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smittydo 05-09-2010 07:57 PM

ripping up carpet off of stairs
so im trying to get rid of the carpet in my house and im going to start on the stairs. it looks like the treads (i guess thats what they call the part we walk on) can be stained and it will look fine. but the face looks terrible. is there something that i can buy to make it look nice and presentable?

Nestor_Kelebay 05-09-2010 10:10 PM


Let's get the terminology straight first. The "tread" is the part of the stair you step on. At the back of every tread, you will usually have a "riser", although open stairs don't have risers. And on neither, one or both sides of the stair, you can also have a "stringer". Stringers have notches cut out of their bottom edge to accomodate the treads and risers.

When you say "face" of the stairs, do you mean the riser or the front vertical surface of the tread. Also, can you explain what is causing these "faces" to look terrible? Are they damaged in some way, are they coated with adhesive?

Finally, Johnsonite makes a large variety of solid vinyl residential stair nosings. Go to this page:

Johnsonite > Finishes & Accessories > Stairwell Management

And click on the link "Download the Stairwell Management Brochure PDF". That brochure is only 8 pages long, but it starts on page 84 and ends on page 91 (since it's part of a larger catalogue).

On the last page of that brochure you will find a variety of solid vinyl stair nosings that are molded in such a way as to allow you to use material up to 3/8 inch thick under the nosing on the riser. If you can't clean up your risers, you could use these vinyl nosings and install 3/8 inch thick plastic laminate flooring material on your risers. You could use carpeting on the threads themselves, and the vinyl nosings would make this a DIY project.

inspectorD 05-10-2010 05:54 AM

You can always just sand and paint the stairs. We do it all the time when the carpet is removed and there is oak or another hardwood underneath.
The riser as nestor called it, can be a painted color after you sand and fill the holes.
Most stairs are sanded and polurathane is applied, the the riser is painted white.
And before you put that plastic stuff that looks like plastic stuff on your can also buy sheets of veneer wood that is applied with contact cement to cover the risers if they are really bad and you want the look of wood. just contact any wood or cabinet shop. They will sell you the sheetgoods, or cut some 1/4 inch thick boards for you. This is much easier than taking apart the stairs and rebuilding.

All Diy ...have fun

joecaption 01-12-2011 08:02 AM

What's wrong with them? If there just scratched up it's simple enought to clean, stand and refinish them.
A painted stair tread will look nice for a few days but the paint will just wear off. I'd sand and reseal or paint and add a carpet runner to stop it from wearing.
Never add a venner, or laminite flooring. Laminite has to be able to expand and contract, and how would you finish off the exposed edges.

joecaption 01-12-2011 08:10 AM

Stair Treads & Risers

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