remove laminate wood on stairs


My staircase has Mohawk 3/8" laminate wood plank, and I like to remove the laminate wood and prep the surface to receive carpet.
Here are some pictures of my staircase: http://www.geocities.com/dchou4u/photopagetan.html
The complex thing about this is that the balusters and newels are resting directly on the laminate wood treads. So if I remove the treads, the height will be a little different.
The treads are about 11.5" and the riser are about 5.5".
It appears that the previous owner had bougth the new house with bare floor, and removed the original plywood treads to install the laminate wood treads because I can see the patching that was done on the stringer. The outline of the tread toe is on the stringer.
I dont think I can just carpet on top of the laminate since I will also be removing the laminate at the top of the stairs on the 2nd floor. The shoe rail there is also resting on the laminate wood.
For the section of the stairs that is not closed on both sides, I like to have wood tread ends on which the balusters will rest. Do these tread ends come pre-finished, or are they usually finished onsite? I need to match the color of the tread ends with the rest of rails and etc. The carpet will be between the stringer and the exposed tread end.
Any suggestion would be appreciated.
Thanks
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On 11 Feb 2006 20:59:28 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Your link would not work today.

I guess he must have installed the newels and balusters too...?

If you could cut right to the shoe rail and if the laminate is not showing on the other side of the shoe rail, could you just carpet up against the shoe rail?

To do this, it sounds as though you will have to remove the rail or at least the ballusters. The end caps can be made by you or purchased from a stair part company. www.coffmanstairs.com has some pictures and a catalog list. Other manufacturers have similar parts and your local lumberyard or one of the borgs can get them for you.

Since you have to go to all of the trouble to tear out the rail and basically start over on the stairs I might consider using solid hardwood treads instead of end caps. Check the pricing on all of the pieces you need to make the end caps work and compare to the solid tread parts. I know it will save labor time but I'm not sure about the price comparison.
Mike O.
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