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Stair help

My original plan was to put laminate on the stairs until I realized how slippery it was and I didn't want my boys doing a header down the steps. Also, with the laminate bull nose there would be a raised edge on every step.

I just pulled the carpet and I decided on sanding down everything and removing old paint and caulk. Paint stringers white. Risers white and staining the treads to match a Chestnut Hickory laminate I purchased

I am pretty certain the treads are oak. Can anyone confirm that by looking at the picture below? Also the bottom tread has a big knot and a couple cracks. Should I leave or cover with putty to match stain?

Should I install paint grade 1/4" plywood on the risers to hide the gaps between riser and tread? If I do that do I glue with PL and also finish nail it with 18 gauge nails?

The treads go into the stringers and there is a small gap? What is recommended to cover that up? Wood filler, sand then paint?

The top of the steps has a small plywood lip. I tried putting on a bull nose that I have with the laminate I am installing. The plywood overhang shows. Do I need to cut that lip off then install 1/4" plywood to cover the cut then put bull nose over that?

Re: Stair help

The stair treads appear to be Southern Yellow Pine not Oak. SYP is a hard softwood so you shouldn't have to worry much about dings and dents.

Is there a way to get the stair treads out from the back? Often times the stringers were routed so that a wedge helped hold the tread in place. If you can get the treads out it would be a lot easier to finish them as well as fix the bottom cracked tread. Also it appears that the gaps between the tread and stringers could be from shrinkage. If you were able remove the tread you could probably adjust things when you put it back together.

As far as fixing the crack, if you can get the tread out glue and clamp it to fix it. If the knot is loose you could probably use a clear epoxy to glue it back into place. If you can't get the treads out try hot gluing some clamping blocks to each side of the crack (may need to put in a couple of nails too). Then you can glue and clamp the crack closed. If that doesn't work or to add additional protection against the crack opening again you could add a dutchman.

Finally as far as the plywood at the landing you can use a router with a flush trim bit to bring that back even with the riser and then you can install your laminate and bull-nose. Hope this info helps you out. Looks like you have your work cut out for you but will look great when its done.


Re: Stair help

Second the yellow pine.
The stairs as constructed aren't meant to be left stained or painted. You will put a lot of work into something that in the end may not be satisfactory. Personally I would carpet what you have or rebuild the stair.

Re: Stair help

Oh my gosh, this is exactly the way my steps look. I just ripped off the carpet cause I hated it, too hard to keep clean. I want to do the same thing as you, knowing the treads are pine. I am not worried about the finished job being perfect. Just worried how noisy they will be, wondering if actually redoing with oak will make a difference with noise.
Looks like you have a little more work than me. Not sure if the white primer is new on the stringers, if so, you should really think about starting over and sanding good then repaint.

Re: Stair help

I may be in the same position. I have builder's grade steps with wall to wall carpet on them. The stringers are painted white and have been beaten with the vacuum.
I am looking for ideas. Pretty sure it's probably pine underneath the carpet - overpainted before carpet.
What can I do with the stringers to save them from abuse?
I was thinking a patterned runner would make the steps more interesting.
What is already posted sounds like a lot of work...
Thanks in advance.

Re: Stair help

another option is to cut the nosing off the stair and put a layer of 1/4" plywood glued and ring nailed, from there you can tile both the riser and the tread

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