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Forum topic by DannyW posted 02-10-2021 03:57 PM 1134 views 1 time favorited 58 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DannyW

351 posts in 849 days


02-10-2021 03:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I didn’t know where to post this but I need some advice please. I am going to convert the stairs of our new house from carpet to hardwood and I am wondering what is the benefit of retreads vs. standard treads. Since the current bullnose needs to be trimmed in both cases I don’t see much benefit to the retreads except possibly not needing molding to trim underneath the edge of the tread. It also looks like cutting the retreads would be a little more difficult because of the overhang. Am I missing something here? The ones that I am looking at are from HD.

Standard:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Stairtek-1-in-x-11-1-2-in-x-36-in-Unfinished-Hickory-Box-Tread-BTHI1136-XXXXXSR/206178473

Retread:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Stairtek-5-8-in-x-11-1-2-in-x-36-in-Unfinished-Hickory-Box-Retread-XTHI1136-XXXXXSY/206178521

-- DannyW


58 replies so far

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Axis39

458 posts in 649 days


#1 posted 02-10-2021 04:16 PM

Is your stairway captured or open (at least on one side)?

Captured would make it much more difficult to do replacements (standard in your nomenclature).

The biggest problem with retreads is you need to make allowances at the top and bottom floors to accommodate the different heights you are creating. The retreads you posted are 5/8” thick. That means the rise on the bottom step will be 5/8” higher. It also means the rise on the top step will be 5/8” less.

Most building codes say that the total variance between steps should be less than 1/8” to avoid tripping hazard. e above example gives you 1/4”. Might not be that big fo a deal, I’ve seen it done hundreds of times. No stair guy is gonna come in and tell their customer not to do something….

You might also find better sources for treads than HD. See if theres a wholesale floor place (where the contractor’s go, not the ones with a carpet showroom, but the one with a warehouse and a will call counter. I actually ordered some pickets for my new house online last year from StairPartsUSA.com and was super happy with price, shipping and the product.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

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DannyW

351 posts in 849 days


#2 posted 02-10-2021 04:25 PM

I don’t know for certain yet if they will be captured or not since the house is not yet builtl I can go check as soon as the stairs are installed. If they are not captured then it will be easy to simply remove the existing treads and install new treads. However if they are captured I will need to cut off the bullnose from the existing treads to install either type of new tread, so I was wondering what the advantage would be to retreads. Height difference I suppose is the only real advantage here. I am hoping they are not captive and I can simply rip up the existing treads but I will know after the stairs are built.

-- DannyW

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cut50

28 posts in 4080 days


#3 posted 02-10-2021 04:41 PM

Talk with your builder and see what can be done ahead of the build, never liked doing a reno on something which
is new, upgrading something old yes.

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DannyW

351 posts in 849 days


#4 posted 02-10-2021 04:51 PM

Unfortunately they won’t let me get in to do it before closing and they wan far too much to do it themselves. I hope to get it done before we actually move in.

-- DannyW

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JIMMIEM

189 posts in 1894 days


#5 posted 02-10-2021 10:09 PM

I assume the stairs will be completely carpeted with wall to wall type carpeting? If so, got to a lumberyard and get some good 3/4” treads. The carpet and padding thickness are considered to be comparable in thickness to a 3/4” tread.
The big box treads will be more expensive and the glued up staved matching will most likely be inferior to the lumberyard treads.
Remove the carpeting. Cut the sub-tread nosing off flush with the riser on each step. The sub-treads and risers will probably be plywood or particle board so you will probably want to reface the risers too.
Check your local building code for stair tread/rise sizing, overhangs, etc.
Try to finish the new treads either before you install them or before you move into the house.
If you’ll be applying polyurethane to the new treads’ surface consider installing a carpet runner as polyurethane can be slippery depending on your footwear.
Installing the new treads will take some time to get tight fitting joints where the end of the treads abutt the end skirt boards and to ensure the proper nosing overhang.

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DannyW

351 posts in 849 days


#6 posted 02-10-2021 10:14 PM

Thanks that is exactly the process that I was planning. If the treads are not captured then the bullnose will be easier to cut.

