Attaching Oak treads to concrete - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 18 Old 05-20-2009, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Attaching Oak treads to concrete

I would like to attach oak treads and risers to some indoor concrete steps and I would like to know the best way to do this. My preference is to not drill holes in the treads if possible, but is there a glue that would be strong enough and durable enough to hold? Any words of wisdom that you can offer would be greatly appreciated. TIA
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post #2 of 18 Old 05-20-2009, 08:20 PM
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This is a tough application since the wood and concrete are going to have different expansion rates. Any glue you use should only be applied in one small location, or it will eventually fail. I think I would try to engineer a cleat attachment and allow the risers to float in dados, or use the exsiting stairs to support new wooden stringers.

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post #3 of 18 Old 05-20-2009, 09:32 PM
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silcone

i would use a 100% silcone. Use like big dobs of it, maybe 8 or 10 per board. I know there is a silcone made for concrete, that should also work. If it were to fail(i dont think it would) you can easliy pull it up and scrape off the silcone and try something else!
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post #4 of 18 Old 05-20-2009, 09:38 PM
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Talking Consider this appraoch:

Since you only mentioned treads not risers or stringers, I assume this is primarily an appearance issue? You could use concrete drive screws to attach wooden strips on the front and rear edges of the existing treads. Then make matching dadoes in the bottoms of the oak treads, and epoxy the treads to the wooden strips. This
creates both a mechanical and a epoxy bond to secure the oak treads.

2. Another approach would best be described as a keyhole using the same concrete screws into a slot milled across the width of the treads trapping the screws. the keyhole slots could be faced with a bull nose to conceal them.

3. Pursuing this concept, a dovetail could be milled across the bottom of the treads and then a mating piece could be screwed to the existing concrete. The new treads slide onto the mating dovetails trapping the treads. Face off the front edge with a bull nose

4. Since the most force will be at the leading edge of the treads if there is any overhang, secure a metal angle on the riser surface that fits into a slot to keep the rear of the riser from tipping upward.
Then the treads can be secured using Liquid Nails or some other adhesive, not a glue. The concrete must be sealed first however, so the adhesive will adhere.

5. If all else fails....just use the drive screws through the top of the oak treads and plug the holes in a uniform pattern. Probably the best/easiest approach! bill

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post #5 of 18 Old 05-21-2009, 06:20 AM
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"Since you only mentioned treads not risers or stringers,"


"I would like to attach oak treads and RISERS to some indoor concrete steps"

But he did mention risers.

G
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post #6 of 18 Old 05-21-2009, 06:37 AM
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Thanks George, I stand corrected

But did you like my ideas? The risers would be easily inserted under the treads after they were installed. Or a tread and riser, with the riser rabbeted in place, could be installed as a sub assembly using the same methods as above. I am also assuming that the concrete steps will vary in all dimensions, tread width, height and rise, making the process a one step at a time proceedure.
Or.... build a complete stair set including stringers and capture the existing steps on the sides, assuming they are not bound by walls on either side. Anyway, I'm finished here and leaving now, Good Luck, bill

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Last edited by woodnthings; 05-22-2009 at 09:11 PM.
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post #7 of 18 Old 05-21-2009, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
But did you like my ideas? The risers would be easily inserted under the treads after they were installed. Or a tread and riser, with the riser rabbeted in place, could be installed as a sub assembly using the same methods as above. I am also assuming the the concrete steps will vary in all dimensions, tread width, height and rise, making the process a one step at a time proceedure.
Or.... build a complete stair set including stringers and capture the existing steps on the sides, assuming they are not bound by walls on either side. Anyway, I'm finished here and leaving now, Good Luck, bill
Yes, I did like your ideas.

G
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post #8 of 18 Old 05-21-2009, 11:36 PM
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I have built stairs for 14 years. One word. DONT!
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post #9 of 18 Old 05-22-2009, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
Since you only mentioned treads not risers or stringers, I assume this is primarily an appearance issue? You could use concrete drive screws to attach wooden strips on the front and rear edges of the existing treads. Then make matching dadoes in the bottoms of the oak treads, and epoxy the treads to the wooden strips. This
creates both a mechanical and a epoxy bond to secure the oak treads.

2. Another approach would best be described as a keyhole using the same concrete screws into a slot milled across the width of the treads trapping the screws. the keyhole slots could be faced with a bull nose to conceal them.

3. Pursuing this concept, a dovetail could be milled across the bottom of the treads and then a mating piece could be screwed to the existing concrete. The new treads slide onto the mating dovetails trapping the treads. Face off the front edge with a bull nose

4. Since the most force will be at the leading edge of the treads if there is any overhang, secure a metal angle on the riser surface that fits into a slot to keep the rear of the riser from tipping upward.
Then the treads can be secured using Liquid Nails or some other adhesive, not a glue. The concrete must be sealed first however, so the adhesive will adhere.

