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post #1 of 13 Old 10-23-2008, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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New project just came up, need help

Hey Everyone,

I was content with building some boxes and trimming out windows.. Well a split nut on a supply line in my bathroom changed my priorities yesterday.. What a mess, flooded a 2nd floor bathroom and it went down to a 1st floor ceiling, etc.. But it also ruined some pad and maybe carpet.. Probably just pad.. At any rate. I am considering re-doing my office, painting it, installing a floating floor, some, maybe some crown molding, etc.. The question arises with how to deal with a floating floor and transitioning to the top of a step. I am attaching some pics that I shrunk to make them faster to load.. Specifically like how would I transition at the top of the steps?? I know with like real hardwood that you nail each strip(I installed once) I could get a stair nose, but that still leaves the question of what about the nose that is there? Cut it off?? Also my wife wants to know if I just pull all the carpet/pad/staples, fill in nail holes, etc, if the steps can be stained.. I don't know if the stairs are pine or what.. It's builder grade cheap would be my guess.. Thanks again ..

Oh yeah and the room is a wreck.. But I can take everything and put it in an extra bedroom and setup a temporary office for as long as I need to..
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post #2 of 13 Old 10-23-2008, 07:35 PM
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It's hard to see the steps real well to tell what they are, but my guess is that you have a newer home and they are particle board or MDF.

Last edited by user4178; 10-23-2008 at 09:46 PM.
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post #3 of 13 Old 10-23-2008, 08:11 PM
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Brad,
Looks like your stairs are #2 or worse pine. Is a real hardwood floor out of the question? I am not a big fan of the laminate floors. They have all their transition moldings, but to me they always stand out like a sore thumb even if you install them properly. If you went with hardwood, you could replace the nosing on the top step with a nosing made out of the same wood as your new floor. The only thing that would be a little bit not kosher is you would have to shim up the nosing to match up with the top of your new floor, which would make your last rise larger, which technically doesn't meet code if its more than a 1/4" different from the rest. Or you could pull up the waferboard to provide the room for the new floor. It is more work, guess it depends what you have in mind. Just some thoughts,
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post #4 of 13 Old 10-23-2008, 08:28 PM
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As far as I know, most flooring, regardless of type, comes with transition molding that matches the floor. About a year ago I installed some laminate (Mike, it was real wool laminate. Not all laminate is fake like Pergo.) and it had transition pieces that I used to meet both carpet and tile.

If above comments are correct about your steps you will probably be re-carpeting them. Ask the flooring dealer what he has for this transition.

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post #5 of 13 Old 10-23-2008, 10:58 PM
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You could certainly pull back a little bit of the carpet and sand one of the steps down and put some stain on it to see what it will look like. If you don't like it you can cover it back up with carpet. If you do like it remove more carpet and keep going.

My only concern would be maybe some type of sealer over the stain if you carpet back over it so it couldn't bleed through.

John
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post #6 of 13 Old 10-23-2008, 11:54 PM
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Hey George,
I should have specified, but I was speaking of the manmade laminates like pergo. I have no problem with the wood laminates, in fact I was going to mention that except the post was getting kind of long. If I am not mistaken, the wood laminates usually come in a 3/8" thickness, which would help to keep his stair riser heights pretty close. Thanks for pointing that out.
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-24-2008, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input.

Mike, what is "waffle" board. The subfloor to me looks like plywood that is like almost tongue and groove, i've seen that stuff at home centers. Isn't that like directly onto of the 2x floor joist?? Or should there be like plywood between that like tongue and groove plywood stuff? I see what you mean about the top step being like higher. That kinda sucks. Plus that top nose pice that's there, I don't know how I'd even go about removing it, other than cutting it out with a jig saw or something.

So, lets say my steps underneath the carpet. That wood is unsuitable for staining.. Which it is wood, not mdf or plywood or whatever, what type of wood is still open for debate, maybe I'll send larger pics, I resized those to make it easy for everyone. But if I can't stain that. Can I get the tongue and groove real hardwood stuff that you nail each row, and put that ontop of the steps? Or would that like throw everything off? Again, I don't know if I would like put a bullnose piece likeovertop the bullnose piece that's already do and face nail it or how that would work.. I think I need to find a good flooring/steps book.. But right now I am evaluating options. I am starting to think that the steps have to be make with the purpose of being non carpeted when the house is built..

Thanks

Brad

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post #8 of 13 Old 10-24-2008, 10:14 AM
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Looks to me like your subfloor is waffer board or what we call up here chip board, and don't assume that just because your stair riser is pine that your stair treads are the same. What concerns me is you can't identify even the simplest types of wood or building materials, which tells me you don't have much experience in carpentry or woodworking. Personally I think you need to hire the job out, you obviously don't have a clue as to what it's all going to take to do it correctly. You have the steps, baseboard, doors, door jambs, and stair railing to deal with, and thats only what I can see with your limited pictures. These projects aren't as easy as alot of home improvement shows on TV would like you to believe. I have to laugh at the Home Depot saying that WE CAN HELP. They don't hire people on the basis of what they know, they hire on the basis of how cheap they can hire them at. A pro can make more money on a jobsite than in retail.

