Carpeted plywood stairs to hardwood

nutbunchSeptember 1, 2008

We have old carpet and we want to change it out to laminate (downstairs -slab foundation) and hardwood upstairs. This means the stairs need to be dones as well.

Here's what they look like

1. Do I need a permit as the only thing under the carpet is plywood.

2. Is there any cheaper way than to by treads at the lumber mill ($55 dollars each) step. I wouldn't mind hardwood or laminate on the stairs.

3. The pie-shapped steps are difficult, how to size them correctly and will more than one strip of wood be required?

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snoonyb

The mfg. of the laminate probably makes a tred nosing to address this situation.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 8:55AM
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randymeyer

I would suggest doing the sides of the steps in hardwood. Forget the laminate and install a carpeted runner down the middle. You do not want to come down shiny wood stairs in the morning with socks on. Makes for a great way to die.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 10:42AM
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western_pa_luann

"You do not want to come down shiny wood stairs in the morning with socks on. Makes for a great way to die."

Ignore this sensationalism....

We have had far LESS slippage on our hardwood stairs than we did when they were carpeted. Wood makes for a firmer footing.

The only thing that was bad for a short while was the noise... but we all got used to that.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 3:53PM
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ci_lantro

We have had far LESS slippage on our hardwood stairs than we did when they were carpeted. Wood makes for a firmer footing.

Yes, it does. I live in a split level--had plush carpet on the three steps connecting levels. I skidded down those carpeted stairs several times before I ripped the carpet off (several years ago) and finished the oak treads that were underneath. Not one skid since!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 8:34AM
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ci_lantro

Lumber Liquidators had red oak treads for around $30 each.

StairpartsUSA has red & white oak treads for less than $8 per foot.

Oak Treads

Here is a link that might be useful: Lumber Liquidators

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 8:43AM
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oruboris

So is there a special product for use on hardwood treads to make them less slick, or will any floor finish do?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 1:57PM
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western_pa_luann

Mine are gloss poly'd red oak.... nothing special.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 6:03PM
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weedyacres

The slipperiness factor probably depends a lot on what you've got on your feet. I'd expect shoes with smooth soles to slip more on carpet and feet with socks to slip more on hardwood.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 6:43PM
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ci_lantro

I used an oil finish on my stairs. I wanted something easily renewable because the stairs are next to the backdoor where we let the dogs in. Lots of mud, sand, snow, rainwet feet, etc.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 8:53AM
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oruboris

Being able to refresh the finish makes a lot of sense for stairs.

I'm paying $40 for 48 inch oak treads, and really don't want to cover them with a carpet runner for wear and slip issues if I don't have to.

So I'm thinking I'll live with them nekkid for a while, see how that goes.

But I want to stack the odds in my favor. I'd like to stain them with my custom color, but some finish over that.

Does waterlox go over stains, or would I use a tung oil product?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 12:07AM
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ci_lantro

Courtesy of another GW'er, I've found another source for hardwood stair treads at a much more reasonable price.

Orubuis--I don't remember the specific product that I used on my stairs but it was some kind of penetrating tung oil. Wasn't Waterlox because I haven't used Waterlox yet. But Waterlox can go over stained wood--that much I know. Just be sure it's an oil-based stain.

Another factor with wooden stairs is the noise issue. For that reason you may want a runner. My stairs are back stairs & get tons of abuse. So, yes, they have scratches. But the finish isn't worn thru, chipped, peeling, etc., all the things that can happen to film forming finishes like varnish, poly, etc. And they're easy to sweep down and clean with just a swipe of a rag vs hauling out a vacuum and living with the plain nastiness of carpet, esp. with the location & use of my back stairs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hardwood Lumber (stair treads)

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 8:37AM
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