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Laying hardwood flooring on stair treads???

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Bluekingfisher

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Morning Fellahs,

As part of my seemigly endless home remodeling, SWMBO has asked if I could lay a hardwood floor on our stair treads to match the floor in the entrance hall

We have a spiral staircase, doubling back 180 degrees from top to bottom. This is not a problem initself (few more angles to consider and cut) but the treads are MDF with a bullnose front edge protruding over the riser by about 3/4". The floor planks are 3" x 3/4"

Does anyone know how I would have to approach this job? do I rout off the bullnose flush with the riser and then edge band the routed edge (not my first choice bearing in mind the dust produced by this method)...... or do I have to double up and glue two flooring planks to create an inch and a half blank/plank then rout a cove on the back edge to cap over the bullnose on the tread?

I have seen what looks like a cap peice in an office building staircase but decided not to get down on my hands and knees to investigate further at the time.

Do flooring manufacturers generally provide a cap peice for this purpose? just haven't come across them at all

Just one of those jobs where I can't see the wood for the trees (pun intended)

Any help much appreciated.

David
 

Dee J

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There are commercial products that provide such a solution - a combined tread cover with an inbuilt nosing cover. But theyre not cheap eg: http://www.oak-stairparts.co.uk/Oak-Sta ... Tread-Pack http://www.oak-stairparts.co.uk/Oak-Sta ... ding-Tread. But any solution that starts with adding a 3/4" board to the top of the tread is going to invole a lot of work to get the detail right - and will probably result in heavy-looking treads. I suspect the commercial cladding is thinner engineered board.

Dee
 

BigShot

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If it's a spiral staircase there is likely a way to remove the existing treads and replace them with the hardwood of your choice.
If it's a double winder rather than a spiral that may not be so easy... though maybe still doable if you're dead keen.
 

jimi43

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BigShot":fi5mofif said:
If it's a spiral staircase there is likely a way to remove the existing treads and replace them with the hardwood of your choice.
If it's a double winder rather than a spiral that may not be so easy... though maybe still doable if you're dead keen.
You beat me to it.

Jim
 

twothumbs

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If you do cover the treads make sure you end up with the an identical rise particulary at top and bottom, otherwise you may be tripping up over the odd one. Often a problem but not always realised by those who constantly catch their foot on a tread.
 

BigShot

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It should be noted that I'm the sort who happily pulls things apart and puts them back together because I think I can repair them or because I see that each step is fairly straightforward even if the job itself is a nightmare...
...I have a feeling I'm addressing my peers on that one, but I mention it because I realise the brevity of my previous post may make it seem a much simpler job than it is. :p


twothumbs - I'm led to believe that if a flight is to have an unequal tread rise, it's best that it's the bottom step and only off by a few mm. The reasoning escapes me - probably something to do with how our steps differ at the top, middle and bottom of a flight - but the tip itself stuck. Unless the landing is to have hardwood flooring too that may be difficult to achieve, and in fact would probably give the opposite (equal rises all the way up, with a short rise at the top).
 

Digit

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I'm with Bigshot, change 'em, apart from anything else if I have visualised the staircase accurately the underside of the original treads would still visibly be MDF.

Roy.
 

Bluekingfisher

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It seems there is a bit of science involved in this job?? I must admit to not being fully understanding of the issue with equal rising??

The stairs currently exist, I think a double winder rather than a spiral (my lack of technical knowledge on stair construction) Any way they are original to the house rather than a leter retro fit. Currently they are covered with carpet and ahbe not experienced any issue with tripping due to tread variances,(if any) The flooring is 3/4" thick Birch of varying lenghts but with the same thickness ( I have already covered some rooms with it) so not sure why there would be any tripping issues??

I suspect the job may now be a non starter, purely because of the chunky effect due to what would be a 1-1/2" thick tread. In addition because the tread are not all the same size (width) or shape, lifting the tread to install the planking as the sole means of providing a tread may also make the job very difficult, if not impossible. The only other way to do it would be to thickness down all the planks which could prove to be a lenghty job.

