How To Build A Stair Tread

Building a stair tread is a great way to add more living space to your home. You can build a tread from any material you like, as long as it’s strong enough to support whatever amount of weight you need it to support, and attractive enough for your house. The simplest method is gluing two layers of plywood together horizontally, with one layer slightly larger than the other so that it overhangs.

In order to build a stair tread, start with a string line that’s level along the full run of the stairs. First, you will be marking the rough cuts on your ends, so this is where you want your string line to be most accurate. Next, you will use your miter saw to cut each end of the stair tread at 45 degrees and measure from there to cut a piece of wood to make up the bottom of the tread. You can then glue and nail each side into place using three inch finish nails or screws—just whatever would be appropriate for your project’s aesthetic.

This post will walk you through how to build a stair tread, which is the part of the staircase that is stepped on. It’s an important part of staircase construction and should be done well.

Lay out the stair treads in the order they will be installed.

  • Lay out the stair treads in the order they will be installed.
  • Make sure to lay out the treads with their top edges flush with the finished surface.
  • If you’re building a straight staircase, you can use a laser level or finish nailer and wood screws to mark where your stringers will go (this is particularly helpful if you are not using treated lumber). For an angled or curved staircase, use a chalk line or marking knife to transfer measurements from one piece of lumber to another.

Measure the length of the markers and cut each piece of lumber to size with a miter saw or circular saw.

Measure the length of the markers and cut each piece of lumber to size with a miter saw or circular saw.

  • A miter saw is a stationary tool that cuts wood at an angle. It’s used in woodworking projects such as stair treads, picture frames and window trimming.
  • A circular saw can also be used to make these cuts, but it’s more difficult because it doesn’t cleanly cut straight lines like a miter gauge does (a guide that helps you keep your work straight). However, if you don’t have access to one or they’re too expensive for your budget, you could use this method instead: Measure out where your marks should go with a tape measure then mark those measurements on both sides of each board using spray paint or chalk so that they are clearly visible from both sides; then use a jigsaw blade mounted on top of your table saw (or other power tools) at its highest possible setting so as not to dig into any edges as much; place them over these markings (with their outermost edge still touching) using clamps if necessary until all four sides have been scored enough for them not crumble when bent over; slowly bend each side until both ends meet perfectly without scraping against each other—and voila! Your pieces are ready for assembly.

Pre-drill holes into the treads, if needed.

If you are using a hardwood, pre-drilling holes is extremely important. If you do not pre-drill the treads, they will split and splinter easily.

Pre-drilling also helps prevent warping due to moisture absorption, which can lead to cracks in your treads.

Add wood glue to the surface of the riser or stair stringers.

  • Apply a thin layer of wood glue to the riser or stringer. Be sure to apply it in a thin layer on both sides of the stringer, not just one side.
  • When applying glue, be sure not to get any on your tread boards because it will cause them to swell and possibly crack when they dry out if you do.

Install treads on to stringers by driving finish nails through the pre-drilled holes (or angle nail in at 45-degree angle) into stringers.

  • Once you’ve measured and marked your treads, you can begin attaching them to the stringers. If you’re using a nail gun, use the correct type of nails for this task.
  • The most common type of woodworking nail is known as a finish nail. These are typically available in lengths between 1-1/4″ and 2″, but their headless design means that they’ll be easy to drive through the hole without splitting or cracking it open. They also come pre-headed, so no need for an extra step in preparation.
  • If you do not have access to a nailer (or if yours has run out of juice), there are still other options: hammering and nailing manually, using a nail set tool (which holds nails upright until driven), punching with a heavy duty punch tool that comes with interchangeable tips for different sizes (this method takes more time than driving with a hammer but guarantees less splintering), drilling holes into floor joists prior to inserting screws (this might require making pilot holes beforehand).

Continue adding treads one at a time until all have been attached to stringers.

  • Make sure to drive each nail straight. If you don’t, you’ll end up with an uneven tread.
  • Don’t drive the nails in too far a good rule of thumb is that they should be flush with the wood, but not protruding past it.
  • Don’t let yourself get lured into over-nailing; if you do, the nail will pierce through your tread and make it look sloppy.

Measure twice, cut once.

Measure twice, cut once.

This is a saying that means you should double check your measurements before cutting wood. I know what you’re thinking: “Measure twice, cut once? That’s ridiculous! How can it possibly help me?” Well, it’s because this expression has been around since at least 1660, when it was written in a book called The Compleat Carpenters Assistant by Robert Southey (who may or may not be the same guy who wrote poetry). He was talking about making sure you get your measurements right before building something in this case a staircase.

If you don’t measure twice, then there’s no way of knowing if your stair tread will fit properly on the risers (the horizontal boards on either side of each step). If one tread turns out too long or too short compared to another one, then your stairs won’t look symmetrical and balanced. They’ll just look like someone didn’t do their job right! And no one wants that.

Final words

Thanks for joining me today. I hope these tips help you on your journey to building a new stair tread.

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