5. If all else fails....just use the drive screws through the top of the oak treads and plug the holes in a uniform pattern. Probably the best/easiest approach! bill
Bill,


Thanks much for the multiple thoughts on my challenge. I'll address your suggestions by number.
  1. You are absolutely correct in your assumption that it is an apperance issue. I kind of like the dado, wood strip and epoxy solution. It won't be too difficult and I think the epoxy will hold.
  2. I think that over time the screws would wear away the milled slot and the treads would loosen.
  3. This is really elegant but I'm not sure that I could get the dovetails just right. I guess if the dovetails don't turn out right on the treads I could turn them into datoes (chuckle - I'm only half kidding).
  4. Got it.
  5. We both know that this is probably the best approach but it sure isn't elegant.
I think that I'll try the dovetails and the mating strips. Would it hurt if I added some epoxy to insure that they don't shift over time?

Anyway, thanks to all for your help.
Please excuse me for taking so long to respond to all comments but I've been having intermittent Internet issues.

Bobby
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post #10 of 18 Old 05-22-2009, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by scribbles View Post
I have built stairs for 14 years. One word. DONT!
I wish it were that easy. I'm installing some flooring in a living/dining room and an adjacent hallway (three steps up). The concrete stairs are currently covered with carpet which will be replaced by oak treads.
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post #11 of 18 Old 05-22-2009, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twoartistic View Post
This is a tough application since the wood and concrete are going to have different expansion rates. Any glue you use should only be applied in one small location, or it will eventually fail. I think I would try to engineer a cleat attachment and allow the risers to float in dados, or use the exsiting stairs to support new wooden stringers.
Bill suggested a dovetail attachment and I'm going to try that. Thanks.
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post #12 of 18 Old 05-22-2009, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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i would use a 100% silcone. Use like big dobs of it, maybe 8 or 10 per board. I know there is a silcone made for concrete, that should also work. If it were to fail(i dont think it would) you can easliy pull it up and scrape off the silcone and try something else!
This application is for a floor job that I'm doing so I don't have the luxury of trial and error to that extent. Thanks.

Bobby
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post #13 of 18 Old 05-22-2009, 03:06 PM
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The only way to do this, and have it last is float it. Build stringers to hold the treads abover the concrete, and install it on the stringers. You can not atach the treads to the concrete directley and have it ever hold.
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post #14 of 18 Old 05-22-2009, 07:25 PM
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Exclamation Well, it's certainly an interesting challenge

After further consideration I think I've come up with a "better idea"
Take some 1" oak treads and using adhesive or epoxy and drive screws to secure them to each of the 3 concrete treads. Then, using 1/4" thin finish oak stock, glue the 1/4" to the top surface of the 1" treads. Now you have a mechanical and adhesive bond to the concrete and a glue bond to wood. Since these are interior steps I don't know how much expansion and contraction will play into the issue. But, you can screw the heck out of them and no one will be the wiser, since they will be faced with the finish stock. Tapcon is the brand name of the drive screws FYI at the HD.
Seriously, disregard my other suggestions, as I think this is by far the better one. bill

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post #15 of 18 Old 07-28-2009, 01:41 AM
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Same Problem

I too have Concrete steps to the basement. I don't think I have room for the stringer method. And to this date I have yet found a concrete step that is flat. If you screw into the concrete tread thru the oak tread and the concrete is not level, won't the screws work loose over time? In my mind I'm thinking of using a floor leveling compound to level out the concrete tread, then attach the oak tread with screws and plug the holes. My next concern is the rise. If you mount the rise to the both upper and lower treads, don't you then create another problem? And yes I priced it and it is too expensive to remove the concrete steps and then use the stringer method.

Any thoughts
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post #16 of 18 Old 07-28-2009, 05:19 AM
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Oh dear this is so easy and people make it so hard. First drill 2 holes in your concrete treds by creating a jig with 2 holes. Then lay a layer of dampproofing of your choice on the concrete and glue it down. Now drill two holes in the underside of your wooden tred with the jig. Glue dowels into the holes in the concrete then put glue in the holes in your step and fit it to the step and weight it down till the glue sets. I could think of a thousand other methods like battons and dados, just insulate the wood from the concrete and alls well.
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post #17 of 18 Old 07-28-2009, 08:28 PM
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Use Bostik urethane wood flooring adhesive. It's made for what you want to do. Get it at Lumber Liquidators.
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post #18 of 18 Old 07-28-2009, 09:02 PM
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PL premium construction adesive or titebond construction adesive. Glen
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