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Author: Subject: Replacing Steps on Open stairs with Redwood Treads
John Harper
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[*] posted on 9-8-2021 at 04:19 PM


Quote: Originally posted by eastmeetswest  
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.


I have no reason to use redwood. It's just the only wood I asked about and then found out I could get it milled. I guess I need to ask if they can mill Doug fir. Like I said, I'm just doing some hard research. I'm not dead set on any particular wood (except the $400 each treads, that's a deal killer) and I have no issues with stained and sealed wood of any kind.

I just recall redwood looking good on outside decks and fences, so I figured it might work. I'm an auto and motorcycle guy, not a carpenter, although I do know how to use almost all hand power tools, welders, and auto shop equipment.

I think the existing treads are just going to look goofy being so thin. Having thicker stairs will approximate the thickness of the carpet wrap.

I'm even thinking 2.5" or 2.75" rather than 3" but I need to do some more examination of thicknesses, as the carpet is severely worn in the center.

Thank you so much for your perspective, I wondered about using relatively inexpensive Douglas fir, but my first voyage was to a redwood place.

John
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[*] posted on 9-8-2021 at 04:30 PM


If worried about slipping, maybe use teak for tread area, with oil finish.



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[*] posted on 9-8-2021 at 04:30 PM


Quote: Originally posted by advrider  
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.


I fully agree. Op's first idea was redwood....stick with it and its patina later will warm your heart.

Some years ago (1975) I stayed in Westport, California at a two story hotel called Cobweb Palace: several rooms upstairs and bar downstairs. The bar was an original from late 1800's and was made from redwood.....lovely bartop profiles worn in by elbows over the years.




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John Harper
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[*] posted on 9-8-2021 at 06:25 PM


I'm going to check out the suggestion about Douglas fir, before I make any firm decisions. I'm really stoked I posted this up, because I've learned a lot more than I expected. That's always good. Thanks to all.

As a despicable, lowlife, taxpayer burdening, high school teacher, I don't get paid until the end of the month, so plenty of time for more information.

advrider's comment did warm my heart. And motoged's added comments.

John


[Edited on 9-9-2021 by John Harper]
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advrider
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[*] posted on 9-8-2021 at 07:21 PM


Another option is bug killed pine, I've been using it on projects and it has a blue tint and cool look. It's a soft wood but there is a lot of it out there. Several small mills in my Northern California area if your looking for prices?
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John Harper
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[*] posted on 9-8-2021 at 07:36 PM


Quote: Originally posted by mtgoat666  
If worried about slipping, maybe use teak for tread area, with oil finish.


I think your idea about the grip strips is excellent.

John
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[*] posted on 9-13-2021 at 06:02 AM


Update 9/12/21

Got carpet off one tread and the mid landings to see what we're dealing with. We decided to go with fake wood tile on mid landings and use it as well for the upstairs landing/hallway and one of the bathrooms. Also looks like the existing tread is 1.5" Douglas fir. With carpet tack strip, padding and carpet adds another 1/2" so I'm thinking get the Douglas fir milled to 2" now.

Also have the idea to integrate some Mexican tiles into the vertical faces of the landings.

Looks like 150 sq ft of wood tiling strips and 33 feet of milled lumber, plus all the supplies needed to install and we'll have a plan ready to execute.

John
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[*] posted on 9-15-2021 at 01:23 PM


Tile bought, delivered, and stacked upstairs. Wood ordered for stairs. Going to look at Mexican tiles on Saturday. Buddy at the house this week laying the tile while I'm at school. Stair treads will be the last thing we do, most likely, as they will take some precision cutting.

John
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[*] posted on 9-15-2021 at 03:12 PM


Pictures when its done would be cool.
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thebajarunner
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[*] posted on 9-15-2021 at 04:34 PM


Trex...
Sorry I am chiming in late
Just moved to Arizona since I knew Newsom would prevail
Love that 2.5% maximum state income tax and the $3 gas

We had Trex for our very large wraparound porch in Central California, also the steps. It comes with a fake would grain that is not slick.

And it will never rot or get soft.
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John Harper
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[*] posted on 9-16-2021 at 11:01 AM


Quote: Originally posted by advrider  
Pictures when its done would be cool.


Absolutely! Thanks to all for their advice.

John
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[*] posted on 9-22-2021 at 05:06 PM


Okay, tile almost done, here's the first landing with colored tiles.


I figured I'd do all the tile, baseboards, and paint. We can pull each tread individually at leisure. I think the hardest parts almost done.

John
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[*] posted on 9-22-2021 at 05:50 PM


Good choice, looks good.
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[*] posted on 3-8-2022 at 04:02 PM


Quote: Originally posted by AKgringo  


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!



In an ironic turn of events, I wound up cutting that fir tree, and one other into 8' 3" logs which a neighbor milled into 2 1/2" x 12" planks. The color, and grain came out very good.

My nephew is going to re-deck a flat bed equipment trailer with them, and I will ask him to take pictures of the completed project.

[Edited on 3-8-2022 by AKgringo]




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[*] posted on 3-9-2022 at 04:09 PM


Straight grain knot-free Douglas fir is a fine hardwood.

I made some exterior doors out of it years ago adnnthey were beautiful. Just check the prices. haha

It compares price wise with other hardwoods like oak and cherry and mahogany. Alder when stained can look like mahogany and is quite reasonable per board foot.

Redwood can be a bit soft with out a durable finish but it is a looker when finished.

It sounds like you went to J and J's Lumber in Sorrento Valley. They are a quality supplier. Thanks for keeping us abreast of how your project is coming along, neighbor John. [Leucadia]



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[*] posted on 3-11-2022 at 04:52 PM


Straight grained knot-free fir is at least as hard as mahogany and mahogany doesn't have a problem with being called a hardwood.

Of course, fir that is not straight grained with knots is softer. It is all in how the fir is milled and choosing the best boards. Straight grained fir's prices reflect the quality of fir and there are several cheaper cuts of fir that are softer.
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