Last edited by user4178; 10-24-2008 at 12:51 PM.
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-24-2008, 03:30 PM
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Putting down a floating floor isn't that difficult IF you have the proper tools. At a minimum, a chop saw, jig saw and circular saw.
You will also have to contend with all of the base and door moldings in the room.

The biggest problem is going to come at those stairs and your concern about the nosing is certainly valid.

There are code requirements for the tread depth and rise and the difference between each step.
Don't quote me, but I think the tread depth plus the rise has to equal near 15". I don't know what the tolerance is.

I don't think the stairs can vary by more than 3/4" from one to another.

The nosing has to have between 1/2 and 3/4" of overhang, I believe.


Never mind the gap between the carpet and the new nosing. Just noticed your carpet runs from the top down on that stair. Was thinking it ran from bottom up.

I'm throwing out those numbers as a rough estimate only to illustrate that there are code requirements for each. You'll need to check the codes before starting.

The nosing...
You will have to cut the original off, no two ways around it.
You can buy a transition piece from your flooring supplier that will have the nosing on it.

This transition piece, the nose in particular, will only cover about 1/4" of the nosing you have cut off. This is going to leave an ugly transition from the riser of the top stair to the bottom of the new nosing. Also, because the old nosing has been cut, you will have about 1/2" gap between the carpet on the riser and the new nosing.

No matter if you leave the carpet or not, you're in a pickle here.
You could use a piece of luan on the riser as long as it didn't interfere with the code requirements, but to look right, you would have to carry that all the way down the flight.

Give it a think. It can be done, but it will probably be more work than you originally thought. If you're up to it...proceed.

Last edited by Tweegs; 10-24-2008 at 03:56 PM. Reason: Just noticed
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post #10 of 13 Old 10-24-2008, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info.

Tweegs you are hitting right on the questions I had/concerns. I defintiely have all the tools, mitre saw, table saw, more tools than I'll ever need for the floating floors.

Yeah, I was thinking i might have to cut off the current nose. I sorta had a revelation about the height thing.. Right now at the top of the steps are pad and carpet.. So like a floating floor I'm thinkng will be about the same thickness as that, between the underlayment and the flooring.. I think the floor would be pretty easy if I didn't have that hall way to deal with in combination with the top of the steps..

I am a stickler for details, I work in I.T. and details are the difference between staying up for days no end and not having to so.. I definitely want it to be right, because if it's not, i'm the type to tear it all out and re-do it haha.

I see if i cut off the nose.. If I cut off the nose and get it close to being even with the back of the step below it, then will I still have a gap with carpet? I'm thinking about maybe putting in the floor and having the steps re-carpeted if I do this..Carpet isn't shot but could use new..

Thanks

Brad
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post #11 of 13 Old 10-24-2008, 04:02 PM
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I edited my last post but it didn't take.
That gap I was talking about would only come in to play if the carpet ran up the stairs.

I looked again at your pics and noticed that the carpet comes from the top down on yours so no problems with a gap in your case.

You could probably cut a piece of the carpet just large enough to cover that riser. IMO, that would save a lot of hassel.
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post #12 of 13 Old 10-24-2008, 07:56 PM
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did that type of work for aliving till i had a heart attack. that wood on those steps are not stainable and probaly not even really paintable- those knots look like bleedthroughs. #2pine or worse is acurate. any wood flooring would probaly have to be carried to the bottom of the steps to keep people from tripping from height variations. 1/4" variation in height & depth is max under code. thats the whole stairs including landings. best & cheapest way to do it would be to recarpet stairs with a small carpet landing at top and than start your floating floor. otherwise hire a good professional, for the problems will be many & the outlook bleak.
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post #13 of 13 Old 10-27-2008, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies, great input. I think I will probably just keep the steps carpeted and pay someone to re-stretch the carpet at the top of the steps, it didn't stain, etc... I think I'm going to go with a wood floating floor or a wood floor that I nail each row of for the room and just have a transition into the carpet(which i know a couple of ways to do).

One thing that I still don't understand.. at that landing, if I take the carpet and pad off and I put a wood floring down. If the wood flooring and underlayment end up being the same height of the carpet and pad(within the 1/4 I am told it should be).. Then what's the issue with having that??

I understand you want each step to be the same height, makes sense, i mean, then it's natural and people aren't tripping, etc.. Is the difference that the carpet and pad compresses?

I went last night and starting looking at flooring at a local homecenter.. I'll prob get whatever I go with from a floor place. I'm going to do the whole room nice. I'm going to take off the baseboards so I can install the floor without having like goofy looking quarterrounds. I'm going to put wainsecoating(spelling I know is wrong), new slightly higher baseboards and a chair rail topping off the waynescoating. I'm going to do all that trim in white.. I'm trying to figure out what color flooring light or dark will look best. I know it's a matter of preference.. Oh yeah and I think i'll prob do some crown molding in white also.. I'd love to stain this stuff but the whole house has white trim..

Thanks

Brad
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