Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

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BW1985
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Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by BW1985 » Wed May 17, 2017 9:46 pm

Looking for some advice..

We removed the carpet and planned on cleaning up the rough wood underneath- sanding, painting and caulking the gaps between the stair and molding. Problem is, the gaps are larger than we thought, like 1/2" or so, can't caulk that!

I'm thinking of adding sheets of 1/4" plywood to the tread and the riser so it's snugged up closer to the baseboard and then caulk the gap that's left. And glue a molding on the front of the tread to cover the seam between the existing wood and added plywood. The existing wood is pretty rough with some chunks taken out near the front, I plan on using wood filler and sanding, if I don't I'm afraid of stepping on the wrong spot and cracking the plywood if there's a gap underneath it.

Has anyone else done this or have any thoughts in general?


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mhalley
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by mhalley » Wed May 17, 2017 11:43 pm

I am the most unhappy person in the world, so are this with a grain (or a pound) of salt.There are various wood fillers out there that might work instead of chalk, then could nail in multiple small moldings like quarter rounds.

https://www.lowes.com/pl/Round-moulding ... 4294518229

123
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by 123 » Wed May 17, 2017 11:54 pm

I'm wondering is it would end up working out better (and maybe be easier and maybe less expensive) to have the staircase completely replaced with stairs that are stained and fitted to the area. There may be a point where cutting/patching/staining is more work then a simple replacement.

We renovated a house and found beautiful hardwood finished floors, including the staircase, underneath carpet that was over 20 years old. You just never know sometimes.
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littlebird
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by littlebird » Wed May 17, 2017 11:59 pm

I would re-carpet with a flat weave carpet.

fondawjef
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by fondawjef » Thu May 18, 2017 12:21 am

I've remodeled a similar set of stairs. Removed the existing tread and replaced with solid hardwood treads. These are available at Home Depot and other home centers. Cap the risers with matching 1/4" plywood. Finish with several coats of poly. I glued (construction adhesive) and screwed the treads to prevent squeaks. The tricky part is cutting the treads exactly to fit. Thre is a commmercial adjustable templating device that makes this easier. Adding an additional layer to the top of the treads as you propose may create a safety issue since now the rise willl be different on the last step. Hope this helps.

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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by Yooper » Thu May 18, 2017 6:00 am

fondawjef wrote:I've remodeled a similar set of stairs. Removed the existing tread and replaced with solid hardwood treads. These are available at Home Depot and other home centers. Cap the risers with matching 1/4" plywood. Finish with several coats of poly. I glued (construction adhesive) and screwed the treads to prevent squeaks. The tricky part is cutting the treads exactly to fit. Thre is a commmercial adjustable templating device that makes this easier. Adding an additional layer to the top of the treads as you propose may create a safety issue since now the rise willl be different on the last step. Hope this helps.
I'd do this in a New York minute. Toughest part of stairs is getting the stringers perfect - - putting on treads and risers is the easy part. I'd rip out both, run down to the lumberyard and pick up the type of wood you want, cut/rip to size and tack them on. Yes, it's just that easy and I think you'd be far happier in the end.

BW1985
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by BW1985 » Thu May 18, 2017 7:42 am

fondawjef wrote:I've remodeled a similar set of stairs. Removed the existing tread and replaced with solid hardwood treads. These are available at Home Depot and other home centers. Cap the risers with matching 1/4" plywood. Finish with several coats of poly. I glued (construction adhesive) and screwed the treads to prevent squeaks. The tricky part is cutting the treads exactly to fit. Thre is a commmercial adjustable templating device that makes this easier. Adding an additional layer to the top of the treads as you propose may create a safety issue since now the rise willl be different on the last step. Hope this helps.
This was the other option we considered as well, problem is our current tread is not one piece all the way back, it butts up to another piece of wood. So if I removed the current tread and dropped on the new one I'd still have this gap. What would you recommend doing about that?

This is the current tread.

Image
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BW1985
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by BW1985 » Thu May 18, 2017 7:46 am

Yooper wrote:
fondawjef wrote:I've remodeled a similar set of stairs. Removed the existing tread and replaced with solid hardwood treads. These are available at Home Depot and other home centers. Cap the risers with matching 1/4" plywood. Finish with several coats of poly. I glued (construction adhesive) and screwed the treads to prevent squeaks. The tricky part is cutting the treads exactly to fit. Thre is a commmercial adjustable templating device that makes this easier. Adding an additional layer to the top of the treads as you propose may create a safety issue since now the rise willl be different on the last step. Hope this helps.
I'd do this in a New York minute. Toughest part of stairs is getting the stringers perfect - - putting on treads and risers is the easy part. I'd rip out both, run down to the lumberyard and pick up the type of wood you want, cut/rip to size and tack them on. Yes, it's just that easy and I think you'd be far happier in the end.
I'm not sure what a stringer is, but it sounds like you're saying rip out the whole existing staircase and rebuild? That would be over our heads.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

BW1985
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by BW1985 » Thu May 18, 2017 7:48 am

123 wrote:I'm wondering is it would end up working out better (and maybe be easier and maybe less expensive) to have the staircase completely replaced with stairs that are stained and fitted to the area. There may be a point where cutting/patching/staining is more work then a simple replacement.

