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 Post subject: Replace Carpet on Stairs with Retro/Replacement Tread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:02 am 
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Hello,

This is my first post on this forum. I have been reading various topics regarding stair improvement projects, but very few of them share the final outcome.

As the title suggests, I am hoping to replace the carpet on my stairs with retro treads from (www.hardwood-lumber.com). I have been scouring the internet looking for pros and cons of retro treads and haven't found a whole lot. The only thing that I found was the rise variance code. Currently, our first step has a rise of 8 1/4" with carpet and padding, and the second step has a rise of 7 1/2", which is already outside of the acceptable variance. I'm estimating that if I replace the carpet with the retro tread, the first rise will remain approximately the same. I'm thinking that the best way to handle this, would be to remove the existing tread and replace with a solid tread, instead of installing a cap over top of the current tread, but I think that is more than I want to tackle.

Has anyone had any experience with using retro treads? As I said, a number of questions have been asked, but very few of them have provided a final outcome.

thanks for your help!


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 Post subject: Re: Replace Carpet on Stairs with Retro/Replacement Tread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:58 am 
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tburk32 wrote:
Hello,

This is my first post on this forum. I have been reading various topics regarding stair improvement projects, but very few of them share the final outcome.

As the title suggests, I am hoping to replace the carpet on my stairs with retro treads from (http://www.hardwood-lumber.com). I have been scouring the internet looking for pros and cons of retro treads and haven't found a whole lot. The only thing that I found was the rise variance code. Currently, our first step has a rise of 8 1/4" with carpet and padding, and the second step has a rise of 7 1/2", which is already outside of the acceptable variance. I'm estimating that if I replace the carpet with the retro tread, the first rise will remain approximately the same. I'm thinking that the best way to handle this, would be to remove the existing tread and replace with a solid tread, instead of installing a cap over top of the current tread, but I think that is more than I want to tackle.

Has anyone had any experience with using retro treads? As I said, a number of questions have been asked, but very few of them have provided a final outcome.

thanks for your help!

The info at your retro-tread web site indicates that their retro-treads are 3/4" thick. Before you decide which option to choose measure all the risers....including from the first floor to the first (bottom) step and from the last (top) step to the second floor. All these measurements must be taken into account and code compliant. Measure the thickness of the existing sub-treads (the treads that are currently under the carpet on the stairs). Will you be making any changes to the first and second floor flooring? Can you post a picture of the stairs to provide an idea of what you plan to do? You can buy and finish stair treads for less money than the cost of pre-finished retrotreads. Would this be an option for you? Also, what is your plan for the risers? Are the existing risers carpeted?


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 Post subject: Re: Replace Carpet on Stairs with Retro/Replacement Tread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:25 pm 
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There will be no change to the first or second floor when the stairs are done. The second floor may be changed in the future, but is not in the budget at the moment.

The floor on the first floor is an Armstrong hand scraped hickory, so I would ideally like to keep the treads hand scraped as well, since the landings will be done in the Armstrong hand scraped as well. Are you suggesting that I remove the existing treads and replace completely?

I have a picture, but I'm not totally sure how to upload it.


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 Post subject: Re: Replace Carpet on Stairs with Retro/Replacement Tread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:43 pm 
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Using a level and tape measure, over top of the current carpet and padding the measurements I took are as follows:
1. 8 1/8"
2. 7 3/8"
3. 7 3/8"
4. 7 3/8"
5. 7 1/4"
6. 7 1/4"
7. 7 3/16" (landing)
8. 7 3/4" (landing)
9. 7 1/2"
10. 7 3/16"
11. 7 1/4"
12. 7 1/4"
13. 7 7/16"
14. 7 3/8"
15. 7 1/4
16. 7 5/16 (2nd floor, with Carpet)


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 Post subject: Re: Replace Carpet on Stairs with Retro/Replacement Tread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:19 pm 
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tburk32 wrote:
Using a level and tape measure, over top of the current carpet and padding the measurements I took are as follows:
1. 8 1/8"
2. 7 3/8"
3. 7 3/8"
4. 7 3/8"
5. 7 1/4"
6. 7 1/4"
7. 7 3/16" (landing)
8. 7 3/4" (landing)
9. 7 1/2"
10. 7 3/16"
11. 7 1/4"
12. 7 1/4"
13. 7 7/16"
14. 7 3/8"
15. 7 1/4
16. 7 5/16 (2nd floor, with Carpet)

Same Armstrong Hand scraped for the landings.....how thick? Are they currently carpeted?


