Banister trim complicates stair tread install - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-03-2016, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Banister trim complicates stair tread install

Good evening!

I am about to begin remodeling my 13 stair treads using 3/4 inch oak treads which I will glue to the existing MDB treads after cutting off the bull nose. The problem is my banister trim on each side of the stairs overhangs the ends of the treads by approximately 5/8".

I attached a picture. This piece of trim is one big piece cut around the post at the bottom and it extends up the stairs for about 6-7 steps. Dry fitting and then installing after stain/poly will require I "feed" the treads under this trim on both ends, either from the top or bottom. I'm imaging it being a ROYAL PAIN since I can't drop them in place vertically and I have to move step #2 through the space meant for step 1 and so on. I've wondered about tools/jigs that might push on each side of the stair, cutting the trim back so it's flush with the side of the stairs, or just trying to muscle it and risk damaging a tread.

Has anyone dealt with this before? I will be overseas for a week starting Sunday morning and unable to answer your generous comments.

Thanks in advance!
Dave
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Last edited by DIYIndy; 05-03-2016 at 10:52 PM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-04-2016, 12:40 AM
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Adding 3/4 inch on top of what is there now is going to make the stairs out of code. If someone trips on the stairs when out of code, insurance will not cover them.

Without taking apart what is there now the only way I see is the way you have explained getting the treads in there.

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post #3 of 13 Old 05-04-2016, 03:36 AM
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Jim is correct in the caution on the "trip hazard" aspect of codes and liabilities.

He is also, more eloquent and polite than what a lot of professional's would be regarding this issue.

It is not only OK to "back the truck up",occasionally when making a mistake...but in general,backing up the processes is exactly how the job should be handled.Taking up the treads and replacing them may seem unnecessary...you really have no choice.

Good luck with your project.
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-04-2016, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Consolidating my responses - thanks for your replies. Very interesting.

The previous owner installed a wood floor in the foyer which shortened the first step and the last (top) riser is taller than the rest due to the transition so by adding the 3/4 inch treads, it actually helped even things out. Our contractor suggested he could do it either way but I thought leaving the treads in place might be superior since the glue bond surface area may be superior to the bond of a replacement tread on the three stringers. Plus I don't know what was installed in terms of glue blocks under the stairs witihout pulling one up. However, I'm always open to more experienced perspectives so if there is more to share here, I appreciate any follow-up comments.

I was actually thinking of cutting a 2-4 in half, hinge it in the middle, and use it to apply gentle side pressure to the stringer (as needed) when pushing these boards up under the trim to the correct step. My neighbor weight in at 250 lbs. I'm not aware of any tool that could apply side pressure like that, but I bet they exist.

Dave
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post #5 of 13 Old 05-05-2016, 12:26 AM
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How much rise do you have now? It appears a bit small so adding 3/4" might still be within code.

Is there enough room you can rip the overhang off. If so you might cut it off flush and when you get the stairs in put a piece of trim over the cut. Otherwise I sure wouldn't start at the bottom and work my way up.
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-05-2016, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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I have a 6" riser at the bottom (wood floor installed), 6.5" risers for stairs 2-13, and the last riser at the top PLUS the transition piece is ~8.0".

Thank you!
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-05-2016, 09:32 AM
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Even adding the 3/4" on each tread, you will still be out of code. The 1/2" difference in rise is by far better than what you have now. You can graduate shim each tread to get the same rise and be in code.

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post #8 of 13 Old 05-05-2016, 10:28 AM
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You only show one side of the stairs. If the left side does not have a railing like the right, you simply tip the treads in by holding up on the left. You don't push in from the front, you go top down. Make a posterboard pattern that fits. Don't try to get it too tight. You should be able to get the tread in place without pounding or pushing hard, it's all about getting the correct fit. Buying a couple of the same width pine boards to practice on will be money well spent. There are prefinished systems for replacing treads and risers, should take a DIYer about a day to complete if you have a sliding miter saw and nail gun. http://www.nustair.com/prefinished-tread/

Adding the same thickness to all treads isn't a problem unless it significantly changes the top and bottom riser. Sounds like you could use a little in your case. A stairmaker tries to make every tread and riser exactly identical but the starting and landing treads can vary slightly from the others and still meet code.
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post #9 of 13 Old 05-05-2016, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
Even adding the 3/4" on each tread, you will still be out of code. The 1/2" difference in rise is by far better than what you have now. You can graduate shim each tread to get the same rise and be in code.
It would add up to this once added.....bottom will be 6 3/4", 2-13 will stay 6 1/2" and top reduce to 7 1/4".....I don't know the code they use there and without looking up I'm not sure the amount of differs aloud.
And that may be the 1/2" you discribed from the bottom and top.

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post #10 of 13 Old 05-05-2016, 11:14 PM
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It looks to me like the tread is narrow too but maybe it is the camera.

I have never heard that insurance will not cover the liability if the stairs are out of code. I am not trying to start an argument or anything, just trying to learn.
Is this an opinion or does this come from someone in the insurance business?
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post #11 of 13 Old 05-06-2016, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Brentwood View Post
It looks to me like the tread is narrow too but maybe it is the camera.

I have never heard that insurance will not cover the liability if the stairs are out of code. I am not trying to start an argument or anything, just trying to learn.
Is this an opinion or does this come from someone in the insurance business?
I wouldn't think you were arguing at all. :smile3: Code in this area is 3/8 inch difference between any one rise.

The reason the insurance will not pay off is if the unit is out of code it can cause a person to trip or stumble and insurance people are always looking for ways not to pay. I don't see where 3/8 inch difference could cause a fall but they are looking at the legal end of it.

To see what I am talking about being out of code and being a stumbler, lay a 3/4 inch board on one of the tread half way up, and without slowing down, walk up the stairs, then down the stairs, you will see quickly why stairs need to be in code.

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post #12 of 13 Old 05-06-2016, 02:27 AM
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Code around here is no variation between rises greater than 6mm.
What's your finish floor to finish floor height ?
And how many treads do you currently have?
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post #13 of 13 Old 05-08-2016, 01:15 AM
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I guess we don't have as many attorneys around here.
I understand the hazard. I was a journeyman carpenter in a former life and I always notice the slightest difference in rise.
I sell homes all the time with odd ball stairways and I haven't heard of insurance companies skating, YET!
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