We renovated a house and found beautiful hardwood finished floors, including the staircase, underneath carpet that was over 20 years old. You just never know sometimes.
That would definitely be a alot more expensive. We'd be paying someone to rebuild a staircase instead of 'refacing' it ourselves for a few hundred bucks.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

ddurrett896
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by ddurrett896 » Thu May 18, 2017 7:55 am

BW1985 wrote: Has anyone else done this or have any thoughts in general?
This....

http://www.lumberliquidators.com/ll/c/R ... DQodnHUPxg

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flossy21
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by flossy21 » Thu May 18, 2017 8:00 am

BW1985 wrote:
Yooper wrote:
fondawjef wrote:I've remodeled a similar set of stairs. Removed the existing tread and replaced with solid hardwood treads. These are available at Home Depot and other home centers. Cap the risers with matching 1/4" plywood. Finish with several coats of poly. I glued (construction adhesive) and screwed the treads to prevent squeaks. The tricky part is cutting the treads exactly to fit. Thre is a commmercial adjustable templating device that makes this easier. Adding an additional layer to the top of the treads as you propose may create a safety issue since now the rise willl be different on the last step. Hope this helps.
I'd do this in a New York minute. Toughest part of stairs is getting the stringers perfect - - putting on treads and risers is the easy part. I'd rip out both, run down to the lumberyard and pick up the type of wood you want, cut/rip to size and tack them on. Yes, it's just that easy and I think you'd be far happier in the end.
I'm not sure what a stringer is, but it sounds like you're saying rip out the whole existing staircase and rebuild? That would be over our heads.
The stringer is the main structural member of the staircase. You would leave that in place. It's the toughest part to get right. The riser is the flat board that you kick your toes on and the tread is where you place your foot. What he is suggesting is the say to go. You can buy precut treads with the round front and even have them ripped to your tread depth. Then you need to buy oak 1/4" oak plywood and cover the riser with that. You will need a skill saw or table saw and a cut to length saw. Here's a pic that might be helpful. It probably wouldn't cost you 1/2 day labor for a carpenter to do it for you if you buy the stuff and rip out the old. After the carpenter finishes the work you can stain and seal with clear polyurethane.

Image

researcher
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by researcher » Thu May 18, 2017 8:17 am

BW1985 wrote:We removed the carpet and planned on cleaning up the rough wood underneath- sanding, painting and caulking the gaps between the stair and molding. Problem is, the gaps are larger than we thought, like 1/2" or so, can't caulk that!

I'm thinking of adding sheets of 1/4" plywood to the tread and the riser so it's snugged up closer to the baseboard and then caulk the gap that's left. And glue a molding on the front of the tread to cover the seam between the existing wood and added plywood. The existing wood is pretty rough with some chunks taken out near the front, I plan on using wood filler and sanding...
The material used to build your stairs is rough framing lumber.
It was never meant to be, and should not be used as, a final finish material.

Having a stairway made of exposed rough framing lumber (that has been patched, filled, caulked) is a really bad idea.
It would be appropriate for a hand-built hunting shack, but not for your nice home.

I would use pre-finished engineered hardwood flooring.
Apply it directly over the existing rough framing lumber, spanning the existing gaps on the at the edges of the stairs.
They make such products, with a bullnose front edge, for this very purpose.
http://www.homedepot.com/s/cap+a+tread?NCNI-5

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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu May 18, 2017 8:26 am

I did this job some years ago when the company I worked for had a week long factory shut down. I bought oak treads at one of the big box stores and cut them to fit. I used the existing risers but filled and painted so they were smooth. Sort of a classic oak/white look. From under the stairs, I used L brackets to secure them down, screwing them in at each corner. When finished, I used water based poly to seal and protect them. We were having our upstairs carpet replaced so had a runner made and installed.

This is a lot of work. Took the entire week working maybe 6-8 hours a day on it. If you aren't up to this big of a project, recarpet it and be done with it.
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BW1985
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by BW1985 » Thu May 18, 2017 8:43 am

flossy21 wrote:
BW1985 wrote:
Yooper wrote:
fondawjef wrote:I've remodeled a similar set of stairs. Removed the existing tread and replaced with solid hardwood treads. These are available at Home Depot and other home centers. Cap the risers with matching 1/4" plywood. Finish with several coats of poly. I glued (construction adhesive) and screwed the treads to prevent squeaks. The tricky part is cutting the treads exactly to fit. Thre is a commmercial adjustable templating device that makes this easier. Adding an additional layer to the top of the treads as you propose may create a safety issue since now the rise willl be different on the last step. Hope this helps.
I'd do this in a New York minute. Toughest part of stairs is getting the stringers perfect - - putting on treads and risers is the easy part. I'd rip out both, run down to the lumberyard and pick up the type of wood you want, cut/rip to size and tack them on. Yes, it's just that easy and I think you'd be far happier in the end.
I'm not sure what a stringer is, but it sounds like you're saying rip out the whole existing staircase and rebuild? That would be over our heads.