SWMBO may have to settle for carpet.
 

Bluekingfisher

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I think I may have confused matters. The staircase is not an open tread spiral, rather as someone mentioned a double winder, ie a traditional staircase turning 180 degrees on itself. So as you reach the top you are directly above the ground floor first stair tread, albeit a fraction to the right. I hope this is clearer??
 

9fingers

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I would be concerned about building out the nose of the tread with a built up strip as many people do not walk up stairs properly but instead put much of their weight on the nose of the tread instead.

Bob
 

AndyT

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I did a similar job on our basement stairs. I was using Kahr's engineered flooring which has a 12mm softwood backing with a 6mm layer of oak on top. For each step I cut a tread of suitable size, routed away the softwood at the front edge, going back 18mm. I then cut a square edged 50mm strip of the same flooring and glued it into the rebate formed on the tread. When the glue was dry I rounded over the square edge. This made an acceptable (though squarish) nosing. I covered the risers with pieces of matching thin ply.



The old stairs were very worn, so I had to pack them up here and there with offcuts, but the main work of holding it all in place was done with Gripfill. I was careful to put plenty along the edge, because of the extra load on the edge as mentioned by Bob. I didn't cut the existing nosings off, so as not to interfere with the tongue and groove joints between risers and treads on the existing stairs.



I didn't have any problem with the new treads being 18mm higher than the old and making a big first step, as the newly tiled floor was higher than the floor it replaced - your job may be harder.

This was all in 2006 and has survived with no problems whatsoever.
 

Tierney

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I've just been pondering the same thing in my house. My hall has 7mm parquet (original 1920's) laid over the floorboard and I was thinking of carrying the same thing up the stairs and into the landing; which, would avoid the uneven step issue. I've got some spare oak, bandsaw and thicknesser, so why not use my tools rather than just collect them!

I would worry about the extra weight of 3/4" or 18mm normal wood.

Bob(9fingers),

I like the idea of putting a cove on the back of a strip of matching wood and a bullnose on the front. Surely, if this was kept to a minimal thickness and had a good glue joint, then it wouldn't be an issue?

DT
 

9fingers

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Tierney":2j5icidd said:
Bob(9fingers),

I like the idea of putting a cove on the back of a strip of matching wood and a bullnose on the front. Surely, if this was kept to a minimal thickness and had a good glue joint, then it wouldn't be an issue?

DT
I don't think it would be a good glue joint onto the edge of MDF and difficult to get even clamping pressure across the full width of the nosing.
However I've not tried it so it might be OK. I'd rather play safe with stairs though.

Bob
 

Tierney

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9fingers":bdc64d0t said:
Tierney":bdc64d0t said:
Bob(9fingers),

I like the idea of putting a cove on the back of a strip of matching wood and a bullnose on the front. Surely, if this was kept to a minimal thickness and had a good glue joint, then it wouldn't be an issue?

DT
I don't think it would be a good glue joint onto the edge of MDF and difficult to get even clamping pressure across the full width of the nosing.
However I've not tried it so it might be OK. I'd rather play safe with stairs though.

Bob
Thanks Bob, apologies, I had started to hijack the thread and was thinking of my own real-wood stairs. Good point about clamping pressure. I agree with you that I wouldn't rely on gluing to MDF.

DT
 

AndyT

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With the method I used, you join the nosing to the tread, then wrap it around what is there. So the joint which needs to be strong is made between one piece of new straight wood and another. Glueing to the edge of the existing stair is not structurally important. I didn't take pictures of this when I did it, but I did the assembly in situ, clamping the nosing on with three or four small G-cramps. I used PVA on those joints, which needed to close up tight. Assembling each one in situ made it easier to get the new wood the right width to fit across the gaps between the strings. I measured and fitted each one individually as the old stairs are not quite uniform - no surprises there!
 
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