Today we're here to show you Stage 1 of our Refinished Stairwell project.: how to install stair treads and risers. This stairwell is one of the last pieces of our Master Suite remodel, so we're super excited to get it completed! This stairwell is a pretty large project, so we'll be breaking it down in three parts.
I wish I would have taken some before photos of the stairs before we ripped up the carpet to start the remodel back in October, but the stairs were the last thing on my mind. Of course I got before photos of everything but the stairs.
So, instead I'll share this beautiful shot of me sanding the old, crappy railing that needed a paint job last year. You get the picture, right? These carpeted stairs left much to be desired out of this space.
When we removed the carpet back in October, Justin noticed that the old treads and risers weren't glued down (like they should have been) which made our lives much easier. So to get started, Justin removed all of the existing treads & risers down to the stair stringers.
While Justin was doing that, I was prepping the new treads with wood conditioner, stain and poly. This process took a long time with two coats of conditioner, three coats of stain, and three coats of poly. (Don't worry about the snow behind the photo of Justin sanding the tread. This step of the process was done over a month ago, so the snow is long since melted. Whew!)
Where we didn't luck out was that all of our risers were different heights and had to be equaled out. Justin researched our city's code for stair height and had to adjust Every. Single. Step.
To adjust the height, Justin cut blocks using scrap wood and attached them to the stringer using subfloor adhesive and finish nails to hold them in place. The height we went with was 7-1/8".
Justin measured and cut out the notches for the skirt board and attached to the wall using 2" finish nails.
Starting with the first step, Justin measured the stair set to cut the first risers. Since this needed to wrap all the way around the base step, he mitered the corners and used wood glue for the mitered edge, subfloor adhesive for the riser & stringer contact, and a brad nailer to secure in place.
We recommend installing two risers for every one tread. Justin notched out the first riser to fit our skirtboard on the right side as well as the returns on each side. Note: The left and right edges of a tread are a square edge, so to give the edges the finished, rounded look, you'll want to install a return.
How to Install a Stair Riser:Cut your riser to fit your space
Glue the stingers with subfloor adhesive
Put the riser in place
Nail using 2" finish nails
How to Install a Stair Tread:Cut the tread to fit your space
Glue the stringer with subfloor adhesive
Put the tread in place
Nail using 2-1/2" finish nails
Pre-drill and screw the riser to the tread from behind (inside the stairs) so there's no gap between the tread & riser.
And here's how they look at the end of this stage. Tomorrow we'll be showing off our newell post and the trim that we're installing around the stairwell.
Want to see all of other remodel projects? Check out our remodel directory.
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