Q: On replacing solid slab (oak) treads over existing pine (construction grade) treads to the basement, I wanted to match the look of our upstairs (oak treads) added over the original treads. Judging by the previous work, it doesn’t look like they cut back the previous bull nose or rounded front edge and just shimmed-out the risers.
I guess my question is, do you always need to cut back the original overhang nose? Is that still true if the tread is rabbeted or recessed into the end stringers?
A: I would say You always have to cut back the overhanging lip on the existing tread. Otherwise, you have to tack on some cheap looking strip to hide what you haven’t done. I have never seen a real staircase where the treads were not recessed into and supported in that way by the stringers.