Help with staircase renovation!

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by Tara DIY, May 11, 2023.

  1. Tara DIY

    Tara DIY Member

    DIY level - Advanced

    Staircase renovation help/advice needed.

    So here's my staircase, as you can see it is, well, ****. 20230510_182557.jpg

    I am needing some advice/help/tips to get this job done! So am I doing the right thing, is there a better way, things I should look out for? etc.

    I have thought of a few options but I'm tired of going over and over them as I now need to get it done. I apologise in advance for the long thread but I want to try cover as many questions as possible.

    Overview- I am taking out the banisters and sides, attaching new newel posts, spindles and handrail. The spindles are to be white, along with the risers and the hand rail stained dark chestnut with matching the treads treads. Landing above is laminate which matches the bamboo flooring I am going to be using in the hallway below.

    So for the stairs - suggestions/advice

    Please bare in mind every single stair creaks, horrendously, and a couple even bow slightly as shown. Also that I can no longer get to the underneath of the stairs so all the work will have to be undertaken from above.

    I figure these are my options:

    Option 1, sanding, this would cost the least but would take forever, and with the state of some of the treads they would most likely need running through a planer first. This would obviously involve removing them, which they would need regardless because they require alot of packing/leveling etc, same with the risers. Use something like a rabbet joint it all back together. Then comes the staining and laquering ect ect which can also take forever.

    Option 2, replacing with new treads. Again I have all the same, time consuming issues as above, only this time skipping the plaining/sanding step. However, saving a bit of time here would cost quite a bit in the new materials.

    Option 3, cladding, its costly but would save time on the sanding/staining/treating etc. However I would still have to fix the creaking, cut off the bullnose of each step and address the bowing and packing of the steps. Then clad the stairs, leveling each step as I go.

    option 4.

    Remove all treads/risers and replace with 22mm/9mm plywood or osb. Then cladding over these.
    Using the following products:


    Now I prefer this last option, the only thing is, I have no idea where to start please help

    I don't mind hard work but I prefer to not waste time just to save a few quick

    Thanks in advance guys,

  2. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    If you wish to remove or replace any tread or riser then you’re better off getting a new staircase made and fitted.
    Resmond likes this.
  3. H Bell

    H Bell Active Member

    I think you are trying to fix a problem rather than choosing a look and deciding how to achieve it.

    If you can't get under the staircase, then I think you are limited to cladding it.

    It really isn't difficult to cut the noses off. Personally, I would use a multi-tool and a jigsaw, but hand tools would be perfectly acceptable.

    Creaking, you can pop screws in to secure everything before you clad it. However, the most important ones you can't get in place because they need to be put in from underneath.

    Levelling them, sand them briefly with a coarse grit, then I would probably use an epoxy filler. There are other ways, but it seems like the simplest, albeit not the cheapest.

    I can't comment as to the suitability of the cladding you are thinking about. I would not use OSB on a staircase, and only good quality plywood.
  4. CGN

    CGN Screwfix Select

    What is stopping you getting to the underneath as exposing it will make the surface work cheap and relatively easy?

    Creaking aside, your stairs actually look in pretty good nick.
  5. Tara DIY

    Tara DIY Member

    Thanks for your reply. Understairs have recently been boarded and plastered.
  6. Tara DIY

    Tara DIY Member

    Thanks for your response. I really do like the cladding with the bamboo wood, it goes with the aestics of the rest of the house. So with that, I guess whichever way would be quicker to prep the stairs to accommodate the cladding.

    The only reason I suggested the plywood was I didn't know if it would be faster to change out the treads for ply and then glue the cladding over the top. I wouldn't necessarily have to change the risers as such as I could clan straight over them.

    I have jigsaws, Multitools etc. Well just about all the tools and jigs one could need it's kind of an obsession at this point rather than a hobby
  7. Resmond

    Resmond Active Member

    Taking out the treads, without damaging the strings is a pretty hard task, made even harder with no underside access.
    You can try watering down pva and then painting it into every join tread and riser, give it a couple rounds, you can also screw down into risers. Also if cladding, glueing the cladding will act as a large glue block (same as on the underside of the stairs) and should reduce the creaking
    H Bell and Tara DIY like this.
  8. Tara DIY

    Tara DIY Member

    Thank you for your response. So if I take the nosing off each step, give then a low grit sand and paint over with watered down pva they should be prepared to recieve the cladding? Is there anything I've missed or to look out for? Also do you have any adhesive suggestions for the cladding? I was toying with the idea of using foam adhesive as I thought it would not only hold the cladding in place for eternity but also, insulate and soundproof. What do you think?

    This is what I had in mind I've use it before to attach skirting/door frames ec

    I'd really like to hear your thoughts.

    Thanks again

  9. Resmond

    Resmond Active Member

    Sounds about right except the foam, love the stuff for other cases you mentioned but not here.. depends what you’re cladding with if it’s joinery timber you can face fix through then fill sand id use a small amount of pu glue ( similar to foam but less expansion and dries more like plastic, if its vennered finish laminate/engineered then I think the flooring adhesives recommended for those products tho can’t specify a brand as don’t do stick down floors.
    If its fixed solid to the stairs you won’t get the sound deadening you want although increasing the mass by adding to the stairs will deaden somewhat buy carpet and underlay would be the way to go.. it’s a trade off, you don’t want spongey steps
    Tara DIY likes this.
  10. Tara DIY

    Tara DIY Member

    No, I don't think I want spongey steps either

    This is the cladding I will be using
    f1058-chestnut-strand-woven-bamboo-flooring-flowers-1000px-1.jpg chestnut-bamboo-stair-nosing_4.jpg stair_nosing_diagram_uniclic_13_3.jpg

    I will be using the same bamboo flooring throughout the hall and landing too so I wanted it all to match. I'm not a fan of carpets in general and have solid oak floors in the rooms I have completed to this point (I'm refurbing the entire house). I thought I'd try the bamboo out as it's meant to be even stronger than oak and better for the environment, apparently?!
  11. BuildingMad

    BuildingMad Screwfix Select

    Unless you have now decided to live with the squeaks, would replacing treads etc, cause damage to the underside boarding anyway.
    The work involved above would be more a lot extensive than ripping off the underside boarding & bracing it up.
    After all its just two sheets of MDF or tapered edge plasterboard with one joint, to replace.
    Last edited: May 12, 2023
  12. CGN

    CGN Screwfix Select

    stick it on with Stixall or a similar adhesive.

    As you’re working from the top, you can screw the end of the tread into the top of riser, angle screw the treads/risers into the stringers, and if your careful, you may be able to angle screw the back of the treads into the bottom of the risers. You could carefully get a screwdriver in to open up this gap and get some glue in as well.
  13. H Bell

    H Bell Active Member

    I was thinking about the idea of using PU (foaming), but wondered whether it would stand the test of time. Initially, PU foam is not very hard, and I wondered if it would break down unless you left it alone for an inconvenient amount of time. This is why I suggested epoxy. PU is as hard, but it just takes way too long to get hard. I think I would just use epoxy as a filler and PVA as a glue. PVA is incredibly hard. Stairs take a beating, they need to be tough.

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