How do I install hardwood on my stairs?

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors:  I am planning to install hardwood on pre-existing stairs and landing that presently have a rug on them. I am going to use 2/14 strip by 3/4 Asian rosewood wood. I read on to cut back the present stair nose to the riser of the next step.

The risers are going to be painted white. I have a couple of questions: (1) when installing do I start from stair nose end and work back toward riser, or from the riser forward when installing? (2) should I do the landing first or the bottom step first? (3) When nailing strip to stairs do I top nail them or is there a special tool I can purchase to nail into tongue (I will also you some adhesive as suggested) (4) If it isn’t obvious I am a novice any tips would be very helpful – thanks in advance!

A: Yes, you have to cut off the nose or overhang on the existing tread to that its outside edge is even with the riser below. You will need to install a stair nosing on the outside edge of each tread. But first:

After you have cut all the overhangs off, start with the bottom riser.

Install from the floor to the top edge of the first tread. Install the first nosing on the first or bottom tread. You can use Bostik’s Best urethane adhesive for best grab. After the first nosing is installed, start off the edge of the nosing and install the flooring up to the next riser.

Install the second riser as with the first and install the nosing for the second step. Continue until you reach the top riser. You can use a pneumatic trim gun if you like to hold the pieces in place. Shoot onto the top of the tongue as far as you can and the last board near the riser can be nailed close to the riser so that when you install the wood on the riser the nail will be hidden.

I now digress. The nosing may have a groove on it. If it does, you can use a spline in the groove which will also slide into the groove on the first board. If not, you may need to fire a couple of nails into the top, near the edge to hold that one row down. That is about it.

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1 thought on “How do I install hardwood on my stairs?”

  1. I would like to add hardwood (remove carpet) to my steps. I currently have CB211-Gunstock that the installer said would be a full block of wood (no strips.) He stated he would stain them to match the floor after the installation; due to the possibility of the wood splitting when being nailed down. I would not be able to walk on the steps for 3 days. What are the chances of the wood splitting if he went ahead and pre-stained and installed?
    Thanks, Denise

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