Thursday, September 14, 2017

How To Repair A Broken Stair Tread!

This post is provided by Jesse Hughes.

Stairway repairs are not a common household chore, but occasionally, a broken tread needs to be dealt with. You can not leave tripping hazards on the stairs and risk someone getting hurt. A tread can be replaced by the average homeowner so this is something you can work on yourself without having to call in a contractor.

Now these instructions are based on the usual wooden steps. If you a more modern staircase, with glass or stainless steel balustrades and treads you will need to take a different approach. 

You should allow for an hour or two for this simple construction job, and it would not take any specialized equipment. 

Secure the area

Make sure that everyone in the house knows that you are working on the stairs, and that they need to stay out of the area. Set a chair or other light obstacle at the top and bottom, so that nobody accidentally forgets and comes running into you as you work. Double-check that you are not stranding someone on the upper floor either. 

Remove the tread

Once you are ready to get started, the first step is to pry off the damaged tread. Be careful not to actually break it apart if you can, because you will be using the tread as a template to measure the new piece of wood. 

Create a new tread

Use the old tread as a guide to make a new one, trying to get the same thickness and type of wood if possible. Whether you use actual stair tread stock or just a plain wooden piece is up to you. Most stairs have a rounded, or "bull-nose" edge to them, which would be easier to replicate if you are working with actual tread board. 

Measure the dimensions, and cut a new tread piece. Sand down so there are no rough edges and you are ready to install it. 

Attach the new piece

Use the old tread as a guide to see where the holes need to go, where the tread was nailed to the stringers (the foundation pieces that are on either side of the stair way). Drill small guide holes in the new piece to match. This will keep the new wood from splitting as you drive in the nails. 

Now you just need to slide the step into place, and nail it in securely. Your step is now repaired and should be fully functional. Depending on the look of your steps, you may need to do some cosmetic touching up as well. Filling and sanding nail holes, staining the wood and possibly adding any trim elements to match the rest of the staircase.

Because an uneven step can be a hazard on the stairs, this is not a repair project you should rush. Allow yourself plenty of time to make accurate measurements and keep a level handy as you attach the new step. 

So next time you step on that cracked or broken stair, do not just overlook it. Get it fixed and keep your stairway safe. 

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