Q: Our house was built in the 60′s and the stairs to the basement are very narrow. We made the problem worse by adding a Berber carpet to them. Should I remove the carpet and add a piece of hardwood to the front edge of each step? My foot is a ladies size 8 and [...]
Q: We just put new maple treads on our staircase. They where walked on before staining, and with the first coat of stain they spotted real bad in the middle where walked on. We are trying to sand it off, but have not had much luck getting deep enough. What might we do to blend [...]
Q: Home Depot sells oak replacement stair kits (treads with a nose and risers). I’m working with stairs to the basement. How does one finish it so that it isn’t dangerously slippery? I think varnish or urethane might make the stairs too slippery. How do I get non slippery hardwood stairs? A: You will probably [...]
Q: I am planning to change the staircase from carpet to wood. I have one side boxed and the other side open with rails. I read in the Q&A that the extra nosing needs to be cut flush with the riser face. How about the extra tread width from the open side that extends beyond [...]
Q: Firstly, thank you so much for such an informative website. I’ve learned more in the last 20 minutes here than the rest of the 3 hours of research combined! I have a question about staircase gaps and gouges. I own a home in the Chicagoland area, built in 1926. All of the flooring is [...]
Q: What is the easiest way to remove white primer off of stair railing? Removing primer from wood? Everyone said to paint them white, but it looks horrible. We want to stain them Red Oak; however, we’re having a problem because the stain looks too dark and doesn’t match the rest of stairs. That’s why [...]
Q: We just removed the carpet from our stairs and are in the process of staining the pine treads to try to match the oak railing and spindles. It doesn’t match. Can we put oak veneer on our stairs? Will it be hard to curve the veneer around the tread? We are also installing a [...]
Q: I want to replace the carpeted areas in my house with hardwood floors to include the stairs. I would prefer not replacing the stairs at what I estimate would be around $100+ per tread/riser. Can I install hardwood flooring on stairs, with matching stair nose pieces? A: Yes, you would need to cut off [...]
Q: We took rugs off our stairs. There are large gaps between the wall molding and steps/risers. Also, the risers aren’t wood, so we will probably paint them the color of the off-white trim. Evidently, the steps never slid into the wall molding like most steps and now my husband wants to put trim on [...]
Q: How do I get old oil based paint off the hardwood stair risers, in the corners where it is caked on? A: If I was refinishing your steps I would use a hand scraper with a double sided blade for removing paint from corners. A razor knife might help too.
Q: I moved into a resale house and noticed that the landing of the stairs (leading to the upper level) is making a creaking sound every time we step on it. I tried pushing talcum powder through the wood strips, but that did not help. How can this be corrected? A: Gain access to the [...]
Q: I recently had a new addition with hardwood stairs going to the second floor. The stairs are oak. We had people come in and sand the stairs and then put poly on them. Then 1/2 of the first step turned black after it was stained. My contractor then sanded it back down to the [...]
How can I tell if the finish on my floor is a water-based or oil-based polyurethane? How can I match the finish for my nosing perfectly with my floor? Which is a better finish water or oil? Can you recommend a finish made by a particular company?
What is the best way to transition from oak top step to carpet? We are replacing the plywood treads with oak treads and repainting the risers. The top of our stairs ends in a hallway covered in
We’re installing laminate flooring upstairs. How do we hide the cuts that are beside the top of the banister (the flat part that is about 5 inches wide and holds the spindles). We started putting the floor down at the wall and are finishing beside the bannister. Do we use a shoe molding? Thanks you for your help.
The steps on my staircase are maple. I have already sanded them and I need to fill some holes and polyurethane them. What should I use?
I just built a new stair case. Is there any thing I can do besides glueing the treads down? (In case I would ever want to remove them.)
I pulled up my carpet on the steps in my split foyer, and I found what looks like plywood. I tried to sand, stain and poly it but I cannot get a smooth finish all over. What can I do to fix this? Also, I would like to take the paint off the hand rails and finish them as well. How do I do this?
I am having laminate installed on my stairs and the stair treads.
I want to re-urethane my hand rail, and I am worried that it will make the rest of the stair case look bad.