How to Hide Screwheads on Stair Treads and Other Wood Surfaces
Mask fasteners easily with a simple wood plug
Q: I'd like to screw down the oak treads on a staircase I'm building, but I don't want to see the screwheads. What's the best way to hide them?
—William Mazzara, Milford, Mich.
A: I'd cover each one with a wood plug. You want plugs made of oak, to match the tread, with tapered sides and the grain running across the face. Each plug fits in a recess, known as a counterbore, drilled with a brad-point bit slightly larger than the diameter of the screwhead and slightly smaller than the plug's widest end. The plugs' packaging indicates which size bit to use. This is a job for flat-head deck screws; ordinary drywall screws aren't strong enough.
Just follow these steps and no one but you will know there are screws in your staircase.