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Author: Subject: Replacing Steps on Open stairs with Redwood Treads
msteve1014
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[*] posted on 9-7-2021 at 11:18 AM


The floor at the bottom is tile, or stone. But I get it, you have a plan. Best wishes.
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Maderita
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[*] posted on 9-7-2021 at 12:46 PM


A couple other thoughts:
Perhaps select your upstairs flooring first. Then match the stair tread wood (or stain color) to that for a more homogeneous style.
There may be a good reason that you have delayed. Lumber prices have doubled/tripled during the pandemic. Contractor friends speculate that the price will come down some when the supply chain improves.

Have you checked out the higher quality vinyl planks? Looks just like wood, but impervious to spills and pet toenails. I just purchased 900 s.f. for a rental house due to the durability and ease of maintenance. I'm using a "rough sawn" look, COREtec Plus XL Enhanced. COREtec will mail some free samples for you to check it out: https://coretecfloors.com/en-us/samples
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[*] posted on 9-7-2021 at 02:17 PM


maybe gas will drop to .1.09 a gallon too




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[*] posted on 9-7-2021 at 03:31 PM


Also keep in mind if the stair threads are a smooth finish they don't mix well with stocking feet, especially coming down. I had a client take a header and of course it was my fault...I didn't select the material.
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John Harper
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[*] posted on 9-7-2021 at 04:02 PM


Yes, I think I'll just keep my powder dry for a while. The new flooring is amazing. Ideally, I'd rip up the stuff my dad had done, and redo that and the upstairs. I tiled the downstairs and kitchen with a buddy, and it turned out amazing. Did all the baseboards and paint as well.

Like I said, I've started down this road several times and decided to just wait.

Maderita has a good idea, maybe do the stairs last and tackle the floor upstairs first.

John
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SFandH
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[*] posted on 9-7-2021 at 04:24 PM


Quote: Originally posted by John Harper  
Quote: Originally posted by Lee  
Have carpeting on stairs but oak under it. I wear socks inside and slipped once. Didn’t want my Lab slipping .

Rather look at fir than that crappy carpet.


The slip factor is an issue, especially for us old farts.

I'm letting the carpet die, detest that chit.

John

[Edited on 9-6-2021 by John Harper]


Taking a fall is why I'm thinking about putting carpet on my stairs, which are concrete with tile on top. I'd be effed up if I took a tumble.




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[*] posted on 9-7-2021 at 04:28 PM
Stairs last....good idea!


I worked for a contractor for a while that did a lot of insurance restoration work. Too many times, he would get the carpet layers in before the carpentry and paint was finished, and we had to work on a finished surface instead of a bare sub-floor!

If you want to make a real, manly project out of those stair treads, I have a standing, recently bug killed Douglas fir tree that you can carve into boards! How hard could that be, and I am only about five hundred miles north of you!




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[*] posted on 9-7-2021 at 05:47 PM


Quote: Originally posted by AKgringo  
I worked for a contractor for a while that did a lot of insurance restoration work. Too many times, he would get the carpet layers in before the carpentry and paint was finished, and we had to work on a finished surface instead of a bare sub-floor!

If you want to make a real, manly project out of those stair treads, I have a standing, recently bug killed Douglas fir tree that you can carve into boards! How hard could that be, and I am only about five hundred miles north of you!


That is tempting! You seem like a great person to hang out with. I'm on TDY running the auto shop at another school for a while, and the wood shop is right next door!

John

[Edited on 9-8-2021 by John Harper]
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[*] posted on 9-7-2021 at 05:51 PM


Quote: Originally posted by SFandH  
Quote: Originally posted by John Harper  
Quote: Originally posted by Lee  
Have carpeting on stairs but oak under it. I wear socks inside and slipped once. Didn’t want my Lab slipping .

Rather look at fir than that crappy carpet.


The slip factor is an issue, especially for us old farts.

I'm letting the carpet die, detest that chit.

John

[Edited on 9-6-2021 by John Harper]


Taking a fall is why I'm thinking about putting carpet on my stairs, which are concrete with tile on top. I'd be effed up if I took a tumble.


I'm thinking go with the redwood, satin finish, with a couple of those skateboard deck strips close to the forward edges of each tread. Kind of an industrial/rustic combo. I did all my regulators in dark silver grey to have more of an industrial theme.

I have a chop saw and a router, so I can clearance the lag screws on each side and fit the treads close.

If I can rebuild my Harley engine, this can't be that hard.

It really comes down to potentially worn redwood versus definitely worn carpet. And even slightly worn redwood will never look as bad as slightly worn carpet.

John

[Edited on 9-8-2021 by John Harper]
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John Harper
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[*] posted on 9-7-2021 at 06:31 PM


This is a good Nomad topic! Feels good to just exchange ideas instead of opinions. I really appreciate all the different ideas! I really do.

I think I may finally be motivated to "chit, or get off the pot" as my dad used to say.

John
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[*] posted on 9-7-2021 at 06:53 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Bob and Susan  
maybe gas will drop to .1.09 a gallon too


you apparently haven't been following lumber markets.
prices have fallen dramatically.
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Maderita
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[*] posted on 9-7-2021 at 07:07 PM


John, if you are serious about an industrial look, you could go this route:
https://www.industrialmetalsupply.com/3003-6001-aluminum-dia...

