How to Install Wooden Stair Treads

What You'll Need
Wood stair tread
Wooden stair nosing trim
Adhesive to install stair treads

Installing wooden stair treads in place of carpeting on your stairs can be somewhat difficult. Follow these steps and practice patience along with some basic skills to install your stair treads.

Step 1 - Remove the Carpeting

Use a pry bar to remove the carpeting and any padding, tack strips, and staples from your stairs. Sweep up any dirt, drywall mud, or debris that is left behind. If needed, sand out any large imperfections that you find upon removing the carpeting.

Step 2 - Check for Squeaks

If your stairs were carpeted prior to the current project, any squeaking may have been muffled by the carpeting and padding. Use a level and make sure that the stairs are level. Shim any stair treads that are not level to remove the squeaks. If you do not have shims, you can use long screws to tighten the stair tread and eliminate the squeaking sound.

Step 3 - Cut the Stair Nosing

The stair nosing is the part of the stair that sticks out past the riser. You will need to first remove the existing nosing using a saw so that the new nosing can be installed. Once you have removed the old nosing, measure in 3 different places underneath the stair tread to determine the depth of the nosing. Measure the distance on top of the nosing. Use a pencil and draw a straight line from one side of the stair tread to the other. You will then need to use a saw (a circular one works best) to cut the tread. Then use a jigsaw to finish off the ends of the tread.

Step 4 - Installing Your Stair Nosing

Use a tape measure to measure the stair treads to get the measurements of your stair nosing. Using a nail gun, install the nosing with finishing nails.

Step 5 - Stain and Paint the Risers

If you are going to be painting or staining the risers of your stairs, you should do it now. Before staining your risers, you will need to install new wood. Measure all of your risers individually because it is likely that they are not all the same length. Cut the wood for your risers. Use finishing nails to install your new wood for the risers. Nail the boards at the very bottom of the riser. The top of the riser will be covered with stair tread or stair nosing.

Step 6 - Installing the Treads

Measure all your stair treads. In some cases, they may not all be the same size. Once you have measured the treads, cut the hardwood for your stair treads. Once you have cut the hardwood, you can then attach it to the treads. Use a strong wood adhesive to avoid making any nail holes. Repeat this process until you have finished with the entire stair case.