The stringer is the main structural member of the staircase. You would leave that in place. It's the toughest part to get right. The riser is the flat board that you kick your toes on and the tread is where you place your foot. What he is suggesting is the say to go. You can buy precut treads with the round front and even have them ripped to your tread depth. Then you need to buy oak 1/4" oak plywood and cover the riser with that. You will need a skill saw or table saw and a cut to length saw. Here's a pic that might be helpful. It probably wouldn't cost you 1/2 day labor for a carpenter to do it for you if you buy the stuff and rip out the old. After the carpenter finishes the work you can stain and seal with clear polyurethane.

Image
I found the premade bullnose pine treads at HD for $10/each. My question when I rip out the existing rough tread there's still going to be a piece at the back, see photo above. The rough tread does not go all the way back to the riser. So after I put the new tread in there's still that gap. I'm not sure how to fix this.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by mrc » Thu May 18, 2017 8:46 am

I did the exact same thing on my foyer stairs. The bottom side of mine are a finished ceiling (for access to the basement). And the finished (painted) were in very good shape. Ripping out the whole thing was too much. So, after removing the carpet, I installed new poplar risers and Brazilian cherry treads. The treads are milled such that they are about 3/8" thick, and with a thicker bull nose front edge.

Very easy to do when the steps are completely enclosed by the stringers, as all but your bottom step are. Threads with a right-hand or left-hand return on one side are also available.

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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by onthecusp » Thu May 18, 2017 8:54 am

That piece in the back just looks like a spacer, letting the rough treads be made out of standard dimensional lumber. That piece should be taken out along with the tread.

If your new tread of choice is not wide enough (front to back) you could look for wider treads, or buy extra and rip the same spacer. There would still be gaps depending on how accurate everything is cut, but the wood would all match and after finishing look good.

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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by BW1985 » Thu May 18, 2017 9:11 am

fondawjef wrote:I've remodeled a similar set of stairs. Removed the existing tread and replaced with solid hardwood treads. These are available at Home Depot and other home centers. Cap the risers with matching 1/4" plywood. Finish with several coats of poly. I glued (construction adhesive) and screwed the treads to prevent squeaks. The tricky part is cutting the treads exactly to fit. Thre is a commmercial adjustable templating device that makes this easier. Adding an additional layer to the top of the treads as you propose may create a safety issue since now the rise willl be different on the last step. Hope this helps.
Did you screw the treads down from the top? How did you cover the screws? I was thinking using a nail gun would be less noticeable/ easier to hide.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

BW1985
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by BW1985 » Thu May 18, 2017 9:11 am

onthecusp wrote:That piece in the back just looks like a spacer, letting the rough treads be made out of standard dimensional lumber. That piece should be taken out along with the tread.

If your new tread of choice is not wide enough (front to back) you could look for wider treads, or buy extra and rip the same spacer. There would still be gaps depending on how accurate everything is cut, but the wood would all match and after finishing look good.
Ah, that makes sense. I was thinking that couldn't be removed. Thanks
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by SimonJester » Thu May 18, 2017 9:44 am

That staircase was built to have carpet installed over the top. I have a similar designed staircase and replaced the treads and risers with solid oak as many of my treads were broken. I still carpeted over it in the end.

I don't think trying to come up with an inexpensive over lay fix it going to look good in the end and end up with a non squeaking staircase. Your current treads / risers and a cheap grade of soft pine, and I bet there is a slight amount of flex to them.

I would hire this out to a carpenter to remove and replace the staircase with solid wood treads and risers that are meant to not be covered with carpet.

Your treads are not mortised into the stringers (mine were and believe me they are NOT designed with the intention to ever remove the treads), so it would be easier to remove and replace yours.
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flossy21
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by flossy21 » Thu May 18, 2017 10:14 am

BW1985 wrote:
flossy21 wrote:
BW1985 wrote:
Yooper wrote:
fondawjef wrote:I've remodeled a similar set of stairs. Removed the existing tread and replaced with solid hardwood treads. These are available at Home Depot and other home centers. Cap the risers with matching 1/4" plywood. Finish with several coats of poly. I glued (construction adhesive) and screwed the treads to prevent squeaks. The tricky part is cutting the treads exactly to fit. Thre is a commmercial adjustable templating device that makes this easier. Adding an additional layer to the top of the treads as you propose may create a safety issue since now the rise willl be different on the last step. Hope this helps.
I'd do this in a New York minute. Toughest part of stairs is getting the stringers perfect - - putting on treads and risers is the easy part. I'd rip out both, run down to the lumberyard and pick up the type of wood you want, cut/rip to size and tack them on. Yes, it's just that easy and I think you'd be far happier in the end.
I'm not sure what a stringer is, but it sounds like you're saying rip out the whole existing staircase and rebuild? That would be over our heads.

