Friday, March 13, 2015

Stairway to Heaven Part 2: The Installation

It's been a little while, but once again we have been spending every free moment in the basement, so I haven't had time to update about our progress!

First of all, the stairs are installed and they are looking quite snazzy!

Removal of the old treads was pretty straightforward. David used a hammer to lift them up a few inches by hammering the bottom of them, then hammered them back down so that the nail heads were popped up.

Then he used a pry bar to pull out the nails. Sometimes, he had to repeat this process a couple times with each tread. It was a slow process, but uncomplicated.

Once all the treads were out, we used the framing nailer to secure the stringers (the long boards that the treads sit on) to the wall studs so they don't rattle against the wall when the stairs are walked on.

Then it was time for installation! We first attached the risers with a brad nailer, doing a couple of steps at a time.

Then we attached the treads, applying subfloor adhesive to each stringer to prevents squeaks first.

Then David pre-drilled holes, 2 in each stringer for a total of 6 per tread, and hand-nailed them into place. We could have used the nail gun, however, we went that route with the bathroom tub step and ended up splitting the tread. We didn't want a repeat of that, so we hand-nailed instead. We counter sunk all the nails and used a punch to drive them below the surface of the wood.

Before too long, we found that a lot of the risers were too tall, a result of my poor measuring skills. The saw was out in the garage, so we set all the treads in place and very carefully walked up them to trim down the wood.

Once we got that resolved, installation was pretty simple and before we knew it, they were all in place!

We waited a few days in case any nails decided to pop up after seeing some use, then I went over all the nails with stainable wood putty. After that was dried and sanded, I followed up with a coat of stain and polyurethane and we were all finished!

Pay no attention to all the wood on the wall. That's another project for another post. :)

Obviously, we still have some trim and caulking to do, but I plan to tackle that at the same time as the rest of the trim. You know I will update all of you on that step, too! In the meantime, I'm just thrilled to have some good looking steps to walk down.

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