I just pulled up the carpet on my main stairway with the intent of sanding
it down and restaining the treads and painting the risers/stringers. To my
dismay, 2 of the treads at the top are cracked. In addition, this is a
"closed" stairway, and it appears the treads are inserted into slots in the
Underneath the stairs is another stairway down to a finished basement
(ceiling above lower stairway is fished), so if I needed to access the
underside of the stairs I would have to remove ceiling (no real big deal, as
it's only 3' ).
Can I remove/replace treads easily?
If not, could I just re carpet?
Pictures of the situation are at:
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
<< Can I remove/replace treads easily? >>
<< If not, could I just re carpet? >>
Most cost effective for now. For a future major remodelling, research custom
built stair assemblies at local millwork shops, internet sites, advertisers in
"This Old House" and similar publications. Also consider some type of tread
covering if you like the painted/stained look. Such treads are inherently safer
than carpeting on stairs if you have kids or older people in your home. HTH
I'm just an amature remodeler and have only refinished 2 sets of stairs,
so I hope someone else will chime in on this one.
If it were up to me (being a "Damn the torpedos! Full speed ahead!")
kind of guy, I'd carefully saw the damaged treads in the middle. That
way, you can pry (carefully) in the middle and pull each end out of the
Next, take the new treads and cut them just a fraction, say 1/2 " (1/4"
on each side) too long for the stairway width.
Now you can insert one end of the tread into the left stringer slot and
shift it into the slot as far as it will go. If it's still too tight
and dosen't go into the slot more, then cut another 1/8" off and try
again. When the tread will shift into the left slot, say 1/4", then lay
the tread down on the riser and shift it right just enought to engage
the other stringer slot. The tread will still be "in" the stringer slots
and solidly heald down.
Don't forget to put adheasive on the risers and stringer slots first to
help avoid squeaks later.
This all supposing of course that the rear of the tread is not recessed
as well, but even so, this trick should work even if you also have to
tap the tread rearward when it lays flat.
Hope this helps or gives you a better idea.
- Nehmo -
That would work. But the old treads are repairable, and matching the old
wood with new isn't easy.
From the bull nose front of the tread drill horizontally but
perpendicularly toward the crack. Drill first larger hole (the
countersunk hole), perhaps 5/16" diameter, to accommodate the screw head
and its bit. This hole should go to a depth of an inch shy of the crack.
Next drill a hole in the bottom of your larger hole the same size as the
shaft of the screw; drill only through the front piece. That is, don't
drill past the crack much.
Now air blow and vacuum the crack.
Next flood the crack with glue (not polyurethane glue because it's
difficult to sand).
Use a square-drive or torque-drive screw, maybe a trim screw, and use
about five holes and screws. Screw the pieces together completely
submerging the screw head to the bottom of the countersunk hole.
Wipe off the excess glue.
Use plastic wood filler in the holes over the screw heads.
When dry, sand the top of the now-repaired crack, sand the filled holes,
and sand the other threads as well.
If done properly and the crack is not unusual, this repair is invisible
to the casual eye.
Before pulling out the existing treads, try running loctite
or some other clear glue into the cracks, and clamping them
shut. If you're going to paint the risers anyway,
you could also drill through them,
and glue addition support to the underside
without taking the treads out. If it doesn't work, you
can always yank the treads later.
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