Finishing basement stairs? (no carpet or vinyl)

I've removed all carpet from our home and replaced most of the floors with hard maple or porcelain tile. The two staircases were cheaply made and intended for carpet; particleboard treads and plywood risers. For the main staircase I have new oak treads and risers to install, but the labor involved in ripping out the old ones (it's only accessible from the top and they are glued/screwed in) has me putting it off until summer.
My question is the basement staircase. It leads to a finished basement and guest room that we use for company. I've removed the carpet from the stairs and painted them as a temporary measure, but clearly need a permanent solution. We don't want carpet or vinyl in the house so what alternatives as there for covering the particleboard treads? Are there ways to paint stairs of this nature that will look good and be durable? Alternatives to carpet or vinyl for covering?
I'm looking for ideas and hope someone else has found a better alternative.
thanks,
kiwanda
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On 1/14/2012 9:02 AM, Kiwanda wrote: ...

...
You've found the alternative above. Doesn't have to be oak, but a solid tread is the only way I can think of that will last any time.
You might get by w/ a thin cover over the existing treads (like a engineered flooring product and cover the edge w/ the bullnose, but you'll have to be careful of messing w/ the rise or you'll end up w/ either too high a rise:run ratio or a mismatch between the top/bottom treads and the associated floor(s)/landing(s). So, all in all, I would simply replace the treads on both w/ solid.
--
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On 1/14/2012 10:02 AM, Kiwanda wrote:

I've had some off-the-wall ideas in the past that work out well. Stairs depend, somewhat, on amount of traffic, children, pets, etc. Could "upholster" the stairway with heavy fabric...allows change without major work, non-slip, any kind of color/pattern one's heart desires. Tile with wood edge would look great, if treads are firm enough. One can also glue down some canvas and paint it, again any style/pattern one's heart desires.
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On Sat, 14 Jan 2012 07:02:32 -0800 (PST), Kiwanda

I used laminate on one set of stairs. After 10 years, it looks as good as the day it was installed. Easy to care for.
Check out laminate and engineered hardwood. Best to choose one that has the pre-made bullnose fronts for easy match and good looks.
If I was doing it over again, I'd use the same WilsonArt material that I have already. Be sure to use a carbide blade for your cuts. That is tough stuff.
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I've considered that. We put about 1,800 sq ft of laminate in a previous house, but not on the stairs. I assume you used pre-fab bullnose of some kind at the edge of the treads?
Has anyone tried the linoleum or rubber treads that are typically used in institutional or retail settings? I'm thinking about these type http://www.lkgoodwin.com/more_info/stair_treads/rubber_stair_tread_systems/rubber_stair_tread_systems.shtml
The stairs go directly into our home theater, which is decorated like, well, a theater: dark walls, red velvet, etc. Transitioning from the tile hallway upstairs to a rubber tread might be OK if we continued the color scheme/theme from the theater space up the stairwell so it was clearly differentiated from the main part of the house.
-kiwanda
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Carpet would be perfect.
But you just removed that.
--
Dan Espen

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On Sat, 14 Jan 2012 07:02:32 -0800 (PST), Kiwanda

There is a hardwood capping system - you cur off the nose of the tread and glue the "hardwood" tread on. They have covers for the rizers too. I think they are available in "real " wood as well as composite/laminate.
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