Author Topic: Open Staircase Idea - Input Appreciated  (Read 1275 times)

couponvan

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2889
  • Location: Illinois
    • My journal
Open Staircase Idea - Input Appreciated
« on: May 21, 2017, 08:41:34 AM »
Basement Stair Construction Musing.....

I've been looking at 4"X10" by 10' pine beams as a possibility for replacing carpet covered stair treads on my open basement steps.  Pic attached of the open staircase and landing at the bottom of the open staircase. The carpet has been removed on 4 of the 8 stair treads and the landing before we gave up since there were a million staples in the carpet and underneath it's just 2X10 pressure treated lumber. Now it just looks really bad.  The basement has been entirely gutted because of a water leak to the right of the stairs....So it is down to concrete walls and being rebuilt.

I like the rustic wood look, and while there is a ton of wood going on upstairs in my house, downstairs there will be very little wood (basement is currently gutted).  This might tie the two spaces together.  Before they had ugly brown shaggyish carpet on them.  There is a landing that is 43" X 63" I need to do as well, and that would be the tricky part because I think I need to use 7 boards for it, and gluing them together could be a challenge.

The width of each step is 38' (top 8) and 43' (bottom 2 and landing 7).  The widths mean you can't use standard 36" stair treads, which are only 1" thick and I really don't think were meant to be used on open staircases. You'd have to use 48" wide treads and cut each tread down, which isn't impossible or anything.  But since I'd have to cut those down anyway, why not cut pine beams?

To buy 4" thick wood stair treads all finished is over $100 per tread.  Ouch. To buy the wood beams and cut your own stairs is around $40 per 10' beam if I'm pricing things out correctly for white pine beams. I haven't priced shipping yet....That might make this whole idea moot. 

Yes pine is soft, but this will be lightly used and there is pine everywhere else in the house.  Plus I don't care if it gets scuffed up - rustic is good.

38"+38"+43" equals 119", which is just 1" shy of a 120" length of 10'.  So I should be able to get 3 steps out of each beam, even if I had to cut 1/2" off each end (which I'm hoping I don't have to do). I'm pretty sure this staircase ended up designed the way it is simply because this was the easiest way for the guy building it to do it since it turned out with these dimensions.  I figure I need 17 pieces so I need 5 10' beams and 1 12' beam. If one of the cuts goes wrong I have no spare. 

That sounds risky. Maybe I should buy 2 extra beams and use them for a ceiling or something else in the basement if nothing goes wrong.

Also - For a railing, we're planning on changing to cable rails.
Why the hell are we going shopping? Buy sh*t, return other sh*t, go through sh*t and donate sh*t. Complain about having too much sh*t. Repeat. (Bracken Joy 2/17)




Papa bear

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 510
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Open Staircase Idea - Input Appreciated
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2017, 03:01:22 PM »
So you're thinking about 4" x 10" stair treads? You probably would be fine with your regular 5/4 (1" true size) tread here...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5759
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Open Staircase Idea - Input Appreciated
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2017, 06:47:31 AM »
Are you planning on slotting the bottom of your tread for the riser?  If not, think about what adding 2 inches to tread height is going to do for your stair geometry.   You don't want to spend a bunch on your treads only to have one gigantic step at the bottom and one tiny step at the top.
Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

Fishindude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1463
Re: Open Staircase Idea - Input Appreciated
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2017, 06:54:14 AM »
Note that if you change the thickness of the treads to something thicker, you will also have to change out the risers or the top step will be  a short one and bottom step will be a tall one, not good.

sokoloff

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 580
Re: Open Staircase Idea - Input Appreciated
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2017, 07:15:06 AM »
I'd cut a third, center stringer and then use traditional stair treads. Asking the treads to span 30+" is your problem and the open look just isn't worth that (IMO). With a third stringer, the treads are only spanning ~16" and a normal tread will be fine.

