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Forum topic by ttocsmi posted 02-28-2017 05:02 PM 1703 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ttocsmi

31 posts in 1228 days


02-28-2017 05:02 PM

I’m finishing up the final detail work on my new staircase to the family room.

At the top is a carpet-covered concrete slab. Eventually, I’ll put down wood or ceramic time (color undecided at this point) to replace the carpet. I don’t know when. The treads are oak and risers are poplar. Any ideas for what to do for the threshold from the carpeted floor down to the first step? If you were building the stairs, what approach would you select?

- Make my own nosing, screw it to the topmost riser, then wrap a bit of carpet around it – leaving the painted riser uncovered by the carpet
- Buy a wood flooring threshold/nosing piece and glue it to the concrete, trimming the carpet to butt against it
- Make my own oak top step/nosing, approximately the size of a tread, and glue it to the concrete, trimming the carpet to butt against it
- Something else?

Two other questions, though not as important at this time:

- In what order would you suggest finishing the wood: stain & seal treads, prime risers/trim, paint risers/trim? Prime, stain, paint, seal? Prime, stain, seal, paint?
- Suggestions for attaching the railing to the newel post? Right now I’m looking at a ZipBolt Angled Railbolt fastener.

I know there are a few carpenters here, hopefully they’ll chime in. Anyone else in the know – feel free to comment as well. Thanks.

-- Knight of Sufferlandria 2015


9 replies so far

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mike02130

167 posts in 512 days


#1 posted 02-28-2017 08:28 PM

The first step meaning the last step? I’m assuming you mean the top landing. To look pro I don’t believe you should wrap the carpet over the riser. The proper way to do it is to make a bull-nosed threshold out of oak matching your treads.

I would go at least 4”. Figure a 1” overhang over the riser, plus the thickness of the riser, plus any shim gap if you have one, plus a couple of inches. Now you will have it on 2” of concrete. Cut the carpet back leaving it long. Let’s say your carpeting is a half inch thick. Rabbet the threshold so it sits on top of the carpet.

Might want to go wider so it’s well secured in the concrete. You don’t want someone stepping on that edge and having it come undone.

When cutting the stairs did you allow for the threshold? Will the rise on that step match the others?

-- Google first, search forums second, ask questions later.

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mike02130

167 posts in 512 days


#2 posted 02-28-2017 08:38 PM

I usually prime risers before installing. Too late now. If you stain/varnish the oak first you have protection from paint slop.

You can use the zip bolt if you want. Be careful you don’t do damage. I usually use glue and a couple of sheet metal screws. Don’t use drywall or similar screws. They can shear off.

-- Google first, search forums second, ask questions later.

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ttocsmi

31 posts in 1228 days


#3 posted 02-28-2017 09:34 PM

Ahh.

The only things permanently attached at this point are the unpainted risers and skirtboards, so I still have some flexibility with the finishing plans.

S

-- Knight of Sufferlandria 2015

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ttocsmi

31 posts in 1228 days


#4 posted 02-28-2017 09:34 PM

Thanks for the feedback.

Sorry, not the right terminology. The (concrete) floor would be the landing.

My treads are about 1” thick. Even with the rabbet, wouldn’t that be an unpleasant (to step on) discontinuity on the floor? Carpet is medium shag, perhaps 5/8”. I could make a 3/4ish landing tread bevel the edge, perhaps.

My original idea was to make something that would be more or less temporary – so that when I put the new floor down over the concrete the landing/nosing would match the rest of the floor.

Yup. Planned for the threshold when I cut the stringers.

Thanks again.

-- Knight of Sufferlandria 2015

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Ripper70

617 posts in 748 days


#5 posted 02-28-2017 09:46 PM

One of the LJ’s authority on stairs, I believe, would be member Tony_S. Might be worth looking him up if he doesn’t find you first.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

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mike02130

167 posts in 512 days


#6 posted 02-28-2017 09:58 PM

Sure, cheat it. I would be the only one who would notice it. You could taper it like a door threshold. When are you going to do the floor? How thick will it be? Finish carpentry is mostly troubleshooting.

The carpet goes under the rabbet. One would not step on it. If one inch is two thick so that one might trip on it, then taper that edge.

What ever you decide, use wood at the landing.

Did you dado the risers and rabbet the back of the treads?

-- Google first, search forums second, ask questions later.

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Tony_S

766 posts in 2922 days


#7 posted 03-01-2017 11:10 AM

Mike pretty much has you covered.
I wouldn’t normally taper the top nosing, but have in the past. It’s not that uncommon in reno’s but less so on new installations.
This is the most common way it’s done here (no, I have no affiliation with this company, just best pics/description I found during a search)
http://www.stair-treads.com/blog/landing-tread-to-carpet/
It typically makes a nice taper from the carpet to the top nosing.
Height above the floor for carpet is usually spec’ed by the builder and is usually anywhere from 3/8” to 5/8”, but most commonly 1/2”. It all depends on carpet pile, smoothedge, and underpad.
Keep in mind, this is normally calculated and allowed for in the design stage, and allowed for to keep all risers a consistent height.
No idea on your building code tolerances(or if it even matters to you), but here, We’re only allowed a 3/16” total variance throughout the entire flight. Not a whole lot.

As for the post/rail connection, I would normally just use a 5/16” hanger bolt, but the zipbolt will work fine.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

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ttocsmi

31 posts in 1228 days


#8 posted 03-07-2017 01:49 AM

hey tony -

i haven’t been able to log on at work, so this is on my own time. :) sorry for the delay writing back.

the link you provided was just what i was looking for. thank you very much. i made the landing step this weekend, got it fitted just so, and cut the carpet.

notched and fit the solid oak newel post and notched the bottom tread. i even got the railing attached. the zip bolt is a cool invention – it just needs to be more robust so it doesn’t self destruct with 1/4” left to thread. (wax. i should have waxed the threads. didn’t think of that.)

i made a matching half newel this weekend as well (next time i’ll make the entire newel myself and save $$). the only problem being that i cut it 4” too short. didn’t think THAT through like i should have.

eventually my stairs will be done. this year. i know it.

-- Knight of Sufferlandria 2015

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Tony_S

766 posts in 2922 days


#9 posted 03-07-2017 11:09 AM

Glad to hear everything is working out for you….except the 1/2 Newel ;)

I’ve actually never personally tried the Zip bolts myself. We got some free samples from one of our suppliers a couple or three years ago. I gave them to one of the railing installers to try. He pretty much said the same thing as you….cool idea, but didn’t like the fact he couldn’t(or thought he shouldn’t)crank down on it like a regular hanger bolt.
Regardless….they were too expensive, even in large volumes, compared to a hanger bolt, nut and washer.
If it ain’t broke….don’t fix it.

Post some pictures when your all done!

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

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