Pressure-treated lumber inside the house

I want to brace a portion of my stairway using two boards that are 2x4x8 inches each. They will be under the tread and the tread and riser will be carpeted. The back access to the stairs is sealed off. Is it OK to use a couple of pressure treated boards I have? I.e. any prohibitions on use of these small pieces of pressure-treated stuff, inside the house?
Thanks.
Chet
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
CGB wrote:

you can use treated lumber in the house, that's fine
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It depends on how old the wood is. Older pressure treated lumber contained formaldehyde. If it's the newer type, it should be OK, but you can't use the same fasteners, because the new pressure treated lumber rusts them out right away.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Older wood was CCA I never heard of formaldehide in it, by now it would have outgassed even if it was in it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sorry, you're right, I meant to say arsenic, but was just going from memory.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yes, go ahead.-Jitney
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob wrote:

I read that the new treated lumber has copper in it and the copper will supposedly dissolve an untreated nail
on another subj, talking about building materials
when I was on a frame crew, when the hurricane hit nags head a couple years ago...plywood was in big demand
long about winter time, we were getting in hacks of fresh plywood once you take a few pieces off, the plywood starts to get warm it is actually hot to touch towards the center...
and, I did enjoy the heat seeing that it was at least 40 below that day oh yeah! 40 below
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ues stainless steel hardware. Better to use the steel studs instead of wood in that application, I shoud think.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

or he could get a box of galvanized 16's
i use the drill alot when making something like this i pre-drill the hole, and use vinyal coated deck screws
you really need at least a 16 when binding 2x4's together end to end, like I say, the drill is the only way to make them stay without splitting the ends...sometimes you are very close to the end...or! if I had a good nailer, I could shoot it with some 16's...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
CGB wrote:

I'll raise a red flag. I built a shower enclosure and tiled it about 3 years ago. The "curb" and side supports for the shower door were built from 2x4 PT purposely picked to resist mildew and rot even though no water should have been able to reach it. The boards were held together with a few 1/2 screws and washers counter sunk into the exposed surfaces. Exposed surfaces were covered with WonderBoard strips before tiling with thinset mortar.
After about a year it appears that the PT lumber was expanding and cracking the tiles and grout. One of these days I'm going to have to redo the whole enclosure. But first, I'd like to understand what happened and what the "right" material to use is.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Stubby wrote:

the pressure treated lumber is wet so it shrank at first this caused cracks once the craks were there, water did get in and the pressure treated lumber swelled up probably cracking the grout more.
next time, regular lumber will be fine for subframe
__ this may have posted already, i hit the stop send button
i wanted to add... if you can keep the area dry for a couple of months...the treated lumber will settle, it will dry and pull all it's going to pull...at that point you could just re-grout rather than have to tear the whole thing out
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Wood will only "expand" if it's getting wet, in which case you have a bigger problem than just using pressure treated wood. You have a leak that needs to be fixed. You didn't mention any kind of waterproofing material in your construction details, so that would be my first guess. The entire shower should be waterproofed before tiling, including the bed, partway up the walls, and up and over the curb. Vinyl membranes are common, but I used Schluter Kerdi to waterproof my own shower.
In addition, PT lumber is often a lower quality wood (hemlock around here) that is injected with the chemical treatments. This makes PT heavier with a relatively high moisture content. As it dries it often warps and cups badly, which could also explain your tile cracking. Shouldn't be a problem if it was properly screwed down, but if you had a single row of nails down the middle or something, it could be an issue.
Viewed from another perspective, wood WILL shrink and expand with changes in moisture content. Unless the wood is kiln dried, it will probably shrink later. That's why many "pro's" build curbs out of bricks or other material that won't shrink and cause the tile to crack.

I wouldn't worry about using pressure-treated wood in this case. There isn't enough to cause problems even if it were to off-gas somehow (which is unlikely if you've had them a while). And it's probably fully dry by now if you've had it in storage for a while.
One problem with treated lumber is contact contamination. For example, kids would play on playsets made of PT lumber, touch it with their hands, then put their hands in their mouths, eyes, etc. Since the old PT contained arsenic, this was a potential poisoning problem.
A second problem was "leaching" when used for things like raised garden beds. The fear was the arsenic would leach into the soil, be taken up into the vegetables, and poisoning the consumer. I don't remember ever hearing a case of that happening, but it was a concern.
A third concern is breathing in the PT sawdust while cutting the boards. Probably not an issue for the occasional weekend handyman, but a different matter for carpenters who deal with it on a daily basis.
Anyway, I wouldn't hesitate to use the PT wood in your stairs.
Anthony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
generally it's bad for kids, dogs, and firefighters.
http://search.epa.gov/s97is.vts
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for all the replies. Other than the actual handling of it, it seems to be no problem. It will be in an area where no one has access to it and the associated sawdust from installation will be properly take care of.
Thanks to all.
Chet
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If it's the old CCA stuff, with arsenic in it, don't use it inside your home.

seems
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In most cases its actually recommended when in direct contact with concrete. Especially in basements!
Only thing I can recommend is to cut it outside and wash your hands when your done. Other then that, its safe to use.
Tom
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Or required.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Don't chew on them.
-rev
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.