View Full Version : Treads on stairs
12-07-2000, 04:02 PM
I'm about to install new oak treads on a new staircase that's enclosed. Code says the distance between the top of one tread and the bottom of the next one has to be a certain length apart. In measuring, I've found the distance to vary. If I wanted to remove some of the wood off the beams the treads sit on, what tool should I use? Also, if I wanted to add to the beams, what should I use?
12-07-2000, 04:34 PM
You didn’t give us enough to work with on this question, but I will try to answer. I assume that you are rebuilding an existing stair. You might not need to make adjustments for “code” if this is in your home and you are not involved with building permits and inspections. The reason for the code is good. People expect the rise of each stair to be the same and if it isn’t then they have an increased chance of a trip.
Now how much is it off, an inch difference I would fix it no mater what, a 1/16 I might not do anything. But you have stair supports that might need to have material added or removed. To remove the excess material I would use a block plane that is very sharp and set for small cuts. It will not take as long as you might think to take off the amount you need, (I assume here the amount is not an inch). As far as adding to the support, that depends on how much you have to add. I would use a good grade of plywood say 1/8 inch and add as many layers any required. Glue with a waterproof glue to the support and to each other.
Give us more data and someone out there will be able to give you the best solution.
12-07-2000, 09:24 PM
Yes I am building an existing temporary staircase (put in by the builder of my house) which was originally built for carpet and we decided to do oak treads instaed. You have given me enough info to get started and thanks.
01-08-2012, 11:22 PM
Another thing to keep in mind is that code allows for up to a 3/8" maximum difference between the tallest and shortest rise.
01-09-2012, 07:39 AM
also, be advised that this was originally built as a temporary staircase, the geometry might not be up to code. It might not have been built as sturdy as a permanent staircase. Here is an abstract for the 2009 residential building code
"stairs must be at least 36 inches wide above the handrail(s) and below the head height requirement. A height if at least 6’-8” is required above the nosing of each tread. The vertical rise of each step shall be no more than 7.75” high and all risers shall be within 3/8” of each other. The tread depth is also a critical dimension. The tread depth is the part where the foot rests on the stair and is measured from nose-to-nose. The nose of a stair is the foremost projection of a tread. This measurement must be at least 10” and cannot vary more than 3/8” in any run of stairs. A tread nosing must be between ¾” and 1.25” on a stair with a closed riser."
Although, this goes out the window if you do not plan on pulling a permit. I would not vary too much though, as mentioned above, there is a tripping hazard if things are too far off the norm
01-10-2012, 11:36 AM
Junebug - good info, but be aware that the previous poster was responding to a twelve year old posting. A sure sign of a spammer.
01-11-2012, 07:54 AM
oops, I rarely look at the dates of the posts.