I took old carpet off basement stairs and now I need advice badly!

There is no overhang or whatever that is that is on the top of each stairs...tread? And, there is this ugly black stuff on most of the stairs....and, the second step from the bottom has a post or something that was cut out....there's also the ugly paneling on one side and it looks like something on the other....any advice for how to make this look better but with as little cost involved as possible? Thanks.
  • Woodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com
    I did a quick sketch for you on how to make these stairs look new again.

    First off. The black stuff on the riser is the foam backing left over from a carpet. Most likely an old indoor outdoor one. These come with a black foam padding that quite often sticks to the surface in which it was applied when it was first installed. In any case, simply scrape and clean it off.

    Before you begin to make any improvements to these steps you need to prep them properly for the new finishes to be applied. You need to be sure that the steps are properly secured. That the risers and the step treads that are currently there are tight and fastened well to each other. If not take your time and pre-drill holes in them and using a counter sink. Install new screws to assure that the treads will not move.

    Once that is done, you need to fix and paint the stringers. These are the long boards that run from the basement to the top on each side of the stairs. Scrape and paint them well. Use putty in holes and do a good job as it will be much harder to finish these once the next job is undertaken.

    Higher end laminate floors offer stair finish products. They provide risers, tread materials, bull nose trims. Bull nose is the rounded edge that your currently missing on these on site built steps.

    I provided a sketch in the photo of the side view of what your going to need to do to make the job look professional.

    The riser needs to go in first. If you notice it does not go from the top of the old tread it has a gap of just the correct thickness of the new stair tread your going to purchase. It is cut to length so it fits from side to side between the two stringers. It should come flush to the top of the older step. Carefully glue and finish nail this into place. Do this on every tread riser. You can use the flooring laminate as the same as the stair tread, or you can purchase pine boards and simply paint them.

    Once done you then install the stair treads. Carefully measure from the back of the step, under the existing new riser to the front of the new riser on the step below. You then fit the new laminate floor cutting the width of the very last board so it fits tight. The bull nose will overhang against the new riser while the step will slip under the the other riser. The sketch will show you what I mean. Using a good quality flooring adhesive glue the new steps into place. If you use a wood laminate you could use small finishing nails and then use a good quality matching putty to hide the nail holes. But the glue must be used so the new bull nose does not move or cause the new stair treads to squeak.

    Here is a link from lumber LIquidators on the several bull nose types they offer. Using a laminate type makes the surface overlay much thinner so it does not raise the step much more then 3/8 of in inch.

    This link below will show you in a bit more detail what I explained to you. perhaps even better.


Shirley G
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