Wall to Wall Staircase Installation
Tools and MaterialsTools and Materials
, you need for your hardwood
staircase installation project are:
- You'll need this tool to make templates
of each step - there
is never a perfect square tread. If, you don't own one, you can use construction paper to
make a template of each step. Learn how to make a template on our staircase winder
Don't have this hardwood staircase tool, You can purchase one at The Stair Tool.com
Sliding Miter Saw
- You can sub
this with a jig-saw and belt sander also.
You can rent these installation tools from your local tool rental, If you don't own
- You'll need this tool to make relief cuts
or sometime rip stair
tread width down to size. Stair Treads are mostly sold at 11 1/2" width x 48".
15 Gauge Finish Nailer
- Use a pneumatic finish nailer, if possible, this can be
rented. Otherwise, sub this tool with a power drill and drill. To drill pilot holes, 1/16
drill bit, 16 gauge 2 inch finish nails(galvanize or stainless), and hammer.
- For Scotia moldings, trims and small pieces
- Use a high quality polyurethane glue
. This is what will be
your hardwood staircase tread in place.
- Use either a 12" bullet level or a 24" level.
- These are only around $3.00 a pack
. If you're working
with an old set of hardwood staircase, you'll need a lot.
- You'll need a flat
pry bar and if applicable a pry bar that is of
long length - 36"
. Which will give you more leverage
when removing the
Anvil Plier and Tack nail remover
- Nail set, Blue painter's tape, scribe
r or scribe block, latex wood putty and putty knife.
Hardwood Stair treads
- A standard set will consist of 12 stair treads, 13 risers,
and 1 stair nosing.
- Use a 1/2"x3/4" scotia. This will have a wider front
, which will stand out more than a 3/4"x3/4" scotia. It will add more of an
Let's get started1.Remove carpet and tack strips
. If, the hardwood
's(front piece) are in good shape, then de-nail and prepare
Use an Anvil Plier and tack nail remover
to remove the carpet staples
any unwanted nails
. Use a rolling action, with your anvil pliers, to prevent
Tip: Always, pull staples and nails the same angle it was put in. If, you work against
this angle, it will only make the job tougher
Depending, how the original
hardwood staircase installation was assembled.
It can be either stair treads butted to the riser
or the riser sitting on top
of the staircase tread
. This will determine
whether you start at the top and
work down or vise versa.
In this staircase installation guide
it will be a bottom to top, staircase
Remove the first starting step, use a flat
pry bar and hammer. Take the
hammer and give it a whack on the front edge
, to raise it a little bit.
Once, you've raised
the hardwood staircase treads a little. Use a long pry bar to
finish removing the tread, you'll be able to do this with very little effort
De-nail and clean
your stair tread stringers to make sure, it's
, on the width and length, front to back and side to side
. Use either
your bullet level or a 24" level.
If, the staircase stringers
are not leveled, adjust with shims. Find the
and shim all stringer height to this point.
With your Stair Tool
, make a template
your tread. Adjust
the stair tool tight
to your side boards.
Your stair tool should be touching
the front of the riser and the 2 side
(left and right). Lock
your Stair tool in place, then carefully
Careful not to hit
any other surface, with the stair tool. This will result in an
error and a miss cut
, money out the window .
the stair tool same
way you template
your step, on your replacement hardwood staircase tread.
Choose a good
side to trace your template onto. This will be the top of your stair
tread. Most stair treads are sanded on one side, just look for sanding marks. If, you
purchased reversible hardwood stair tread, choose the best side.
your piece, then put a marking
on the keep side of 1 corner, use the
marking for identification
for when you have to make a re-cut
With the same
template, mark your scotia to length
Using the miter saw
the sides of your
stair tread. Be sure to adjust
the angle of your miter saw to cut your traced
Before you make that cut, make sure
you have the saw blade
correct side of the line
. Otherwise, you'll have a $30.00 mistake
Saw blade should always
be on the waste side
. At this time, cut your
your hardwood staircase tread, before
permanently installing it. Make adjustment
Sometimes it's difficult to make a hairline cut
. Instead use a belt sander
with a coarse grit abrasive, to tweak.
Some side boards
maybe cupped, compensate for the error, leave a little extra.
, then, use the belt sander to sand to
, for your staircase installation.
If, the back of the stair tread
does not rest tight to the face of your
riser, this also should be scribed
Before doing so, check your edge overhang
. Maximum overhang
is 1 1/2",
check with your local building code
on hardwood staircase installation, to find
out actual dimension.
To figure out your overhang dimension
. It should be the width of your
(example: 1/2" x 3/4" scotia, width ='s 1/2") + radius of your front
(3/4" thick tread, radius = 3/8")+1/8" reveal = 1".
Your tolerance for error
should be kept within +/- 1/8"
Generally being said, your staircase installation, overhang can be anywhere from 7/8"
- 1 1/4"
, for a 3/4 thick stair tread.
: Make a depth gauge
out of scrap material. To check your staircase
2 pieces of wood that forms a 90 degree angle with one side measuring the maximum
depth allowed - 1 1/8"
Place it on the front edge
of your hardwood staircase tread. At the correct
, your gauge should touch both the front edge of your stair tread and the front
of your stair riser(below).
scribe and cut
your tread to the proper width.
Your finished stair tread width should be,
the measurement from the front of your starting riser to your second riser + your
: Riser to riser = Tread width(9 1/2" + 1 =10 1/2") Finish width equals 10
Check with your local building code
to find out what minimum and maximum width
requirements allowed. Normal stair tread width are 10 1/2" and 11 1/2". Minimum hardwood
stair tread width is 9".
8. Mark the location of your stringer on your riser
Apply a generous amount of liquid nail
onto the hardwood staircase stringers.
Place the stair tread in place, then install 2 nails per stringer
. Then install
molding, using a brad nailer
to fasten it in place.
: The stair tread
only needs to sit tight
, on your stair
, for your hardwood staircase installation. Gaps
along the front
can be covered
up by your scotia molding
. Consider raising
riser or adding
a filler strip, if the gap is wider
than the width of your
: Do not be concerned with squeaks
at this time. As long as you applied
. When this sets up, it will eliminate your squeaks
9. Repeat, steps 2. through 8.
until you've reached the top.
Cut in your stair nosing and scotia
. The overhang of your stair
should be the same as your stair tread overhang
. Fill your nail holes
then sand and finish
That's all there is to it. If, you have an "easy" button, push it. A wall to
wall hardwood staircase installation is the
easiest to install, of all staircase installation.
G and S woodfloors Lynn,Ma.
You can also pre-finish you stair tread, before starting your staircase
installation. You'll then, be able to use it right away.
You can use this same templating technique, for your stair risers.
Tip: If, your risers have a damaged surface and you are planning to paint
it. An inexpensive fix to your hardwood staircase installation, is to give it a
face lift, by cutting an 1/8 piece hardboard and installingto fit over your
riser, than paint it.
If, you get stuck or may have question
Contact us now! Don't wait, lock up your dates today,
before it's too late!
Do you have a set of hardwood stair winders in your home?
Learn How to construct and install your own hardwood stair tread winders, read our stair winder article.