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[*] posted on 9-7-2021 at 07:16 PM


Consider Faux Teak boat material to cover existing steps
Available on Amazon
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[*] posted on 9-7-2021 at 07:53 PM


There are “no-slip” hardwood clear finishes. Don’t know much about them, but have seen them advertised.

I have been on many boats with varnished wood stairs, they usually have strips of “no-slip tape” on the stair treads, or inset no-slip materials, usually looks pretty good if done right.





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[*] posted on 9-7-2021 at 08:10 PM


The Redwood will hold up just fine for your life time and probably the next owner. A good finish will protect them and can be reapplied if needed.
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[*] posted on 9-7-2021 at 08:18 PM


Grind up walnut shells and mix in the last two coats of whatever finish you use. Gaco Deck uses them for non-slip and it's on my BOLA roof deck. A tad industrial but good for walking.
Built a basement wine cellar for a 1%-er and we gouged out the middle of each tread so it looked like a 500-year-old stairway that the monks had used and wore down the steps. Prolly not for your application but it was fun.
You have a "49er" stair, must be 100,000 of them in California built in the 60s-90s. McCuen built most of them as 4-plexes. No longer legal. Folks have slipped walking up, leg shoots thru the riser and snaps in two. Always a clean break I've been told. No space greater than 4" now. We remodel them by putting in 4" thick treads to make code. Glue two of your 2" treads together and lower the Simpson stair clips 2" and you should be good. A 4" glue-up tread made out of anything will span 36" so redwood is fine. U2U me if you need a So Cal specialty mill though sounds like you have one.
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[*] posted on 9-8-2021 at 05:13 AM


Okay, I realized I have leftover tile for the downstairs. I think I will do the mid-landings with tile to tie in with the existing floor. I think I have just enough left.

Goat's idea of the non-slip tape is what I was thinking, they make them specifically for stair treads.

I have some walnut shells for polishing pistol brass, would that be fine enough?

John
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[*] posted on 9-8-2021 at 10:43 AM


I am chiming in to add to your confusion. I live on the Westcoast of British Columbia. Fir and cedar is everywhere. Why do you say "ugly douglas fir"? I love Douglas fir. With a proper finish on it, it is gorgeous. It will patina and oxidize with time and exposure to some sun and will take on a beautiful amber colour. Cedar (or redwood) are generally considered too soft for flooring but are often used for outside decks because of their weather resistance.

It is all personal taste, but I would sand and refinish the Douglas fir slabs. Cover them with a clear floor finish. Use a satin finish to reduce the slipper factor. If you want the wood to stay the light colour that it has been sanded, then use a water based floor finish. If you want it to oxidize and get a warmer more orange colour, then you will need to use an oil based finish. Install the no slip strips on the outside of the tread and you are good to go. If you are really worried about the 4 inch rule, then you can install a 'facing strip under the front of the tread usually with a small offset from the front edge of the tread.

Another two cents worth of advice for you

[Edited on 9-8-2021 by eastmeetswest]
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[*] posted on 9-8-2021 at 02:48 PM


Quote: Originally posted by eastmeetswest  
I am chiming in to add to your confusion. I live on the Westcoast of British Columbia. Fir and cedar is everywhere. Why do you say "ugly douglas fir"? I love Douglas fir. With a proper finish on it, it is gorgeous. It will patina and oxidize with time and exposure to some sun and will take on a beautiful amber colour. Cedar (or redwood) are generally considered too soft for flooring but are often used for outside decks because of their weather resistance.

It is all personal taste, but I would sand and refinish the Douglas fir slabs. Cover them with a clear floor finish. Use a satin finish to reduce the slipper factor. If you want the wood to stay the light colour that it has been sanded, then use a water based floor finish. If you want it to oxidize and get a warmer more orange colour, then you will need to use an oil based finish. Install the no slip strips on the outside of the tread and you are good to go. If you are really worried about the 4 inch rule, then you can install a 'facing strip under the front of the tread usually with a small offset from the front edge of the tread.

Another two cents worth of advice for you

[Edited on 9-8-2021 by eastmeetswest]


The existing treads are just 1.75" thick, roughly cut Douglas Fir. I have nothing against Douglas fir, but these treads have tack strips and painted white. To remove them, sand, and stain still leaves me with 1.75" treads which I feel will look out of scale. I may look into using Douglas fir, but there is a local redwood outlet that was my first visit.

I have yet to spend a penny, so nothing is written in stone. I may do some research on using Douglas fir.

I am not prejudiced against Douglas fir. Fir Lives Matter!

Not worried about the 4" rule, whoever buys the house after I die can deal with it.

John

[Edited on 9-8-2021 by John Harper]
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[*] posted on 9-8-2021 at 03:15 PM


In British Columbia, fir is accepted as a much stronger wood structurally. Cedar tends to lack much structural strength and tends to wear easier. If you use redwood make sure that it is dried to avoid shrinkage and checking. The fir that you have will be well air dried.
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