Author Topic: Looking to replace carpeted stairs with not carpet. Ideas on what to use?  (Read 518 times)

Bobberth

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My wife wants to remove the carpet from our stairs and second floor hallway and replace with something else besides carpet. Our house was built in 1998 so I'm assuming there is either dimensional pine or plywood under the carpet on the stairs. How can we recover the stairs? We're open to most flooring except tile. Are we limited to the type of flooring that sells specific stair parts/kits or is there a way to pull it off with any laminate/engineered flooring? The second floor won't be a problem to do with what ever we choose, but I don't even know where to start with the stairs.

nereo

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step 1 is to find out what's actually under your carpet.  There's a decent chance the treads will be solid wood (likely pine - though you could get lucky) and the risers either hardwood or plywood. Either way, depending on how it looks to you, you can either sand and stain the wood, or you can prime and paint.
It's not particularly difficult, just labor intensive... and you can't use your stairs while you are staining/priming/painting, so plan ahead.  Painted stairs also need several days to properly cure when you need to be super careful walking on it (no shoes, no pets with claws!)

If you want really want hardwood stairs you'll be pulling off whatever is there and replacing both the treads and the risers.  This can get pricy very quickly; $1,000 or more just for the materials.

Papa bear

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step 1 is to find out what's actually under your carpet.  There's a decent chance the treads will be solid wood (likely pine - though you could get lucky) and the risers either hardwood or plywood. Either way, depending on how it looks to you, you can either sand and stain the wood, or you can prime and paint.
It's not particularly difficult, just labor intensive... and you can't use your stairs while you are staining/priming/painting, so plan ahead.  Painted stairs also need several days to properly cure when you need to be super careful walking on it (no shoes, no pets with claws!)

If you want really want hardwood stairs you'll be pulling off whatever is there and replacing both the treads and the risers.  This can get pricy very quickly; $1,000 or more just for the materials.

This.


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Car Jack

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If you want really want hardwood stairs you'll be pulling off whatever is there and replacing both the treads and the risers.  This can get pricy very quickly; $1,000 or more just for the materials.

It's not that expensive.  Some years ago, my company was having a week long shut down.  I bought oak treads and over the week break, removed only the treads and replaced with oak.  The stairs were directly over the basement stairs, so I had complete access underneath, making things easier.  In that week, I completed this and painted the risers.  I don't think I spent even $500 including all materials and a new Milwaukee Sawzall.

nereo

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If you want really want hardwood stairs you'll be pulling off whatever is there and replacing both the treads and the risers.  This can get pricy very quickly; $1,000 or more just for the materials.

It's not that expensive.  Some years ago, my company was having a week long shut down.  I bought oak treads and over the week break, removed only the treads and replaced with oak.  The stairs were directly over the basement stairs, so I had complete access underneath, making things easier.  In that week, I completed this and painted the risers.  I don't think I spent even $500 including all materials and a new Milwaukee Sawzall.

Good to know!  I just remember when my dad replaced his stairs the material bill wasn't cheap, though there was something like 16 treads, and they were wider than normal, and IIRC he went with slightly thicker than the cheaper stock.  Looking at HD it looks like you can buy oak treads for under $30 a pop now.

Sibley

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Be aware of possibility of slipping and falls. Carpet can be really good for that reason.

Home Stretch

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Be aware of possibility of slipping and falls. Carpet can be really good for that reason.

When we moved into our house the stairs were painted with semi-gloss white paint (!). It was super slippery/not safe at all.

Ended up finding some purpose-made matte brown floor paint that has a good amount of grip to it when underfoot and it has been perfect. No slips in 5+ years! Also the brown treads on the white risers make for a nice look, IMO.

Sibley

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Be aware of possibility of slipping and falls. Carpet can be really good for that reason.

When we moved into our house the stairs were painted with semi-gloss white paint (!). It was super slippery/not safe at all.

Ended up finding some purpose-made matte brown floor paint that has a good amount of grip to it when underfoot and it has been perfect. No slips in 5+ years! Also the brown treads on the white risers make for a nice look, IMO.

Yep. The wrong paint can be disastrous.

The angle/whatever it's called can also play a huge part. Especially in older homes, you can end up with stairs that are steeper than standard now, which ends up being a huge fall risk. If that's the case, carpet/paint/stain can pretty dramatically impact outcomes.

Miss Tash

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When I wanted to replace my carpeted stairs I used a product called Retreads.  http://www.stairtek.com/index.php?view=retread
I did it because when I pulled off the carpet the treads were made of particle board.  I replaced the risers and painted them, too.   It was pretty easy to do.  I have a good quality miter saw (chop saw) which was essential.  As I kept the existing stringer boards on both sides of the treads, I had to fit each tread into the space and they weren't all exactly the same.  I left the treads oak and painted the risers and stringers white.  Came out great but was a long weekend project.