hardwood steps


Greetings All,
I'm seriously considering remodeling my staircase. I want to do this myself to save money.Currently the steps are carpeted and under the carpet is just pine lumber or plywood. I want to install hardwood steps but need a little guidance as far as procedures. I do plan to keep the existing stringer.
Can anyone recommend a book or a website, or even better, if you did this yourself, please provide and overview of what procedures were taken. (Knocking out risers and treads etc....)
Thanks in advance.
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When I did mine, I was guided by several articles in" Fine Homebuilding". One in particular was very helpfull. Unfortunately, I did not save the issue but you might be able to do a search in the Fine Hombuilding website archives and bring up the article. It may be under the Taunton Press web site.
Frank
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Try searching this newsgroup for an note from Tom Watson about this subject. About a year or 2 ago, he wrote a very nice summary of building stairs. He even mentioned the orientation of the treads to keep the bark-side up because it wears better.
Mike Dembroge

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Yup. Been there done that. My experience was with a 140 year old staircase, so I can't say that yours will have been put together the same way as mine.
In my case, I replaced the treads, moulding under each tread, and spindles. I kept the risers and the original hand rail and newels.
The order of operations was :
Prebuild all treads glued up from solid stock. Prefinish. Slightly oversized for later triming Turned all new spidles. Prefinish. Uninstall handrail. Rip out spindles and treads. Paint risers. Install new treads, custom trimming each tread as I went. It's an old house; nothing is square. Mill/prepaint molding. Install molding Install spindles Reinstall handrail.
The new treads were pretty straightforward. The new spindles and keeping the old handrail was insainly complicated/fussy/time consuming.
I have pics if you like.
-Steve

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Steve... please do so. I'd love to see the pictures.
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Posted on ABPW

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On 08/02/2006 8:27 AM, edog wrote:

I've done it, I didn't find it difficult, although I thought a lot about it before I started and made lots of drawings. I just "floored" right over the pine treads and risers, which were originally carpeted. I cut off the existing tread nosings first with a jig saw, and a hand saw for the last inch or so against the skirt (the treads are morticed into the side skirts in my stairs).
I started at the bottom with the first riser, first tread, and so on... I considered white painted risers, decided against it because I figured they'd remain white around my place for about 10 minutes :-) Purists will argue that a solid tread is better than a couple of strips of flooring . I'm happy with the way I did it, using 4.25" cherry planks, full width. I routed a bullnose edge on the treads, glued the treads down and used 3 screws at the leading edge, plugged with cherry. Here's one ref:
http://www.hardwoodinstaller.com/hardwoodinstaller/stairs.htm
There's probably others.
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Like all remods this can be an easy or not. I would start by making sure what I have now as far as tread thickness goes. A lot of stairs are framed using 2x12 treads which will be 1 1/2" thickness and some are framed using a manufactured tread which might be 1 1/8" or it could be framed with something totally different. Then check the stair part sites to see what you can buy to replace the existing treads or decide what you might be able to make yourself. If you change the thickness of the treads you will change your top and bottom rise which you might be able to live with or not. Or you can scab on to or cut off of the jacks to fix any variation caused by a different thickness of tread. If you want full oak treads, then I think replacing treads and risers is the way to go in most situations. If you want a carpet runner (with just the ends exposed) then there are less expensive ways to cap the existing treads and not have to remove them.
Mike O.
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