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Stairs – Installing Hardwood

hardwood on stairs 7 Today I am going to show how to install hardwood flooring onto your existing staircase. So you can see up top here, I’ve already done a couple of them, so we’ve used the same flooring that we used in the rest of the home, plus some stair nosing pieces, which is a special piece that is needed to do the very front edge of the stairs, on the upper tread part.

So all the pieces were cut and glued in place. You could nail them if you want, just ends up being a lot of nail holes to fill. I find using construction adhesive works quite well. So the main thing you want to do is get all your pieces cut fit, you could see we’re staying pretty tight, if we can, to the walls, just to make a nice appearance. In the length and the sizes we are dealing with here, you don’t get a lot of expansion and contraction, so we can glue it down tight and make it tight to the walls as best as we can and shouldn’t have any issues.

To start out with, I’ve actually got the pieces all cut, we’re going to do this tread down here. One thing we did have to do, these were existing stairs that have been carpeted before, so the front edge of the tread, the part you walk on, overhung the riser below it, so what we had to do is take a saw and cut these all off, basically flush, near flush, so that this riser part is all straight up. That’s the first kind of thing you need to do.

hardwood on stairs 2After that, just try to keep your work area nice and clean, so you are not getting a bunch of dust or anything underneath it, that is going to add to any kind of creaking, groaning, grinding kind of noises, when you’re walking on the stair, when they’re done. The other thing that I like to do is on my risers, you put the riser parts first, and on the risers I like to start out with a full length piece, one solid piece of the flooring. Then the middle one, I usually put it into two or three different pieces and then I use a solid piece again on the top one.

The reason for that is just to help hold everything together nice and straight, and square and just gives a little more solid finish as well. Same thing on the treads. The nosing- you want a solid piece. The nosing usually come in about eight foot lengths, but that can vary as well. So you cut off the piece you need, the length you need, then I splice together some flooring for the central row and I use a solid strip again on the back row. Again, for the same reason, it just help lock everything together better, I think.

Okay. So we’ve got that. Another helpful thing is when you are cutting all these pieces, is to cut a slight, other than the nosing, cut a slight angle on them, like a back angle, so that the finished face is the longest point and that angle will just give you a little bit of room, I am just going to over-exaggerate, if this was the end of your board, cut in angle, when I swing it in here, you can see the back, it doesn’t make contact with the wall at all, and then the front will make a nice clean contact. It’s just easier to get it in, without marking the walls. Okay.

So we’ll start with that. Like I said, I’ve got things all kind of pre-cut here, where is my riser? So here is my riser piece, they aren’t glued together, you could actually glue this together as a board, sometimes it’s harder to get in that way. This one is just sitting together right now. That angle I was talking about on the end, you really can’t even see it. I only cut usually about two degrees of an angle, so it’s hard to even show you on an actual piece of wood. So you want to slide your piece into place, test fit it first.

You want your riser to be flush to the top of the tread that you’ve already got or really, really close. So we’ve got that all fit, ready to go. So I am just going to move that out of the way, just lay it down, I get it down out of the way for right now and I am going to use some construction adhesive on that face there and then reapply the riser board that we need up. So I am being generous, I want to make sure it sticks on there well. So we’ll just install this again.

Push it all in nice and tight to that adhesive, most of the adhesives suggests pulling it away a little bit, so that it just gives it a chance to flush off some of the solvent material that is in it. So you can see that, give it a minute or so, then just push it all back in there nice and tight, make sure is down where you want it and that’s all there is to that part. Okay. So there is our riser. Now here is our nosing piece that goes on here, so what’s going to happen is, if this was representing our riser, our riser is sitting under there, something like that, on the end.

More to follow in Part 2.

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