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Stair Tread Overlays

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Forum topic by ChunkyC posted 02-19-2011 05:57 AM 7190 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ChunkyC

856 posts in 2722 days


02-19-2011 05:57 AM

A friend at work asked me last week if I could help him re-tread his stairs, currently carpeted. Anyone have any tips on how to go about cutting the end off of the existing treads so that I can overlay a new tread?

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures: http://spadfest.rcspads.com/thumbnails.php?album=135


12 replies so far

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cabmaker

1507 posts in 2277 days


#1 posted 02-19-2011 06:21 AM

Do you mean cut the nosing flush ? You need to remove the carpet and likely pad too. If it has always been carpeted you will most likely find plywood risers and treads. Dont have enough data to go on here. You may have to remove existing treads to maintain optimal rise per step (7 1/4). Or you may be able to go right over them, depending on your intended thickness. But if all you really wanted to know is how to cut the tread flush: jigsaw, handsaw, router,keyhole saw, skillsaw, spiral saw etc.

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ChunkyC

856 posts in 2722 days


#2 posted 02-19-2011 06:46 AM

Cabmaker:

We have to make to a lot of assumptions here. He hasn’t removed the carpeting yet so I have no idea what we’ll find under the carpeting. We may even find hardwood under there, it is 70+ y.o. house and he does have a lot of h.w. floors that have been covered w/ carpeting.

But yes, what I was asking is how to cut the tread flush to the riser. I guess what I was thinking was getting up close to the wall. This maybe a good way of me getting a new hand saw out of the deal.

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures: http://spadfest.rcspads.com/thumbnails.php?album=135

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Rick

8287 posts in 2501 days


#3 posted 02-20-2011 07:52 AM

If the house is that old and all the floors are hardwood, I wouldn’t doubt that the Stairs are also Hardwood.

I have No Idea what this means .... “But yes, what I was asking is how to cut the tread flush to the riser. I guess what I was thinking was getting up close to the wall.” ....The “Wall” runs along the Side of the Stairs.

What are you accomplishing by cutting the Tread flush to the Riser? Maybe it’s some sort of an “Overlay” I have yet to see.

Can You or Your Friend not lift up a small portion of the Carpeted Stairs to see if there’s Hardwood under?

Until you do that…Yes! WE/YOU are dealing with assumptions here that could be easily rectified by having a “Peek” under the Stair carpeting.

Let Us know what you find please.

Rick

-- Hope Everyone Is Doing Well! .... Best Regards: Rick

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Tony_S

608 posts in 2551 days


#4 posted 02-20-2011 02:48 PM

Chunk

There really isn’t a standard, or ‘good’ (read easy) way to cut the nosing off close to a wall or closed (housed) stringer. 5 different installers would typically do it 5 different ways. Most would use a combination of Skil Saws and or Jig Saws to do the majority of the work. Some will use a Router and flush trim bit to do final clean up.
The most efficient way Ive seen to get close to a wall or stringer is a Fein Multimaster with a flush trim blade.

A few things you may also want to consider, and mention to your co-worker….
The first and last unit rise of the stair will be thrown out by whatever the thickness of your new tread overlay is.
IE. if your using 1” thick treads, your first unit rise on the stair will be 1” too tall, and depending on how you treat the top nosing of the stair, the unit rise will be 1” short (if not replaced) or correct (if replaced), but 1” taller than the existing flooring on the top level of the stair.

Also, if the stair has closed, or housed stringers, the existing tread is more than likely mortised into the stringer. Once you cut the nosing off the existing tread, you’ll have to consider how you’ll cover the now exposed mortise, as the ‘new’ tread will sit above it. The stair it’s self typically determines the easiest way to take care of this problem. Most times it’s easiest to just reclad and recap the stringers as well.

Clear as mud?

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

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 3212 days


#5 posted 02-20-2011 03:10 PM

To emphasize what Tony said, if the rise on all of your stairs are not the same you set up a trip/fall situation. Your body get a sort of muscle memory for the distance it has to lift your foot to get to the next step, and if that’s not the same on each step, there’s a chance you will trip yourself. Try to replace the treads with lumber on the treads with some of similar thickness.

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ChunkyC

856 posts in 2722 days


#6 posted 02-20-2011 04:34 PM

I planned on replacing the stringer anyway so that it will match the new treads else you have that hole to deal with. The extra inch is a known issue when overlaying stairs and overlaying stairs isn’t something new.

The Fein Multimaster is a nice tool that’s for sure and I think it would do the trick. Not sure if I want to spend that type of cash on one. Maybe he’ll buy one. ;)

I did talk to him yesterday on the phone. He said his stairs are carpet over linoleum over ???. If the stairs are hardwood, I plan on strongly suggesting that he save the originals. But if they’d had that much covering on them, they may beyond savings.

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures: http://spadfest.rcspads.com/thumbnails.php?album=135

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Tony_S

608 posts in 2551 days


#7 posted 02-20-2011 05:23 PM

” The extra inch is a known issue when overlaying stairs and overlaying stairs isn’t something new.”

Fair enough. Sounds like you know what your doing….have at ‘er!

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

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489tad

3102 posts in 2479 days


#8 posted 02-20-2011 05:42 PM

I looking at doing this too. www.stairsupplies.com

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

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GaryL

1094 posts in 2298 days


#9 posted 02-20-2011 05:51 PM

By the IRC building codes you cannot have more than a 3/8” variance in rise heights through the entire staircase. I usually shoot for no more than 1/8”. If you look on the Stairway Manufacturers Association (SMA) website they have a “summarized” version of the IRC Stair Building Codes ( “Visual Interpretation Of The International Residential Code – 2000 Stair Building Code ).
As others have said you need to get a look at what you have to work with before coming up with a plan of attack. Tear apart one tread and riser, but not the bottom one, and see exactly what is there.
In my area houses of that vintage usually have a hard yellow pine treads for the average home. Higher end may have oak.
Let us know what you find after a partial dissection.

Edit…I see you mentioned replacing the stringer? Are you referring to the side skirt on the open side of the stairs? The stringers are the framing that the treads and risers are applied to.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

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ChunkyC

856 posts in 2722 days


#10 posted 02-20-2011 05:55 PM

>>Sounds like you know what your doing…

That’s a bit of strong statement! I know how to read and there’s a lot of information on overlaying stairs. It sounds as if it’s pretty straight forward. And if push comes to shove, I’ll strip the stairs down to the stringers and start anew.

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures: http://spadfest.rcspads.com/thumbnails.php?album=135

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ChunkyC

856 posts in 2722 days


#11 posted 02-20-2011 05:57 PM

Gary: Yes. The side skirt. We’ve always called it a stringer too FWIW. It’s always confused me a little but then again, I’m easily confused!

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures: http://spadfest.rcspads.com/thumbnails.php?album=135

View Rick's profile

Rick

8287 posts in 2501 days


#12 posted 02-20-2011 10:55 PM

Best Of Luck!!!

-- Hope Everyone Is Doing Well! .... Best Regards: Rick

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