Weekend Project – Installing New Stair Treads



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Last year, my son Keith and his wife Steph bought a small, 1950’s ranch style home that had seen better days. The ceiling was cracking, the closets were tiny, no insulation, instead of caulking duct tape was used in the bathroom, it needed a new roof, pipes were clogged….it basically needed a whole lot of love.

As architects, they saw beyond the dated design and flow and envisioned a much more open concept. Bigger bathrooms, bigger closets and an awesome kitchen were on their must haves list.

New treads for old stairs, remodel reface and refinish old stairs

This is a before shot of the kitchen, but this is really not about the kitchen, it’s about the basement steps.  Opening up the kitchen to the living room meant that they had to open up the basement steps. You can just see the doorknob on the door that leads to the  downstairs.

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The cabinets didn’t last long, nor did the walls or even the ceilings for that matter.  Everything had to go.

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To give you a point of reference, that’s still the kitchen window in the back left but now the kitchen is twice as large and the basement stairs are open to the rest of the space.

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I showed you this picture before when we were getting rid of the attic access cord, but now it’s the after picture for the kitchen.  Only thing missing is a board over top of the dividing wall.  They have it,  it just needs to be installed.

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Downstairs, the basement was full of knotty pine paneling, disgusting carpeting and underneath the carpeting a layer of asbestos tile.

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The first weekend they were in their new house we were invited over for a day of demo. Our job was to pull up all the old carpeting and get the basement ready for professional asbestos removers. There were even asbestos tiles glued to the stair treads.

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So after the carpeting was pulled up and the tile was removed, the drywall guys came and dripped spackle all over the stairs followed by layer upon layer of sanded spackle dust.

Did I mention paint drips?

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Before attaching the new stair treads, the old ones had to be cleaned up.  Nails and staples pulled and all the big spackle plops had to go.

 

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The treads they ordered were from StairSupplies.com.  The site has everything you would need to redo your stairs including treads, risers,  railings and balusters.

Their new stair treads came unfinished and ready for stain and polyurethane.  These treads were the  1/2″ white oak with 1″ nose.

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After one coat of stain and 3 coats of polyurethane, the treads matched their hardwood floors.

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The existing curved nosing was cut with a circular saw and chisel.  Keith assured me that he knew exactly what to do getting his expert advice from Youtube.

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You can buy stair risers but they chose to use the existing knotty pine boards as the backing for their stairs.  The gap where the knotty pine hit the cut off nose was covered with a 1/4″ x 1″ trim board.

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The stair risers had to have holes filled, sanded,  primed and painted before adding the new stair treads.
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Each stair tread was measured and cut individually then attached with builders adhesive and several finishing nails at the back of the tread.

If they had installed the risers, those finishing nails would have been covered up by the riser from the stair above it.

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With the new open concept, the couch had been blocking the stair opening so that no one would accidentally take a dive over the edge.

They finished the new stair treads just in time for Keith’s uncle to come install new iron railings that he designed and built.  This is the railing upstairs.  

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And the new railing and stairs in the basement.  It’s hard to believe that these are the same stairs that one day earlier had been covered with dust and dried spackle.

Can’t show you an after picture of the basement until carpeting gets installed.  Until then, they have more spackle plops to deal with.

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Had to leave you with a couple of Before and After shots.

Right now I have carpeting over my stairs but these new treads turned out so gorgeous I may have inspired myself to do a project.

Shared at Metamorphosis Monday,

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7 Comments

  • This post felt like an episode of Fixer Upper complete with professional craftsman. Spectacular results. Kudos to your homeowner kids and their awesome concept and execution.

  • Pam says:

    Amazing! I love that kitchen. I watch flip and flop shows all the time and wonder how these folks see that vision. I am a visual person and I have to see it before it is done so I can really SEE it. HAHA….Know what I mean?

    • Joan says:

      I know exactly what you mean. I couldn’t even picture how fantastic the stairs would turn out until after they were installed. I had no idea a product like that even existed.

  • Colleen says:

    Well done! The new stairs and railings look amazing!

  • Elissa Chin says:

    Beautiful job! What color stain was used for the steps?