the stairs are clean, dry and free of dirt and debris.

Step One – Measuring and Marking

Stair treads are usually oversized, so you will have to trim them down to fit your stairs. Using a carpenter's pencil and a metal straightedge, mark cut lines on the stair treads that are a match for the size of your stairs.

Step Two – Cutting the Stair Treads

Using the straightedge as a guide, cut along the lines with the linoleum knife. Break or cut off excess material.

Position the tread on the stair, and check again to ensure that you have cut the right size.

Step Three - Gluing the Stair Treads

Now, spread the epoxy glue along the bottom side of each stair tread. Make sure to spread the adhesive under the nosing area as well as on the inside nosing area. The glue will expand and fill any air gaps in the chair that could lead to cracking or slippage.

Step Four - Placing the Stair Treads

While holding the back edge of the tread up and away from the stair, firmly push the nosing area on to the surface. Continue firmly pressing on the tread, starting at the front of the stair and working your way back toward the riser. The tread should lay flat on the stair without any gaps or ripples.

Step Five - Using the Hand Roller

Next, use your hand roller to roll across the top of all stair treads and back-and-forth over the nosing areas. This will help of eliminate any small air pockets and help increase the adhesive bonding of the treads to the surface of the stairs.

After you have installed the new stair treads, do not mop or wash them for about a week. This will allow for proper bonding of the  tread, the epoxy and the top of the stair.

Also, keep in mind that rubber or vinyl stair treads are not recommended for outdoor use, and should only be used indoors.