The stringer is the main structural member of the staircase. You would leave that in place. It's the toughest part to get right. The riser is the flat board that you kick your toes on and the tread is where you place your foot. What he is suggesting is the say to go. You can buy precut treads with the round front and even have them ripped to your tread depth. Then you need to buy oak 1/4" oak plywood and cover the riser with that. You will need a skill saw or table saw and a cut to length saw. Here's a pic that might be helpful. It probably wouldn't cost you 1/2 day labor for a carpenter to do it for you if you buy the stuff and rip out the old. After the carpenter finishes the work you can stain and seal with clear polyurethane.

Image
I found the premade bullnose pine treads at HD for $10/each. My question when I rip out the existing rough tread there's still going to be a piece at the back, see photo above. The rough tread does not go all the way back to the riser. So after I put the new tread in there's still that gap. I'm not sure how to fix this.
You should use oak for the treads. The trim and railing of your staircase is white oak from the looks of it. I would use the same thing and try to match the stain. Pine is not going to look as good if you go with a wood finish. Pine is not nearly as durable either. You could use a pine or poplar board for the riser and paint that white. The white riser would look good with your white ballusters.

You should take a photo of the current situation to the home improvement store (Home Depot or Lowes) and go to the project desk. Ask them if they can help you figure out how to economically replace/resurface the treads/risers and what trim you need. Also ask them what tools you need for the job. They should be able to show you some options and help you price them out. The idea about using premade wood flooring is an option as well but the trick would be to have support under that or the tread will sag when you put weight on it. The home store project desk can help you figure that out.

Here's an example where the riser is painted white to match the baluster.

Image

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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by mrc » Thu May 18, 2017 10:36 am

That looks a lot like my results. Here's an in progress image. The risers are primed, the treads are finished. I'm test fitting the parts. The railing is gone -- to be replaced later. You can just see a raw step at the top. I recall now I used a Sawsall to remove the 2X bull nose that was under the carpet. The risers butt against the tread b/c they were less expensive in case of an error.

Image

The treads were around 3/8" thick, and absent the carpet and pad ended up about the same height. The top step (to the landing) remained well within the code allowed difference among steps.
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by Flobes » Thu May 18, 2017 11:06 am

Here's a very inexpensive way to finish rough steps into elegance and functionality:

Stairway Gets A New Look

Additional advantages: fill the gaps with any product that's sandable and hardens.

This very project is actually on my August docket. If it piques your interest, I can send you other helpful links for how-to strategies and finishing ideas... plus, of course, some YouTube videos.

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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by fondawjef » Thu May 18, 2017 11:19 am

BW1985 wrote:
fondawjef wrote:I've remodeled a similar set of stairs. Removed the existing tread and replaced with solid hardwood treads. These are available at Home Depot and other home centers. Cap the risers with matching 1/4" plywood. Finish with several coats of poly. I glued (construction adhesive) and screwed the treads to prevent squeaks. The tricky part is cutting the treads exactly to fit. Thre is a commmercial adjustable templating device that makes this easier. Adding an additional layer to the top of the treads as you propose may create a safety issue since now the rise willl be different on the last step. Hope this helps.
Did you screw the treads down from the top? How did you cover the screws? I was thinking using a nail gun would be less noticeable/ easier to hide.

I did screw the treads down, made plugs from similar material and plugged the screw holes. A nail gun would also work. I woul use the adhesive in addition though.

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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by BW1985 » Thu May 18, 2017 1:31 pm

flossy21 wrote: You should use oak for the treads. The trim and railing of your staircase is white oak from the looks of it. I would use the same thing and try to match the stain. Pine is not going to look as good if you go with a wood finish. Pine is not nearly as durable either. You could use a pine or poplar board for the riser and paint that white. The white riser would look good with your white ballusters.

You should take a photo of the current situation to the home improvement store (Home Depot or Lowes) and go to the project desk. Ask them if they can help you figure out how to economically replace/resurface the treads/risers and what trim you need. Also ask them what tools you need for the job. They should be able to show you some options and help you price them out. The idea about using premade wood flooring is an option as well but the trick would be to have support under that or the tread will sag when you put weight on it. The home store project desk can help you figure that out.

Here's an example where the riser is painted white to match the baluster.

We are gel staining the oak railing to Java which is a very dark brown almost black and the oak trim will be painted white. Oak treads are $30/each and pine treads are $10/each that's why I'm leaning pine, I know it's not as durable but no dogs and no kids here..