-- DannyW

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JIMMIEM

189 posts in 1894 days


#7 posted 02-10-2021 10:24 PM


Thanks that is exactly the process that I was planning. If the treads are not captured then the bullnose will be easier to cut.

- DannyW


A suggestion for cutting off the bullnoses. Use an oscillating multitool to create a notch in the middle of the tread. Then use a jig saw or circular saw to cut the nosing off in each direction toward the walls. When you go as far as possible use the multitool to complete the cuts.
You could also plunge cut with the saw instead of the multitool notch.
You’ll have to reinstall the stair rail ballusters, if there are any.

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1thumb

313 posts in 3208 days


#8 posted 02-10-2021 11:27 PM

Don’t like retreads but, one advantage is you don’t have to remove existing treads and risers, right?

For clean endcuts, fabricate cheap Stairmaster template using two 1 by 2’s at approx 12” long and a rip of plywood approx 8” and 2” shorter in length than measurement in between skirts. Place ea one by tight against skirt, tack plywood onto said 1 by’s, mark tread and cut line. Poof!

-- I actually have two thumbs. Both prehensile and opposing.

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Axis39

458 posts in 649 days


#9 posted 02-10-2021 11:34 PM

Oh, also, before I forget again… If you’re interested, I have a design for an interior tread measuring jig.

A quick description, there are two feet, attached to two long legs. The feet swivel on bolts (with knob to tighten them and hold them in place). The two long legs overlap each other and have grooves, bolts and knobs to tighten them in place. I have made a few minor refinements over the years to make it more flexible and accurate

You put a foot on each side, heel back against the riser (or whatever defines the back of the step). Push the toes out against the stringers and tighten the knobs in the middle.

Now, just take it to the tread, lay it on top, mark it with a knife and cut to the lines. Might need to undercut one side a little to get it in.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

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DannyW

351 posts in 849 days


#10 posted 02-10-2021 11:35 PM

You don’t have to remove the treads for either retreads or regular treads, but you do need to cut off the bullnose in most cases. I have seen one retread or two that curves around the existing bullnose but that cannot be very strong.

-- DannyW

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Axis39

458 posts in 649 days


#11 posted 02-10-2021 11:37 PM

Oh, and I also use my little jig with different size legs to measure interior spaces for things like shelves.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

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DannyW

351 posts in 849 days


#12 posted 02-11-2021 08:29 PM

I was at the house today and they have the stairs installed now. It looks like the treads will not be captive unless they add outer trim but I do not expect that for carpeted stairs. Since it is new construction and they are not captive it may be easier to remove the treads and rip them instead of trying to cut off the bullnose in place and then clean it up.

-- DannyW

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JIMMIEM

189 posts in 1894 days


#13 posted 02-11-2021 09:35 PM



I was at the house today and they have the stairs installed now. It looks like the treads will not be captive unless they add outer trim but I do not expect that for carpeted stairs. Since it is new construction and they are not captive it may be easier to remove the treads and rip them instead of trying to cut off the bullnose in place and then clean it up.

- DannyW


Removal may work if they aren’t glued down and the risers don’t sit too tight on the rear of the treads. Cutting the bullnose off in place is fairly easy…...just in case.

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DannyW

351 posts in 849 days


#14 posted 02-11-2021 09:43 PM

I can try that first. Cutting it off is probably easier than I am imagining it to be. A circular saw and a multitool should do it, plus a plane or chisel to clean it up. I also have a plunge saw if needed.

-- DannyW

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JIMMIEM

189 posts in 1894 days


#15 posted 02-11-2021 11:09 PM



I can try that first. Cutting it off is probably easier than I am imagining it to be. A circular saw and a multitool should do it, plus a plane or chisel to clean it up. I also have a plunge saw if needed.

- DannyW


What’s your plan for the risers? And while you’re at it, if the treads are nailed and not screwed down, add screws to ensure there aren’t any squeaks in the future.
Are all the treads between walls or are some open on the end(s)? If some are open on the ends you’ll need to address finishing the treads ends or buy them with the returns already installed.
Can you post a picture of the stairs? Also, how are you fixed for tools?

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