Installing Tile on wood stair risers – I am interested in installing some ceramic tiles on staircase risers. Stair gauges are little clamps that you tighten onto the square at the proper rise (vertical stair height) and run (horizontal tread depth) for exactly duplicating each step as you draw it onto the stringers (Photo 2). The gauges save time and ensure that all the steps are consistent. I subtract one to get the number of treads (unless the top tread is an extension of the deck surface, there is always one less tread than there are risers).
The third way (and I think this is by far an away the best way) would be to build the stairs as a unit, that way the skirt board is an integral part of the stair unit and then install that unit as an assembly. If the top-front corners of all the stair treads were connected with an imaginary line, this would be called the Nose Line. Figure 7. The author makes the plumb head cut and level foot cut first, then positions the stringer between the deck and the landing to double-check the fit before notching for treads and risers.
This is basically the part of the stairs that you are actually stepping on. To install them, spread over three beads of wood glue towards the subfloor while making sure that you do not end up putting anything on the space right at the edge that will be covered by the nosing at a later time. Or… use the riser height of the pre-cut stair treads, otherwise use a good starting number like 7 inches.
The rough stringers were cut and installed from sub-floor to landing, and, after the fact, over an inch of Gyp-Crete was installed on the first floor, with a thin laminate on the landings. The default stair riser factor is 7 1/2 inches, but that’s easily adjusted to the IRC limit of 7 3/4 inches or whatever your code permits. Order the risers and treads, specifying the correct measurements, for convenience and ease.
If I were in your situation and this is a one time event rather than learning how to scribe skirt boards I’d probably install the skirt first and then butt the treads to it. The treads will not shrink enough in the length direction to make a difference. Oh and as for the contractor thinking it’s a pain- the slate tile risers I mentioned were installed by the homeowner!!
I also believe to achieve a high level of craft on the new stair it will have to undergo some thorough detailing; you can’t just hand a contractor a sketch of that one. Most deck stairways have open steps with treads only; boxed steps have horizontal treads plus vertical risers (also known as toe-kicks). When purchasing your laminate flooring you will need to purchase stair nose moldings also to have an over hang with the laminate. If I am at the desk in the den, it is a beautiful blend of stained wood nestled between white bookends! The next step necessary to replace stair risers is to remove the existing ones.
I mention in the article that when you set the nail in the oak stick for the rise and the run to set it just a little bit bigger. If ceramic tile or similar material is to be used it must be figured into the rise. Using a table saw, we rip the riser to the required height and then dry fit it. Now with the riser in place but not secured, we check our front-to-back depth for the stair tread. I would really like to learn more about the technique of routing in treads and risers.
You could fill the holes and sand and stain, and then poly… we just went a different , just so you know, I am happy to say that when I knocked our packing tape roller off the ledge upstairs and it gouged out a 1 inch long hole into one of our stair tread just the other day, well you can’t even tell it happened! I’m embarking on the same stair journey (with help from my Dad), and I was wondering if any glue was used to adhere the treads.
Those nail guns were so fast and made this job a breeze to do. I helped with cutting the strips for our risers and nailed in all the nails. Your older house lucked out in that you could easily remove the treads and risers from the top side as your stairs were built with an open stringer style construction and they were site built as well. The risers didn’t have to be a perfect fit, once the 1” stairs went into place, it was a great look. Adding a layer of plywood to the risers may allow you to forgo the step of cutting off the overhang of the stair treads.
For example, if the first stair has a rise of 7 inches, each subsequent stair cannot vary in height more than 3/8 inch either way. Maybe if the tile risers come in too expensive I can swing the flooring out of the job to save money elsewhere! There are two types of risers: closed risers (where the back vertical portion of the step is solid) and open risers (where the back vertical portion of the step is open).
Rather than struggle eyeballing the alignment, though, I gave up stair nuts years ago in favor of a straight 1×2 fastened to a square at the pitch of the stair. Check Point – The area of the deck where the stairs connect must be reinforced to handle the weight from the stairs. Test each piece by dry fitting and then use construction adhesive and finish nails to install the new riser. Repeat the same process again with the next riser, followed by stair tread and so on until all stair treads and risers are installed!
Fitting the tread under the riser allows one to see this gap(shrinkage or seasonal movement) when viewing the stair from below..which is where most people will be viewing the stairs…..not very sitely in my opinion. You should also sweep away any sawdust and peel off any remaining tape from the stair nosing. The bottom stair is 1” higher off the floor and the top stair is 1” shorter up to floor level when going up. The other stairs are the same distance apart like the originals. Here the author installs ripped blocks beneath the tread above, leaving partially open risers.
If the wood does not match the tread or you are seeking to create a contrasting designing, the risers can be stained or painted at this stage and left to dry before proceeding. Also, I could use a ballpark estimate of the hours needed to install the hand railing for this stair. Deck screws to fasten the skirts and treads to the stringers and the skirts to the deck. You will notice that I used a strip of kraft paper to help protect the stair treads. The risers were simple, because both the top and bottom cut are covered by the risers, so no pressure there.
Even though we were screwing the risers and treads in, we wanted the extra glue support. I’m attaching some pics of what the stairs and entry way looked like before and after the removal of carpet and tile. We called our contact and found out we would have to spend enough for about six more hours on extra labor to help us cut and install the risers. This will allow our treads to be installed hassle free and ensure that our new retro treads and risers sit squarely on sub tread below. So when they replaced carpet in the rest of the house, they asked the carpet company to install a mushroom-colored runner that let the dark, espresso steps peek out the sides.
Obviously, the first step is to asses the number of risers and treads you need, record the measurements of your existing treads and risers, select your wood species and order your materials to suit. On an existing set of stairs I woould still install the treads and risers first and scribe the skirts over top of them. Apply wood glue to the stair frame where you’re attaching your replacement riser. At Williamson Free School in PA, I learned how to install the finish treads and risers and then scribe the skirt over them.