Q: I am planning to install hardwood floors in my second floor. Currently it is carpeted. The stairs are oak with a carpet runner. The subfloor upstairs is plywood and the height matches the height of the stair nose at the top of the stairs. Once installed, the new hardwood floor would sit 3/4″ – 1″ above the existing stair nose at the top of the stairs. What options do I have to bridge this gap in floor height versus stair height?
We would like to remove the carpet runner if possible. What options do I have in this case? If I keep the carpet runner, can I use a piece of 3/8 reducer at the edge of the stairs and just tuck the carpet and staple it to the top stair nose? Would that be safe? Would it look presentable?
A: Can you cut off (remove) the existing nosing and replace it? Or, can you cut back the lip of that nosing so that it is flush with the riser and then install a new nosing over top of it? In either case you will have to install some sort of trim piece under the nosing to hide the exposed area.
Related Q: Answer from 2007 was a big help! My top stair nose will be removed or cut flush so I can put a taller one on to match height of new floor. The top step will be a full 1/2″ taller (7 1/2″) than the rest (7″). Will that be a tripping hazard given the other 12 steps are exactly the same and 1/2″ shorter”? Great answers! Great site. How long have you been installing wood floors?
A: Thanks. I find it near impossible to believe 1/2″ difference in height would be a tripping hazard. Especially when it is the first or last step, depending whether you are coming up or going down. One might be able to make a case that in the middle of the stair run such a difference could cause a misstep. I’ve been working with wood floors over 40 years. Still learning.