I've been asked by a friend to install 3/4" thick, unfinished T&G red
oak strip flooring on a stairway (about fifteen steps) in her house.
She is going to pay me to do this. The main floor was done by someone
else who is not available to do the stairs. I've done some work with
hardwood floors, i.e. refinishing, replacing split boards, etc. but
I've never installed on stairs. I've been searching Google for any
advice on how to tackle the stairs but so far have come up with very
little information. I've also checked my local library for books and
videos and have found a couple that cover installing for the main
floor but don't cover stairs at all. My friend already has the oak but
doesn't have the stair nosing boards so I will need to order these but
after that can anyone guide me in the right direction to get this
project rolling? I have a pancake compressor and she actually has a
flooring stapler. The subfloor material on the stairs is plywood,
which appears to be about 1" thick. Should I lay rosin paper or
roofing felt over the plywood and staple it down? Or just lay the
hardwood directly over the plywood? Start at the top or bottom or does
it make any difference? Any advice or book/video recommendations would
be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
remove the plywood or their will be a great height difference with the top
and bottom step.(but you knew that..........Right)
after all ...................you are getting paid to do this.
solid block in between each stringer (flush with the top of stringer...not
install the front nosing and finished return side 1st
(miter the corner or interlock the corner with the t&g)
install the rest of the hardwood in between wall and finished end nosing.
why order nosing?
use a router and put a bull nose edge on the tongue side (after ripping off
this way the grooved end will be facing the "field" flooring.
all pieces must interlock together.
also rosin paper or roofing felt will work.
the paper is just so the hardwood can expand and contract with no
Maybe you should offer to do it for free
just for the experience.
somewhere in Ca.
You and she would be far better off buying 1 1/8" solid stair treads. About
$23/tread/riser. You can cheat with oak plywood risers if money is real
tight, otherwise go with the 3/4" solid oak risers. You will be spending far
more time sanding than the extra cost of good materials and it will *never*
look as good. You will have a much stronger staircase too. Nosings can work
but over the years traffic will pull them loose. Rounding over 3/4" stock is
ridiculous, it is not strong enough to bear the weight of a large person.
Taunton Press has a stair book, probably a companion video too. The floor
stapler will be of little or no use, the space is too tight. You need to be
sure all rises are within your code, mine is 1/4" of the surrounding risers.
The top and bottom will often be out of whack and adjustments should be
The Oak Floors of Marco
Los Gatos, CA
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