I have an upcoming project for a friend: installing an oak stairway over an old carpeted stairway. The good news, although I’ve done it before, is all the ballisters, newels, and side molding are already in and they are to the side, not mounted in each step. Even better, the stairway I’m retrofitting in oak was carpeted and upon removing the carpeting there is a sound, solid looking staircase with no lip/nosing.
Here are the questions and concerns:
1. The oak to be used is all 4/4 lumber (3/4”) thickness, either 1×6 or 1×8 stock. The treads, I know, are normally 1” thick. I planned on gluing a 1/4”x 1” strip to the leading edge of each tread to give it a 1” look, then routing a bullnose on the leading edge. Does this sound like a viable option?? The risers are to be of the same 4/4 stock for strength and stability.
2. I have not installed a full stairway before and I’m not sure of the best type of jointery to use for each step/riser/landing boards. Each step is 46” W x 10 1/2” D. Risers are 7 1/2” high. The mid-landing is 8’ W x 4’ D. For the steps I plan on a simple 11/16” rabet joint at the base of each riser and fit the tread into it. The 1/4” of lip on the tread (from the glued 1/4” strip, above) should make a snug fit at the front. Does this sound viable or are there better joints to use??
3. The mid-landing (the stairs reverse 1/2 way up) joints are another matter. I plan on a 1×4 edging with 1×6 strips in the middle. I am vacillating between biscuit joints or using a glue joint done with a router. I have a good 6” jointer for straight edges and a router table for making the glue joint. For stability, I think the extra trouble with the glue joint is better, but for ease of use, the biscuit joint might be the way to go. What’s your experience in this? Is there another, better way??
4. Finally, I plan on using trim-head screws in pre-drilled holes for much of the installation, both for neatness and making a secure installation. I would plug ea hole. Also, the floor boards will have sub-floor adhesive under to eliminate squeaks. Any other, better techniques?
5. Of note, I plan on using Gorilla Glue for all glued joints. Is this over-kill?
That’s about it. Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Of course, I will be taking pictures of it all as I progress thru the installation.
-- Kit, Arizona