Stair Case Remodel.

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Project by Luke posted 01-20-2015 10:50 PM 1601 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The principle way I have funded woodworking as a hobby is to do home improvement projects that my wife wants. We take what it would have cost to have a professional do the job, and and then add up the materials. The remaining balance goes into savings, or tool purchases.

This was one of those huge projects, honestly it was a lot of work, and frustration but it came out really good in my opinion. When we moved into the house, it was nasty brown carpet that was worn on the steps, and if you stepped wrong you’d feel the nail strips.

We put laminate floors in our house and wanted something to match as best we could, and had decided early on that we did not want to do the laminate on the stairs because I did’t like the trim on the edges.

I found some prefabricated stair treads that were designed specifically for going over stairs that were built for carpet. Instead of the typical 1” tread, they are 5/8” so they do not alter the height/rise of the steps which could have serious issues with code or inspections if we sold the house.

I stained and finished the treads, and solid oak T&G flooring for the landing, and covered them in 4 coats of floor poly over 2 weeks. I also had to fabricate an expansion gap for the upstairs intersection of laminate to stairs. I took a stair bullnose edging, and cut a rabbit on the underside of it, and then cut a gradual taper on the top, finished by a rounded edge. The finished height of the edge is 3/4” the finished height of the floor is around 3/8-1/2” The slight taper on the edging makes it a seamless transition, no tripping hazard.

The original stairs had no skirt boards, just drywall, So i had to cut each skirt board and scribe them to the base.

I did skirt boards first, then stair treads second, capped the skirt boards with a moulding.

This project was a beast, I had to take the entire banister off one side because the trim peaces overhanng the stairs by almost an inch, which blocked the tread from being installed. I am surprised it al came back together, but the seams are airtight.

One huge mistake, I bought low VOC adhesive for the first few treads, and quickly realized that meant waterbased. The first few treads warped because of the absorbed water, but only slightly. When its rainy, the first few treads creek slightly but not that bad. I realized my mistake and the the other 11 stairs don’t make a sound.

Live and learn.

3 comments so far

View jimmyb's profile


186 posts in 2398 days

#1 posted 01-21-2015 01:15 PM

I feel your pain :)

I am finally doing the same on my second flight of stairs after about a year of finishing the first flight ( see my projects).

-- Jim, Tinley Park, IL

View Notw's profile


727 posts in 2260 days

#2 posted 01-21-2015 03:09 PM

Awesome job, removing the carpet from our stairs an replacing them with solid wood treads is on my to-do list, I already have all the treads just waiting for the motivation

View Luke's profile


290 posts in 3193 days

#3 posted 01-22-2015 02:48 AM

Jimmy B & NOTW, best of luck to you my friends.

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