We don't need to have the treads match the railing perfectly they'll just both be dark brown. There is a Behr paint product called Deckover that has a light texture/grip agent in it which we could use to paint the pine instead of stain/poly.

This will be the railing color, already did the bathroom. The balusters will stay white.

Image
Last edited by BW1985 on Thu May 18, 2017 2:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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BW1985
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by BW1985 » Thu May 18, 2017 1:57 pm

mrc wrote:That looks a lot like my results. Here's an in progress image. The risers are primed, the treads are finished. I'm test fitting the parts. The railing is gone -- to be replaced later. You can just see a raw step at the top. I recall now I used a Sawsall to remove the 2X bull nose that was under the carpet. The risers butt against the tread b/c they were less expensive in case of an error.

Image

The treads were around 3/8" thick, and absent the carpet and pad ended up about the same height. The top step (to the landing) remained well within the code allowed difference among steps.
Really nice!! So you removed the existing rough tread or did you put the new tread on top of the old one? I'm not sure what you mean by cut the bullnose off.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

BW1985
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by BW1985 » Thu May 18, 2017 2:43 pm

Flobes wrote:Here's a very inexpensive way to finish rough steps into elegance and functionality:

Stairway Gets A New Look

Additional advantages: fill the gaps with any product that's sandable and hardens.

This very project is actually on my August docket. If it piques your interest, I can send you other helpful links for how-to strategies and finishing ideas... plus, of course, some YouTube videos.
That is very interesting thanks for sharing! Love the creativity.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

Globalviewer58
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by Globalviewer58 » Thu May 18, 2017 2:49 pm

Pine does not take stain uniformly so you might test your stain on a small piece before you decide to install pine treads. If you don't like the look you can use oak instead.

dbr
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by dbr » Thu May 18, 2017 2:59 pm

Living in an older home our stairs are a little steeper than recommended these days. We had carpet which is actually dangerous as it is too easy for someone wearing slippers or any smooth soled shoe to skid on the steps. I stripped all the carpet, pulled nails and staples, filled holes, and finished the surface with epoxy boat deck paint which is a good non-skid surface, especially if someone has spilled a drink on the steps. Filling gaps like yours is a problem, however.

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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by BW1985 » Thu May 18, 2017 3:04 pm

dbr wrote:Living in an older home our stairs are a little steeper than recommended these days. We had carpet which is actually dangerous as it is too easy for someone wearing slippers or any smooth soled shoe to skid on the steps. I stripped all the carpet, pulled nails and staples, filled holes, and finished the surface with epoxy boat deck paint which is a good non-skid surface, especially if someone has spilled a drink on the steps. Filling gaps like yours is a problem, however.
Yep, that is exactly what we had planned to do using deck paint which sounds similar to your boat paint, until we found the gaps.

Still could use the same non-skid paint just have to get new treads.
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by Lindrobe » Thu May 18, 2017 3:07 pm

I finished two staircases very similar to yours last year using the oak treads that slide over the existing builder grade treads. I used white risers. I bought all of the supplies from Lowe's, stained, and applied two coats of satin polyurethane so that the treads match the oak floors in the rest of my house. I did the staining and poly myself and hired a carpenter to cut treads and install. If I remember correctly, it cost about $700 for the supplies for both staircases and $500 for the labor paid to the carpenter. The results are beautiful and look much better than carpeted stairs. These are the treads that I purchased from Lowes:

https://www.lowes.com/pd/RetroTread-11- ... ad/3191553

The same brand also makes a pre-primed riser.

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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by BW1985 » Thu May 18, 2017 3:38 pm

Lindrobe wrote:I finished two staircases very similar to yours last year using the oak treads that slide over the existing builder grade treads. I used white risers. I bought all of the supplies from Lowe's, stained, and applied two coats of satin polyurethane so that the treads match the oak floors in the rest of my house. I did the staining and poly myself and hired a carpenter to cut treads and install. If I remember correctly, it cost about $700 for the supplies for both staircases and $500 for the labor paid to the carpenter. The results are beautiful and look much better than carpeted stairs. These are the treads that I purchased from Lowes:

https://www.lowes.com/pd/RetroTread-11- ... ad/3191553

The same brand also makes a pre-primed riser.
Very nice. How did your existing treads look though, was the tread flush with the riser? My tread sticks out so if I put those oak treads on top then the bullnose would stick out even further and depending on that front thickness there could be a gap underneath. Hope that makes sense.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by Lindrobe » Thu May 18, 2017 3:43 pm

BW1985 wrote:Very nice. How did your existing treads look though, was the tread flush with the riser? My tread sticks out so if I put those oak treads on top then the bullnose would stick out even further and depending on that front thickness there could be a gap underneath. Hope that makes sense.
My treads had gaps on the sides like your do, and did stick out. But the part that sticks out was a separate strip of wood that was screwed into the front of the tread. So removing the part that stuck out was just a matter of unscrewing the strip.