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 Post subject: Re: Replace Carpet on Stairs with Retro/Replacement Tread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:21 pm 
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3/4 solid hardwood. Yes they are currently carpeted


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 Post subject: Re: Replace Carpet on Stairs with Retro/Replacement Tread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:16 pm 
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tburk32 wrote:
3/4 solid hardwood. Yes they are currently carpeted

Then replace the carpet with 3/4" treads too. Either the premade/prefinished retros or make them yourself to save $.


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 Post subject: Re: Replace Carpet on Stairs with Retro/Replacement Tread
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:23 am 
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Any suggestions on what to do about the rise on the first step? I believe it is out of code already based on what I've read.


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 Post subject: Re: Replace Carpet on Stairs with Retro/Replacement Tread
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:01 am 
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tburk32 wrote:
Any suggestions on what to do about the rise on the first step? I believe it is out of code already based on what I've read.

Did the first step feel 'awkward' to you before you measured the stairs? Was your stride thrown off by the first step? If you never gave a 'second thought' to the height of the first step then you probably won't in the future. So don't make any modifications. I'm assuming that these stairs were original to the house and were walked on by an inspector. It takes 3 steps to set your stride and if the inspector's stride was not thrown off by the steps then there would be no red flag. If you walk on stairs that are way out of compliance they will not 'feel' right.


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 Post subject: Re: Replace Carpet on Stairs with Retro/Replacement Tread
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:07 am 
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Ok awesome, no I've never noticed the first step before and yes they are original to the house (2003). I was reading about the pros and cons of using retro treads and the rise height code was the one that stuck out to me.

As for saving money, I ended up getting the treads for 20% through the eBay spring savings event, the left over hardwood for the landings are a sunk cost as far as I'm concerned. If we would have done the armstrong on the treads, it would have been a lot more money, and the labor was astronomical. I think my father and I are going to tackle the treads and we are thinking about trying to do the landings as well.

I've read mixed reviews on nail/staple vs gluing vs doing both on the landings, any insight on that?


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 Post subject: Re: Replace Carpet on Stairs with Retro/Replacement Tread
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:30 am 
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tburk32 wrote:
Ok awesome, no I've never noticed the first step before and yes they are original to the house (2003). I was reading about the pros and cons of using retro treads and the rise height code was the one that stuck out to me.

As for saving money, I ended up getting the treads for 20% through the eBay spring savings event, the left over hardwood for the landings are a sunk cost as far as I'm concerned. If we would have done the armstrong on the treads, it would have been a lot more money, and the labor was astronomical. I think my father and I are going to tackle the treads and we are thinking about trying to do the landings as well.

I've read mixed reviews on nail/staple vs gluing vs doing both on the landings, any insight on that?

When they give you a 'heads up' on retro-tread and riser height code compliance the unknown is whether the retro-tread is going to be installed on top of what is already there or if it will replace what is there. In your case you are replacing a carpet and pad, which is considered to be 3/4" thick, with a 3/4" wood tread so there will be no change to the finished height. What is the width of the flooring you will be installing on the landings and what are the manufacturer's instructions for fastening it? What is your plan for the landing nosings? They should have a similar overhang and profile as the new stairs.


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 Post subject: Re: Replace Carpet on Stairs with Retro/Replacement Tread
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:40 am 
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They are 5" wide boards. The installation instructions list staple/nail, and the installation instructions also have gluing as an option. I plan on buying 2 stair noses from armstrong. I will get 2 landings out of each nose. I'm also doing 2 additional landings that do not have a rise height issue.

thank you for the time you are giving me. All of these are good questions.


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 Post subject: Re: Replace Carpet on Stairs with Retro/Replacement Tread
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:49 pm 
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tburk32 wrote:
They are 5" wide boards. The installation instructions list staple/nail, and the installation instructions also have gluing as an option. I plan on buying 2 stair noses from armstrong. I will get 2 landings out of each nose. I'm also doing 2 additional landings that do not have a rise height issue.

thank you for the time you are giving me. All of these are good questions.

What are the specs of the Armstrong Stair Noses i.e width, grooved? You may need to adjust the width of a floor board(s) or the stair nose(s) to get everything to fit properly on the landings so that the nosing overhang(s) will be correct. Plan all this ahead of time so you won't have any surprises. If you do have to do some width adjustment it is important not to make the width of the nosing piece too narrow as this is a high stress area....attach it with construction adhesive (PL Premium Adhesive)....countersunk face nails or trim head screws provide additional hold.


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