For the landing, go to a woodworking store and see what they have in Baltic Birch, Okoume, or similar plywood and consider using that on top of the structural elements for the landing. I agree that you don't want to be side-laminating several boards together as a hobbyist woodworker (which is even one grade above my own experience level).

couponvan

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2889
  • Location: Illinois
    • My journal
Re: Open Staircase Idea - Input Appreciated
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2017, 10:12:50 AM »
So you're thinking about 4" x 10" stair treads? You probably would be fine with your regular 5/4 (1" true size) tread here...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I was trying to avoid having a height difference by using the 4"X10" (3 1/2") treads for the stair geometry because the current version height with the carpet pad and shaggy carpet is 3 1/2" from the stringers.  If I go with a 1" normal tread, it would be a long first step....We took the carpet off the top step and it feels long on just the 2X4 alone.

Are you planning on slotting the bottom of your tread for the riser?  If not, think about what adding 2 inches to tread height is going to do for your stair geometry.   You don't want to spend a bunch on your treads only to have one gigantic step at the bottom and one tiny step at the top.
No - we weren't planning on slotting because of the carpeted stairs already being 3 1/2" high.  I'm actually trying to avoid that very problem. If I used regular treads, I was thinking I'd have to glue 2 together at a minimum to get the height I need.

Note that if you change the thickness of the treads to something thicker, you will also have to change out the risers or the top step will be  a short one and bottom step will be a tall one, not good.

Noted. I don't want to change out the risers for sure!

I'd cut a third, center stringer and then use traditional stair treads. Asking the treads to span 30+" is your problem and the open look just isn't worth that (IMO). With a third stringer, the treads are only spanning ~16" and a normal tread will be fine.

For the landing, go to a woodworking store and see what they have in Baltic Birch, Okoume, or similar plywood and consider using that on top of the structural elements for the landing. I agree that you don't want to be side-laminating several boards together as a hobbyist woodworker (which is even one grade above my own experience level).
If I cut a 3rd stringer, I'll have to stain it and then the stains won't match exactly - and it will bug the heck out of me.  I think the normal treads would be too thin. 

For the landing I could probably get away with using 2X10"s on top of the current 2X10"s that are currently there to replace the height of the pad and carpet.  The pad is seriously thick - and so is the shaggy carpet. I don't know if the pictures show that. (This place is the 1970's at their finest)

I think what I should do is test my plan before spending a chunk of $ on 4" pine is to putting some 2X10 cheapo boards on top of the current boards that have no carpet on them and see how it feels/measures.  I could also test the geometry with a couple 4X4 scrap pieces we already have lying around if I remove the current boards. For a couple weeks, I think it would be OK to have 4X8" steps - no one is really using them anyway right now since the basement is gutted.
Why the hell are we going shopping? Buy sh*t, return other sh*t, go through sh*t and donate sh*t. Complain about having too much sh*t. Repeat. (Bracken Joy 2/17)




couponvan

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2889
  • Location: Illinois
    • My journal
Re: Open Staircase Idea - Input Appreciated
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2017, 05:04:00 PM »
I wanted to post an update since it has been awhile - 4" steps would have made you hit your head on the bottom step if you were 6' tall, so we kept the boards the same dimensions. This past week we redid the upper open treads and it turned out better than I had hoped. For your viewing pleasure is the DIY open staircase piece. We still have the lower landing steps to finish and a handrail to decide on.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2017, 06:35:41 AM by couponvan »
Why the hell are we going shopping? Buy sh*t, return other sh*t, go through sh*t and donate sh*t. Complain about having too much sh*t. Repeat. (Bracken Joy 2/17)




sequoia

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 297
Re: Open Staircase Idea - Input Appreciated
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2017, 04:54:13 PM »
Wow that looks good!

CowboyAndIndian

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 966
  • Location: NJ, USA
    • KOWines: Deep discount wine/spirits store.
Re: Open Staircase Idea - Input Appreciated
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2017, 10:39:18 AM »
Looks really good.

Need a picture after the cable rails go up.