Author Topic: Capping old stairs, a few questions  (Read 2097 times)

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Offline 416FF

  • Posts: 10
Capping old stairs, a few questions
« on: June 30, 2018, 07:34 PM »
Hi everyone,


  My good friend has asked for some help in cladding/capping his stair treads, risers and installing new skirtboards and railing.  Now I've capped a number of risers and treads in the past with no problems, I've never had to install a skirt board after the stair stringers have been installed.  So the drywall was done by the previous homeowner, and he buried the stringer on the wall side in drywall, which almost makes this easier as the entire length of the stringer is flush with drywall, making capping it with a skirtboard easier.  I'm just curious what you would do in this situation (see pictures), I'm trying to hide the horrendous drywall patching job as you can see, I'm just worried that the right skirtboard that runs on the wall will be wider than the skirtboard on the open end, unless I make them the same, and add some additional material on the open end, prior to adding the railing.


I'm just looking for any advice on how a seasoned stair guy would tackle this project, he's buying plywood maple treads and risers, and I'll have to build some larger treads for the winding stairs.


Thanks for any help, it is much appreciated!

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Offline Naildrivingman

  • Posts: 491
Re: Capping old stairs, a few questions
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2018, 10:25 PM »
Your post starts off suggesting that you will laminate new treads over the old, is that correct?  Or, are you removing the old and installing new treads?

My advice would be to remove the old treads, make a template and go.  if you don't remove the treads at least remove the nosing of the tread.  If you are laminating over the existing tread, check the measurements of the stair to make sure you don't end up with a rise that is too tall at the bottom of the stair.  Also, you may have to do some sort of transition from the finished floor to the top tread.
Dance with who brung ya...

Offline 416FF

  • Posts: 10
Re: Capping old stairs, a few questions
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2018, 05:27 AM »
Sorry I left out some details.  Yes I will be removing the nosings on the tread, the bottom stair height is a good bit shorter than the rest of them, adding the tread will help that one out.  I’ll have to see exactly how the stairs are built but I believe they’re housed stringers so simply capping them seems like the easiest way to go.

Thanks for the reply!

Offline JimD

  • Posts: 375
Re: Capping old stairs, a few questions
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2018, 12:49 PM »
I did something like that 2 houses ago.  We had carpeted stairs and the carpet was worn out.  The treads were 2X construction lumber.  Risers were low grade 1/2 plywood.  The skirt board was high enough I did not need to mess with it.  I bought 3/8 thick solid oak flooring to cover the softwood treads after cutting off the nosing of the softwood tread.  I made oak nosing pieces with a groove to mate with the tongue of the flooring and fastened it with big finish nails and construction glue.  I put a cove molding below the nosing on the riser to hide the joint and help a little with support.  I filled the plywood risers and painted them white.  We liked it as did the new owners.  I put the same flooring in the hallway at the top of the stairs.