Can we stain and polyurethane stairs before installation?

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: We are installing hardwood stairs. Can we stain and polyurethane before installation, or should we do the polyurethane after the install?

A: Are these slabs you are installing? I don’t think it makes much difference, either way. They will have to be cut to fit. You could stain and finish them and if they should get any minor flaws from the installation, you could just give them a light buff and coat.

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