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Carmine 02-26-2007 12:44 PM

Hardwood on Stairs
Hi all.

I'm looking at hardwooding my stairs. I am thinking of doing it myself using pre-finished 2 1/4 x 3/4 red oak to match my existing floor. Does anyone have first hand experience with installing hardwood on stairs and the difficulty rating of this job?

I'm fairly handy, patient and willing to learn to do it myself. All I need is some reference materials and first hand knowledge - so anything would help.


glennjanie 02-26-2007 03:29 PM

Hey Carmine:
Young Manufacturing Company 521 S Main Street, Beaver Dam, KY 42320,Phone (270) 274-3306 makes hardwood stair treads; you just install them. They also make stair nosings. That is low difficulty.
If you try it with regular flooring the difficulty multiplies by 8.

Daryl in Nanoose 02-26-2007 09:38 PM

I agree with Glenn on this, by the way what is on your stairs now. This could have a impact on what you can do.

Carmine 02-27-2007 11:39 AM


I am not sure what you mean about those stair pieces as the only ones I have seen for hardwoods is the individual pieces that get finished off with stair nosing.

In terms of what is there right now, is just wooden stairs. Ripped out the carpet and there are slats of wood (not sure of the type of wood though - does this make a difference).

Let me know if this helps or if you need more info.

Thanks again!

Daryl in Nanoose 02-27-2007 09:33 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Take a look at my drawing, accounting for new 3/4" treads these measurements should be very close to the same when your finished. What Glenn is talking about is a full size tread that you cut to size and install and then add a nosing ( at least thats what it sounds like) and the finishing store near me has them as well as some of the Building centers.
when installing hardwood flooring to stairs you need a saw that cuts nice and straight, you have to nail them through the tongues and that takes a little practice. You must be able to rip the hardwood on a good table saw with just the right blade and so on. So like Glenn says it takes a lot more know how to do them that way but if your up to the challenge I am sure you could do it and we will help in any way we can.

Carmine 04-08-2008 10:38 AM

Thanks for the reply guys.

Basically right now, there is a fir tread on the steps that I was thinking about hardwood over (in the strips). The spindle are actually fastened right to these treads. If I installed a new tread as mentioned, then I would have to remove the existing treads and spindles?

Also, at my landing is the actual support rail (not sure of technical term), which is embedded in the actual step...


Square Eye 04-08-2008 08:23 PM

The Newell post at the bottom will probably stay where it is but to replace the treads, you'll probably have to remove the balusters (spindles) :)

ToolGuy 04-09-2008 10:37 PM


Also, at my landing is the actual support rail (not sure of technical term), which is embedded in the actual step...

Is it possible you could take a few photos to show us what you're describing. I'm trying to piece it together but not sure what you mean by support rail. Stringer?

To be honest, I don't think using strip flooring for stair treads is such a good idea, as it will raise the height of each step 3/4". This means your starting step will be 3/4" taller than the rest, and the top step will be 3/4" shorter. Also, now matter how you do it (new treads or on top of extisting) you will have to remove the ballusters, as cutting around them would surely be a painstaking, precission operation. If the newel post is set in the starting tread, you would probably have to remove that as well, which in turn means removeing the hand rail attached to it.

Basically, you're opening a can of worms that could get real complicated real fast. If you're still into doing it, I and the others here will gladly walk you through the process as you go along. But a few photos would go a long way in helping us see what we're up against.

Daryl in Nanoose 04-10-2008 08:54 PM

Have you thought about refinishing the fir treads and stain them so there the same color as your new flooring, We did this 10 years ago at my dads and they came out looking real nice.
Just a thought

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