I plan to remove the last remaining carpet in my home from my stairs and
will be installing treads and risers over the existing stairs, assuming
they are standard unfinished construction stairs. I'm contemplating the
purchase of prefinished or finishing Oak treads myself but will consider
overall cost for both. What is the best finish for treads to withstand
the daily trotting and long lasting effects?
Match to the one it is primarilly seen with. I'd match the honey
maple. (since fading from one to the other from top to bottom is not
feasible) so when you look up the stairs from the main floor, they tie
On 3/22/2015 8:20 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Interesting you mentioned fading. I jokingly stated to the wife I should
start at the bottom with honey maple and work my way with each step to a
darker shade until it matches the top floor. Sure would be an
The "best" would be the ultra-violet cured urethanes containing
aluminum oxide which is used on most prefinished hardwood flooring on
the market today. This would limit you to prefinished, of course.
Any finish designed for commercial hardwood flooring would be
acceptable for do-it-yourself installation and finishing. Possibly
something like "fabulon". Fabulon Crystal is the latest water-borne
product. The original stuff was laquer based - no longer available,
and the oil based product is still fairly widely available, The
Crystal doesn't stink NEARLY as bad!!!!
Apply a coat of dewaxed shellac as a sealer first to avoid raising the
grain and to avoid tannin bleed. Using a light amber shellac will give
the warm golden tone common to the oil based urethanes, using the
crystal clear water based urethane top coat.
On Sunday, March 22, 2015 at 7:17:45 PM UTC-4, SBH wrote:
You'll be installing treads and risers *over* the existing stairs?
Isn't that going to screw something up? Assuming all of your steps have the same rise now, aren't you going to be a tread thickness shy at the top of the stairs?
As my grandfather the mason/carpenter used to say "The feet remember".
What about those who come after you?
Anything over 3/8" variance from top to bottom is a violation of code in
most locations, and dangerous as well.
On any future sale this would be part of a disclosure statement,
potentially making you liable for any future accidents caused by same.
When it comes to changing stair dimensions in a residence, do it
correctly, or don't do it at all ... particularly when making pubic note
of your intent on the Internet, which has a long memory.
On Monday, March 23, 2015 at 5:44:06 AM UTC-4, SBH wrote:
ve the same rise now, aren't you going to be a tread thickness shy at the t
op of the stairs?
How about your guests? Your parents and/or grandparents?
Obviously, it's your house and you can do what you like, but 'twere it me,
I'd look into *replacing* the current treads with treads of the same thickn
ess or modifying the floor at the top to account for the difference. I know
that that is much easier said than done, but uneven steps is a pet-peeve w
My brother recently had a beautiful deck built as part of a major home remo
del. There are 3 steps from the deck to the yard. The bottom step is less t
han 1/2" shorter than the other 2. At his "remodel warming" party, I watche
d guests stumble on that step all day the long. The elderly (my parents for
example) stumbled the most.
On Mon, 23 Mar 2015 07:23:48 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
How about he measures first to see how close the top and bottom are
to start with. Has underlay been added to either floor? Was hardwood
original on either floor, or added later? Were the stairs accurately
installed to start with? Good chance putting hardwood on the stairs
will bring the stairs back into spec. Just as good chance as it taking
the stairs out of spec.
And you dan't say how much the visitors had to drink at the "warming"
My basement stairs are 8" risers- the bottom step is 7" from the
floor, the top step is 7 1/2 inches. These are carpetted steps.
Upstairs they are also carpeted steps, from a tile floor at the bottom
to a carpet in the upstairs hall. 8" steps, 8 1/2 at the top, 8 1/2 at
the bottom. The bottom was originally a good half inch higher, as I
added 3/8 inch tile over Ditra - a full 3/4 inch over what was there
on the original main floor.Stairs are generally not made custom and
floor hights are not generally accurate to within 1/2 inch from house
Also, different codes specify different riser heights. Some places
allow from 4 to 7 inches, some allow up tp 7 1/2, some 8 1/4.
If I addeed hardwood toppers on my stairs it would CORRECT the diser
height on the top stair (the most dangerous tripping hazard)-;
On Sun, 22 Mar 2015 19:09:37 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
I agree that could screw something up. However, the carpet and pad
have a thickness and that thickness is being removed. Once that part
of the job is complete is when measuring can be done to determine the
actual rise is.
As others have said, small variations in the rise and/or run can be
There are all kinds of requirements by COde...height and uniformity of
height are only one of many. BTW, the uniformity is <=3/8" max
variation in any one flight between highest/lowest.
A pretty nice compendium in one listing is at
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