How to apply wood stair tops- cement or glue?

by Al
The main floor of the house is open to the basement via concrete stairs. The basement plan is the next project. I was hoping to apply wood stairs tops and tile fronts.
I just don't know if the wood should be cemented or glued into place.
  3 answers
  • Kauai Breeze Kauai Breeze on May 08, 2016
    A pneumatic nail gun will shoot nails thru the wood into the concrete to keep them stable. You can rent them at your local home center. I would drill out a 1/2" small circle about 3/8" deep before inserting the nail, then use wooden plugs to cover the nail for a finished look. I wouldn't trust my life to glue securing such different materials.
  • William William on May 08, 2016
    Ruth is correct. Wood and concrete move differently and any adhesive by itself would just give away. Construction adhesive and screws are the only solution. I would use Tapcon screws made for concrete. Position the wood tread on the concrete step, predrill thru the wood tread till you hit the concrete and dimple it. Countersink the holes in the wood tread. Then use a masonry bit to drill into the concrete at the dimples. Check for fit. Lay down some construction adhesive in a zigzag pattern on the concrete step. Lay down the wood tread, push down on it for the glue to spread, screw the tread down, plug the countersunk hole with a wood plug, and sand it down smooth with the surface. If the concrete steps are level, four screws per tread should work. Two screws about two inches off each end.
  • Roberta Roberta on May 08, 2016
    Tile will stick to the fronts of the cement steps, but regular wood is not the best application to cement. Usually, engineered wood is applied to cement with glue. You could use the flooring on the steps, but the front edge of the steps would be too thin, unless a special edge is made for this. If you want to attempt to use a regular wooden stair treat, you would glue it, but be prepared for possible warping. You could glue down a vapor barrier onto the steps, and use some sort of cement screws at the corners, as well as glue.