I understand what you are talking about. You would need to cut off the front of the tread to make this option work properly for you.

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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by BW1985 » Thu May 18, 2017 3:51 pm

Lindrobe wrote:
BW1985 wrote:Very nice. How did your existing treads look though, was the tread flush with the riser? My tread sticks out so if I put those oak treads on top then the bullnose would stick out even further and depending on that front thickness there could be a gap underneath. Hope that makes sense.
My treads had gaps on the sides like your do, and did stick out. But the part that sticks out was a separate strip of wood that was screwed into the front of the tread. So removing the part that stuck out was just a matter of unscrewing the strip.

I understand what you are talking about. You would need to cut off the front of the tread to make this option work properly for you.
Ah, yeah mine has that spacer at the back so maybe I could remove the tread & spacer and then put the tread back, then maybe the tread would be flush with the riser to drop the new tread on top. I was really hoping to not have to remove anything existing though.

How did you find your carpenter?
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by mrc » Thu May 18, 2017 4:05 pm

BW1985 wrote:
Really nice!! So you removed the existing rough tread or did you put the new tread on top of the old one? I'm not sure what you mean by cut the bullnose off.
I left the rough 2x stairs in place, just like yours look in the picture now. But the tread did project past the riser a little. Like yours does. I cut that slim overhang off with a sawsall flush. Then installed the tread/riser veneers. I cut each to length, a hair over, and tuned up the edges with a sander. It took a little fussing, but wasn't bad. Then I finished them all outside. I numbered each one for the final install with construction adhesive and then screws on the tread ends. I used square head black drywall finish screws, and didn't have to patch/fill.
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by BW1985 » Thu May 18, 2017 4:30 pm

mrc wrote:
BW1985 wrote:
Really nice!! So you removed the existing rough tread or did you put the new tread on top of the old one? I'm not sure what you mean by cut the bullnose off.
I left the rough 2x stairs in place, just like yours look in the picture now. But the tread did project past the riser a little. Like yours does. I cut that slim overhang off with a sawsall flush. Then installed the tread/riser veneers. I cut each to length, a hair over, and tuned up the edges with a sander. It took a little fussing, but wasn't bad. Then I finished them all outside. I numbered each one for the final install with construction adhesive and then screws on the tread ends. I used square head black drywall finish screws, and didn't have to patch/fill.
This is very helpful, thank you. Where did you screw them down? I'm not sure what on the tread ends means. I don't see any screws in your picture though.

And just curious why do you call it rough 2x stairs? What does 2x mean?
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by Yooper » Thu May 18, 2017 5:21 pm

Globalviewer58 wrote:Pine does not take stain uniformly so you might test your stain on a small piece before you decide to install pine treads. If you don't like the look you can use oak instead.
Absolutely, you'll get blotchy patches, the stain will be darker than what you expected, and you'll be very unhappy. But if you use a pre-stain it's weight in gold. And it's inexpensive. Makes for a nice uniform stain after. With pine you'd want to go heavy on the application of pre-stain. I'm no master woodworker, but I use pre-stain on ANYTHING that I stain - - just in case, and I've never regretted it. So take one tread, pre-stain the backside, apply the stain, let it dry the prescribed length of time, apply whatever finish you want and see how it looks. Don't like it? Grab another tread and try a different stain until you get what you want. And since it's the back side it'll never be seen. Just don't stain too close to the edges or it'll bleed through.

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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by bigdav160 » Thu May 18, 2017 5:30 pm

The treads were around 3/8" thick, and absent the carpet and pad ended up about the same height. The top step (to the landing) remained well within the code allowed difference among steps.
I was going to point out that residential code is no more than 3/8" difference between the rises. OSHA is only 1/4". Different heights in the rises are considered a trip hazard. Just adding wood over top of the existing treads without addressing the flooring at the top and bottom of the stairs can easily get over the 3/8" difference. (the bottom tread gets taller and the top tread gets shorter)

Potentially you could remove the treads and plane them down to get back to the consistent height.

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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by mrc » Thu May 18, 2017 6:13 pm

bigdav160 wrote:
The treads were around 3/8" thick, and absent the carpet and pad ended up about the same height. The top step (to the landing) remained well within the code allowed difference among steps.
I was going to point out that residential code is no more than 3/8" difference between the rises. OSHA is only 1/4". Different heights in the rises are considered a trip hazard. Just adding wood over top of the existing treads without addressing the flooring at the top and bottom of the stairs can easily get over the 3/8" difference. (the bottom tread gets taller and the top tread gets shorter)

Potentially you could remove the treads and plane them down to get back to the consistent height.
I was afraid of that too. But the pad + carpet ~ new tread. The rises didn't differ by more than 1/8".
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by mrc » Thu May 18, 2017 6:17 pm

BW1985 wrote:
This is very helpful, thank you. Where did you screw them down? I'm not sure what on the tread ends means. I don't see any screws in your picture though.

