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jpeterson 07-09-2008 08:14 PM

Bonus Room Stair Conundrum... Help!
I am hoping someone can help me with this issue. We recently built a set of stairs from our laundry room to the unfinished "bonus" room over the garage. To make a long story short and get to the point, the rough tread width + riser, with no overhang, currently is approximately 7.5 inches. I would like to add a decent riser over the top, and, pick up another inch or so of overhang. The plan is to fully carpet the steps, so... my questions are:

a. What should I use as my "cover" tread, 3/4" X 4.25, 1" x 4.25, what about the "bull nose"?

b. Is an inch overhang acceptable ( and standard )

c. Do you think the 8.5 inch steps are too narrow??

Anyone have any ideas?

All comments appreciated.


jpeterson 07-09-2008 08:30 PM

1 Attachment(s)
See the attached picture if you are unclear on how the current rise and tread are laid out.

glennjanie 07-10-2008 04:47 PM

Welcome JPeterson:
We are happy to have you.
I think you can buy stair treads at the big box stores with the nosing already attached. You simply rip off the excess from the back side and they fit right in.
An inch overhang is normal and acceptable and 8" is the mimimum depth of a tread so you are good to go.
I personally prefer a 12" tread with a 6" to 8" rise but that would take up a lot of your space from your room. You will probably be using this stairway very little since it goes to a 'spare' room. What you will have is much better than the disapearing/folding stairway (ladder) I have.

jpeterson 07-10-2008 08:52 PM


Thanks for the reply! Glad I found this site. The stairs were originally indicated in the house plans, but they were never built ( long story ). I would like to have a wider tread as well, but, after doing all of the calculations, it would have taken away a large parts of the room. I think we may eventually turn it into a spare bedroom / office / hobby room.

I have some other projects planned... this site is a great resource!

Thanks again.


handyguys 07-11-2008 06:01 AM

What Glenn said - Those pre-made treads are available in oak or in pine.

They are pretty pricey. last time I did this I made my own. I do have a wood shop so it was easy. Take a look at the tread at the home center and then check prices on wood and see if you can make them yourself. You may not be able to get the wood for a tread at the home center because its generally thicker than the wood they sell. If you want any help making your own let me know.

jpeterson 07-13-2008 08:16 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hey guys. Here is what I did... Since I am going to put berber over this, I decided to lay down 1x8 bumped up against 1x2. This gave me a new effective tread of just over nine inches of width, with a 1 1/4 inch overhang. I used spruce boards, loads of assembly adhesive and deck screws. It looks pretty good! So added to the original "tread" plus riser, I have an effective thickness on the tread of about 3 inches. The stairs are plenty solid, and, much easier to traverse. My only concern was in the use of the spruce since on the overhang, I have +- one inch of thickness. It should be strong enough, correct? I have attahced a picture for reference.

Thanks for all of your help!

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