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Replacing 12 carpeted stairs with RetroTread 11.5-in x 36-in Unfinished Red Oak Stair Tread

#1 3 of the 12 stairs are 36-3/16 wide. Should I get 42" stock and cut to fit or fill gaps after installation

#2 Should I stain and poly the treads and risers prior to installation?

Totally undecided which way to procede

Thanks for your advice :smile2:
 

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Just filling gaps probably would not look good. Quarter round may be what you want. However, without seeing the stairs that is difficult to say.

You only mention treads. What are you doing for risers?

Depending upon answer to what you are doing for risers, I would probably stain first and poly after.

George
 

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So, 3 out of 12?

That means there is a gap of 3/32" on either side of 3 of them. I think that's probably doable. I would finish them prior to installation, including risers which will save a mess of masking off.
A photo of the treads and risers would be helpful. If they can be assembled prior to installation, I would go that route IF they can be fit up properly. Heights may vary slightly which would prevent that however.
 

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I'd get the longer treads. If you are going to use a stair tread jig in order to get the correct end profiles the longer treads will make this easier to do because when you set the jig it will be longer than the 36" tread for the wider steps.
Staining and polying prior to installation will work out better. If you use oil poly the dry time is relatively long and there is the smell. Also, you'll want to apply several coats of the poly. If people are living in the house it will be inconvenient to go up and down the stairs that are being finished. Work from the bottom up. Measuring, cutting, and fitting treads can take some time ( 45-60 minutes per tread).
 
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