How to Update Oak Stair Treads and Risers | Ask This Old House

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Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva teaches a homeowner how to replace split-level stair treads in his midcentury modern home

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Time: 10-12 hours

Cost: $300

Skill Level: Moderate

Tools List for Updating Stair Treads and Risers:
Prybar []
Reciprocating saw []
Hammer []
Utility knife []
Pencil []
Combination square []
Circular saw []
Router []
Palm sander []
Scissors []
Roller []
Caulking gun []
Rubber mallet []
Brad nailer []
Air compressor []

Shopping List:
_” Oak stair treads []
4x8’ oak veneer sheet []
4” or longer metal cutting blade for reciprocating saw []
Shims []
Wood glue []
Temporary floor protection []
Sandpaper []
Construction adhesive []
8d finish nails []

Resources:
While the risers could have also been replaced, Tom thought it would be easier and just as effective to apply a veneer over them to give them a cleaner look that matched the new treads. Tom applied a pressure backed 20 PSA red oak veneer, which is manufactured by Veneer Technologies (). He ordered one 4’x8’ sheet for the whole set of stairs.

For the template, Tom used an extra piece of Ram Board temporary floor protection (), though any semi-rigid markable material would work.

To secure the treads in place, Tom used 8d finish nails and construction adhesive, which is manufactured by Gorilla Glue ().

Expert assistance with this segment was provided by Atlantic Plywood ().

About Ask This Old House TV:
Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we're ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O'Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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How to Update Oak Stair Treads and Risers | Ask This Old House
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