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fishlips

Stairs - Finish Carpentry Question

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We have an open stairway at our cabin that needs a railing system. We plan on using individual metal balusters that will go from the stair tread to the railing. The original plan was to finish the stairs by putting a 1" x 10" pine face board onto the front to hide the stair treads. When I held up the 1x10 faceboard, it just didn't look right. Too much wood and it will end up hiding some of the nice, metal balusters. If I tried to use a 1x8, some of the tread ends would show. Anyone have any ideas (or pictures) on how to best cover up the face of the stairs without closing in the stairs?

th_CIMG3426.jpg

We'll see if this picture link works...otherwise, I'll repost the pic.

Appreciate the input.

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You've got the open stringer type stairway. Problem is you cut your stair treads off too short. They should extend past the stringer and past a finished stringer. You need to add a finished/face stringer and its raise would be cut at a 45. Then the outside edge of your raisers would be cut at a 45. That gives you a nice joint with no end grain showing.

If taking out the carpet and replacing the treads of the correct length is out of the question, then you'll need to get creative. I'll make an other post on that.

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google :stair end caps....it should give you some ideas about what is available... "stairwarehouse" has a picture of endcaps that go over the base tread that you have (probably have to cut the nosing off, flush with the riser). As far as your pine boards.....you will need the 1x10 for width(or 1x12) to cover up the whole rough stair horse. Hold it up there and use a pencil to mark top of the treads, and front of the risers. Will need to cut the angle on the bottom to fit the floor first, then mark as suggested. Now , BEFORE YOU CUT IT.....you have to plan how everything goes together. If you will use an endcap system, such as on that google search, the riser caps are usually 45 degree angles to fit a 45 angle cut on the finished stair horse (1x10). If the endcap riser is 1/2 inch thick, you have to add that distance to your pencil marks made previously, before cutting. As Frank mentioned ,the 45 degree cuts are to eliminate any woodgrain showing. After all that is cut and installed, the tread endcap is installed over the top, butts into the carpet,and hides the 1x10 top cuts (endcap will stick out past the 1x10 on the end AND front). A small trim molding can be installed under the treadcap nosing if necessary. I must point out that this is NOT a "normal DIY type job. You WILL need some skills to pull this off. Good Luck to you.

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A friend of mine had the exact same problem and layout as you at his cabin. He ended ripping a tree of the appropriate size. Stripped all the bark off with a pressure washer, sealed it and installed as his finished skirt. The rails on the stairway and upper landing are also made from trees. Pretty cool looking.

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Guys,

Thanks for the input. I'm starting to get some ideas. Want to avoid tearing out/replacing the treads.

I tried to lookup 'stair end caps' but say a lot of unrelated junk. Soldoncass - can you provide a link that would have a picture?

In reading Soldon's and STension's posts, it sounds like I need some type of tread end cap. I'm envisioning something only as wide as the tread end (about 10"), but it sounds like both of you are talking about something more elaborate (soldon mentions something that butts up to the carpet?).

Not sure if the picture shows this or not as I cannot see bulletin board pictures at work on this HSOforum for some reason, but the stairs have a 3' runner down the center.

Thanks again.

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fishlips,

Not sure I can do a link, but I can give you a direction to go....I looked at 2 sites. stairsuppliesdotcom, and stairwarehousedotcom....look at "false treads"...should be able to see pics (lots of them), all different applications and styles.

Normally the end caps/ false treads are put on first and the carpet installed last.

ps. -Not sure you can get pine risers or tread caps....if you want to stay with that, you may have to make your own.

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Not what you want to hear. In the end it might be cheaper and less work to replace the treads. If you do that DON'T rip the entire tread like you did. The ends should have a return and wrap around the finish stringer. You'll use a router with a radius bit(same bullnose profile at the treads)on the end of the treads.

If this was a home I'd replace the risers and 45 them along with a new 3/4" finish stringer. Since it is a cabin and the finish carpentry skills involved to do that, if I were you I'd leave the risers and use 1/4 plywood for the finish stringer. To hide the ends on the rise use Outside Corner Trim on the rise between the treads. Since plywood is 8' your going to have a joint, hide that joint where tread return is. That would be an acceptably job and the only thing that would catch my eye is, the finish stringer is not flush or thicker then the sheet rock hung to the stringer. Either way, there will be trim where stringer meets sheetrock.

If you do a good job on the finish stringer, trim under the tread where it meets the riser and around finish stringer is optional. If you don't do well on the finish stringer, trim is mandatory.

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