Our dog kennel is in the lower level of our walkout ranch.
The stair treads and risers are pine. The risers are fine,but the
pine treads, being soft, wear out quickly due to the dogs (their nails
wear the treads out). Oak doesn't work, since it is an open grained
wood, it is subject to wear like that of the pine. Can you make a
suggestion as to what material I can use in place of the treads (or ON
the treads) so they'll wear better (and look nicer)?
Oak will not wear anywhere near what you are experiencing with pine,
but you are correct there are open pores in the grain. Finishing
generally minimizes the issue.
Are the treads soft pine? If so, that is a no-no in stair buliding.
Hard pine (southern yellow) can make an *acceptable* tread where cost
If cost is not an issue and you are looking for advanced durability
and appearance, Hard Maple wears like iron and has an attractive
grain. However, unless I am missing something I would consider that
out-of-place in the setting you describe - dogs, kennel, etc. There
are all kinds of tack-down applications such as rubber that might be
the best idea.
If you're not dead set on real wood, how about a composite wood material. I
use a couple of different brands and here are two I recently finished with
WeatherBest and Choicedeck, respectively (with no particular attempt to
pretty them up for the photos):
If you want real wood, what Leon said.
LOL ... yeah. Plumbing and electrical trimout are all but finished on this
house. Floor finishers are due in tomorrow. Only then can I survey/repair
the inevitable damage/dings to the kitchen cabinets and mount doors, drawers
Remember that "mirror image" base cabinet that wasn't? That still has to be
done for the next house.
I'm still wrestling with angled mortise jigs in my spare time.
Not set on real wood
I thought the composite wood was less wear resistant (to tearing) than
real wood. The composites I've sen have a grain impressed into them
so they look like an open grained oak. This is the problem with open
grained woods, the edges of the grain get caught on the dogs nails and
it tears up.
I could try it for a couple of treads to see how it wears anyway
I think you'll find a high quality product, like WeatherBest premium grade,
to be sufficiently wear resistant, although the cheaper stuff available at
the Borg's may be easier for you to find.
In any event, let us know how it turns out.
Thanks for the feedback
I've tried red oak, and it does wear..it tears up at the open
spots..and if I fill it..well the filler is quite soft. Maybe white
oak would be better? Or a harder closed wood like ipe or maple, and
then use a rubber center tread.
The nice wood does seem incongruous with the use, but the stairwell is
open (no doors at top or bottom), and well, I'd like it to look
I was also thinking of stone or concrete (thin stone slabs like one
might find in a garden application).
Jerome Ranch wrote:
> I've tried red oak, and it does wear..
A couple of thoughts.
1) Apitong <s/p>, the wood used for truck and trailer beds.
Ugly as sin but wears like iron.
2) Epoxy and a couple of layers of 17 OZ, double bias fiber glass over
any wood of choice.
When the rest of the house has returned to compost, those steps will
still be there<G>.
Jerome Ranch wrote:
> Are there fast drying epoxies Lew?
Fast is a relative term.
You need at least 24-48 hours for the resin to gain some strength.
If you need to keep this set of stairs in service, consider removing
every other step, glass them on a work bench, then replace and glass
the remaining steps.
A durable, good looking set of stairs can be made from
stained concrete. Most color stains are easy to use but
like anything you may not have tried to do yet, success
depends on careful research and planning. If you wanted to
make it even more attractive you could include some simple
"stamp" patterns that would look like the stone you
suggested. good luck on whatever you end up trying, Joe.
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