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How to Repair a Broken Wooden Stair Tread

A cracked or broken stair tread can lead to someone tripping and falling. This Old House general contractor Tom Silva reveals his quick fix for cracked wooden steps.

Have you removed the carpet on a staircase only to reveal that one of the stair treads is cracked or broken? It’s always best to err on the side of safety and repair any broken treads on your staircase. In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva reveals his quick fix for cracked wooden stair treads.

Steps for Fixing a Stair Tread

  1. Use a tapered bit to drill three holes into the edge of the cracked stair tread.
  2. Hold layout square on the tread to ensure straight, level holes.
  3. Pull on the front edge of the tread to open crack.
  4. Inject carpenter's glue into the crack, then wiggle tread to work glue down into the crack.
  5. Smear glue onto tapered dowels, and then tap them into the holes with a hammer.
  6. Wipe off excess glue with a clean, damp cloth.
  7. File the ends of the dowels flush with the stair tread.

Tools and Materials