And just curious why do you call it rough 2x stairs? What does 2x mean?
I ran a screw in about 1-1/4" back from the front bull nose edge, and about 1-1/2" from the side edge. Just those corners gave me pause after the construction adhesive cured.

The stairs are made from "two by" (i.e., 2x8, 2x10, 2X12) lumber. Strong, but not much to look at. Made to be covered in carpet. :-)
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by Jonathan » Thu May 18, 2017 6:21 pm

Argh. Depends heavily on what your long-term plans are for the house. More broadly, you pulled back the covers on your house, and now you've gotta wonder what other schlockmonkey garbage games the previous owner or homebuilder played.

Just when you thought you couldn't hate carpet any more.

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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by BW1985 » Thu May 18, 2017 6:39 pm

mrc wrote:
BW1985 wrote:
This is very helpful, thank you. Where did you screw them down? I'm not sure what on the tread ends means. I don't see any screws in your picture though.

And just curious why do you call it rough 2x stairs? What does 2x mean?
I ran a screw in about 1-1/4" back from the front bull nose edge, and about 1-1/2" from the side edge. Just those corners gave me pause after the construction adhesive cured.

The stairs are made from "two by" (i.e., 2x8, 2x10, 2X12) lumber. Strong, but not much to look at. Made to be covered in carpet. :-)
Ah so you didn't fasten on the top of the tread at all you just went into the bullnose? Then the screws were not noticleble?

Got the 2x by now. :sharebeer
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by BW1985 » Thu May 18, 2017 8:53 pm

mrc wrote:
BW1985 wrote:
This is very helpful, thank you. Where did you screw them down? I'm not sure what on the tread ends means. I don't see any screws in your picture though.

And just curious why do you call it rough 2x stairs? What does 2x mean?
I ran a screw in about 1-1/4" back from the front bull nose edge, and about 1-1/2" from the side edge. Just those corners gave me pause after the construction adhesive cured.

The stairs are made from "two by" (i.e., 2x8, 2x10, 2X12) lumber. Strong, but not much to look at. Made to be covered in carpet. :-)
I talked it over with my wife and we think this is the best option for us because we already have this flooring on our main level and I also won't need to cut off the 2x bullnose, this would wrap right over it. More money then we wanted to spend but in the grand scheme have to go with the best option for our situation.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Cap-A-Tread- ... /203800984

I'll need to cut both the length and the width. What did you use? Did you use a table saw to rip it and compound miter on the width?
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by mrc » Fri May 19, 2017 5:17 am

BW1985 wrote: I talked it over with my wife and we think this is the best option for us because we already have this flooring on our main level and I also won't need to cut off the 2x bullnose, this would wrap right over it. More money then we wanted to spend but in the grand scheme have to go with the best option for our situation.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Cap-A-Tread- ... /203800984

I'll need to cut both the length and the width. What did you use? Did you use a table saw to rip it and compound miter on the width?
I was lucky and didn't have to rip treads to width. But I did need to rip the risers. I used a table saw. I used a miter saw for the lengths (it doesn't have to be a compound saw because you'll want a square cut). I used a disk and belt sander in a few places to fine tune. On the edges, behind the bull nose, I beveled the edge under a little to make fitment easier.

Before you pull the trigger on this solution, please be sure the caps will cover the existing 2x overhang. The type 2 tread is for stairs 1-1/8" to 1-3/4" thick (and the picture shows a flat bottom recess that will accept the existing overhang). That should work OK. However, you'll need a right return tread for your bottom step. Please be sure HD can order that for you (they sometimes don't offer a complete product lineup). And most importantly, the brochure states the return treads are for stairs up to 1" thick. That's not enough to wrap around a 2x (which is 1-1/2" nominal thickness). The brochure also shows a completely enclosed staircase in one image, a return tread in another image, and a cap-a-tread end view covering an existing thinner stair tread. I don't see the return tread with a 1" max working on your bottom step.

Finally, cutting laminates can be unforgiving. I've never worked with this particular product but I have worked with materials like it. You must use a blade designed for laminates to avoid chipping.

At that price point, I would use solid wood from an online supplier (e.g., the 8073 style). As long as you can ship UPS, the costs are not too painful. Can you use 36"?
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by Lindrobe » Fri May 19, 2017 7:22 am

BW1985 wrote:How did you find your carpenter?
We had the carpenter do work for us before, including installing hardwood floors throughout most of our house. Here is a picture of one of the staircases:

Image

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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by BW1985 » Fri May 19, 2017 10:47 am

mrc wrote:
BW1985 wrote: I talked it over with my wife and we think this is the best option for us because we already have this flooring on our main level and I also won't need to cut off the 2x bullnose, this would wrap right over it. More money then we wanted to spend but in the grand scheme have to go with the best option for our situation.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Cap-A-Tread- ... /203800984

I'll need to cut both the length and the width. What did you use? Did you use a table saw to rip it and compound miter on the width?
I was lucky and didn't have to rip treads to width. But I did need to rip the risers. I used a table saw. I used a miter saw for the lengths (it doesn't have to be a compound saw because you'll want a square cut). I used a disk and belt sander in a few places to fine tune. On the edges, behind the bull nose, I beveled the edge under a little to make fitment easier.

