Maybe I will just sister a couple of 2xX pieces onto the stringers
adjacent to the crack -- this should certainly provide a lot of vertical
support which as you correctly surmise is the only real direction of
Alternatively, I could place a board underneath the tread but rather
than gluing/screwing it to the tread, I could rest it on cleats attached
to the stringers (I think this is similar to another poster's)
In any case, I imagine the exact flavor of my solution will depend on
what I find when I expose the underside of the stair. But I didn't want
to make a mess until I received some reassurance that I was at least
heading in the right direction... I will keep the group posted on what I
find and what amalgam of solutions I end up implementing.
Gutting a friends home after a fire, I pulled down the cieling over
the steps, figuring the cavatity could be insulated. The attic above
wasnt a heated space so insulation would be a plus:)
Geez was I surprised such a small cavity. Little room for insulation:(
If OP finds this consider installing a steel suuport of some type
since it will take up very little space
I have fond memories of that job, found hacked wiring, bad leaky
plumbing, rotted joists and a long list of wierd. Added to my tool
collection:) with tools that must of been dropped into wall cavaties
over the years..... including a ratchet wrench
the wierdest was two lengths of romex tied in a knot:( running from
basement to attic. they went deluxe and went all out with wire nuts:(
The property owner finally admitted defeat and had house completely
rewired. Its amazing bad wiring hadnt burned it to the ground:(
cat had knocked over light causing fire....
Here's a though:
Rip out all the plaster and so forth. Fix the stairs. Then box the whole
thing in and install a 5/8ths bath.
Can't fit it in?
Did you know you can get lavatories from scrapped commercial airliners?
They'll fit almost anywhere. I think the little sign that says "Occupied" is
cute, along with the interior "Fasten seat belt" annunciator.
Luckily we already have a first floor 1/2 bath that is quite
spacious. So my future plans for under the stairs is more likely to be
some type of closet or other storage or perhaps a small desk.
Still, I am a little hesitant to box it in for anything since it might
make the narrow hall parallel to the stairs seem more
constricting. Probably, will consult an architect on that one...
Thanks for the idea nevertheless...
Somehow I'm not sure ulttra-modern airline lavatory style will fit our
Italianate Mansard home but would definitely be a "conversation piece"
Without a doubt fixing it from the bottom is your best bet. And yes the
reason it cracked is most likely because it had no support, which I hope
is just this tread and not all of them! Like others said, glue and
screw a piece of wood under it. And while down there attach something
to the side that will give it support.
My first idea was to drill a long hole and put in a couple long screws,
but with no support below, you are just asking for more trouble. If you
want to push instead of pull the crack together until the glue dries,
you just measure from the front of the split tread to the wall at the
bottom of the steps and make a T with a 2x4 with the short end on the
wall and the long end pushing on the stair tread. First I'd try to get
the little specks of paint an whatnot out of the crack. Add shims to
make it fit tight. Do this before the glue and screw underneath.
Although the more I look at the photo, the more it looks like the tread
doesn't go into the sides. It looks like only some plaster/spackling
and finishing nails hold it down. I'd try removing plaster from under a
lower tread to see how far the tread goes into the sides of the
stringer, if at all. If it comes out that way it would save having the
hole in the plaster down below.
Excuse my obtuseness, but I'm having trouble visualizing this...
I agree that the tread may very well not extend under the baseboard. But
I'm more worried about the other end where the balustrades very
definitely are secured to the tread and I really hesitate to
dissassemble the entire bannister/balustrade system for fear that I
wouldn't be able to get it back together as secure as it is now along
with the risk of breaking/splitting old balustrades...
You will need to decide the best method. Either one will require some
finishing perhaps tedious work. Fit and glue 2x4s to the underside of
the treads and screw in two short 2x4 pieces to the sides to keep the
long 2x4s tightly against the bottom of the tread. Instead of the
2x4s you can use 3/4" stock, whichever is cheaper. Use carpenter's
glue and allow the glue to dry for day or two before putting any
stress on it. A 60-watt light bulb will help the cure rate. The
gluing surfaces should be unfinished wood.
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