Before you pull the trigger on this solution, please be sure the caps will cover the existing 2x overhang. The type 2 tread is for stairs 1-1/8" to 1-3/4" thick (and the picture shows a flat bottom recess that will accept the existing overhang). That should work OK. However, you'll need a right return tread for your bottom step. Please be sure HD can order that for you (they sometimes don't offer a complete product lineup). And most importantly, the brochure states the return treads are for stairs up to 1" thick. That's not enough to wrap around a 2x (which is 1-1/2" nominal thickness). The brochure also shows a completely enclosed staircase in one image, a return tread in another image, and a cap-a-tread end view covering an existing thinner stair tread. I don't see the return tread with a 1" max working on your bottom step.

Finally, cutting laminates can be unforgiving. I've never worked with this particular product but I have worked with materials like it. You must use a blade designed for laminates to avoid chipping.

At that price point, I would use solid wood from an online supplier (e.g., the 8073 style). As long as you can ship UPS, the costs are not too painful. Can you use 36"?
Yes it's 34.5" between stringers so I could use the 36". It looks like they're designed to fit over the top of existing treads with 10" body + 1.25" of bullnose. My current 2x tread is 10" total including the 1" of overhang so I think I could drop this right on top without having to rip it or cut anything off my existing tread. Looks like this is a very good option for me.

How do I deal with the bottom step? There isn't space for the 1.25" nose.

Image
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by BW1985 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:46 am

mrc wrote:That looks a lot like my results. Here's an in progress image. The risers are primed, the treads are finished. I'm test fitting the parts. The railing is gone -- to be replaced later. You can just see a raw step at the top. I recall now I used a Sawsall to remove the 2X bull nose that was under the carpet. The risers butt against the tread b/c they were less expensive in case of an error.

Image

The treads were around 3/8" thick, and absent the carpet and pad ended up about the same height. The top step (to the landing) remained well within the code allowed difference among steps.
Did you paint the risers and stain the treads before or after installing them?

Why did you cut off the 2X bullnose instead of just removing the whole 2X and dropping the new tread in it's place?
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by mrc » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:59 am

BW1985 wrote:
mrc wrote:That looks a lot like my results. Here's an in progress image. The risers are primed, the treads are finished. I'm test fitting the parts. The railing is gone -- to be replaced later. You can just see a raw step at the top. I recall now I used a Sawsall to remove the 2X bull nose that was under the carpet. The risers butt against the tread b/c they were less expensive in case of an error.

Image

The treads were around 3/8" thick, and absent the carpet and pad ended up about the same height. The top step (to the landing) remained well within the code allowed difference among steps.
Did you paint the risers and stain the treads before or after installing them?

Why did you cut off the 2X bullnose instead of just removing the whole 2X and dropping the new tread in it's place?
I did prime and paint the risers and varnished the treads before I installed them, and touched up both. Masking those parts isn't hard if you want to do them in situ. The trim stringers were installed over the rough stairs, and the rough treads were let into the rough stringers. It would have been a bear to remove the treads on this staircase without damaging the trim. Moreover, even new 5/4 treads aren't as thick as the 2Xs, so that would have been a bit of a mess!
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Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

Post by BW1985 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:24 pm

mrc wrote:
BW1985 wrote:
mrc wrote:That looks a lot like my results. Here's an in progress image. The risers are primed, the treads are finished. I'm test fitting the parts. The railing is gone -- to be replaced later. You can just see a raw step at the top. I recall now I used a Sawsall to remove the 2X bull nose that was under the carpet. The risers butt against the tread b/c they were less expensive in case of an error.

Image

The treads were around 3/8" thick, and absent the carpet and pad ended up about the same height. The top step (to the landing) remained well within the code allowed difference among steps.
Did you paint the risers and stain the treads before or after installing them?

Why did you cut off the 2X bullnose instead of just removing the whole 2X and dropping the new tread in it's place?
I did prime and paint the risers and varnished the treads before I installed them, and touched up both. Masking those parts isn't hard if you want to do them in situ. The trim stringers were installed over the rough stairs, and the rough treads were let into the rough stringers. It would have been a bear to remove the treads on this staircase without damaging the trim. Moreover, even new 5/4 treads aren't as thick as the 2Xs, so that would have been a bit of a mess!
Ah, I see. Thanks. Still thinking about doing this myself.
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