Hardwood Stair Treads
Using solid wood & buiding from scratch

Hardwood Stair Treads can be made in a number of ways depending on your application and stage of construction or rennovation.

With new home construction, solid hardwood steps can be made from the ground up with your wood of choice. Often fabricated off site and delivered with a crane for onsite manipulation. Obviously for a rennovation projection this is not possible and using an alternate method of installing hardwood planks or "recover treads" is a better option.

But for those of you that chose this option, here's a few ideas...

Using Solid Wood.
Solid hardwood stairs: use 2x10 or 2x12 furniture grade lumber for the stringers and treads and solid hardwood 1x8 for the risers. Fancy joinery is used to groove the treads into the stringers and blind fasteners are used to attach the risers and treads together from underneath.

Wood Stair Treads made in this fashion require the use of more expensive wood (because it is all thicker stock for both structural and cosmetic appeal) and a more skilled tradesman for installation due to the blind joinery needed. It is generally not a method recommended for the weekend woodworker unless you are really brave!

When building this type of stair treads, hardwood planks can be any type of wood from ash to zebrawood, as long as the thickness of the wood and your design matches the strength characteristics of the hardwwood you have chosen .. this is very important especially in situations where you wish to eliminate the riser... see Hardwood Stairs: Residential Building Code for issues related to open risers.

As suggested earlier this method is most often used in new home construction where highly mechanized manufacturers fabricate the solid hardwood stairs offsite and deliver the stairway treads as a unit dropped in place with the use of a crane.

Those that wish to take this on as a DIY project would be best advised to hook up with a local finishing carpenter for help, .... or as a last resort buy a few books :)


if you change your mind and would like to research the "easier" method and purchase Hardwood Recover Treads then take this link to our sister site, or read further



Why Solid Wood?

1. really the only way to go if you want to eliminate the riser (ie. create an "open" set of stairs)

.... of course, as suggested earlier this is assuming your local building controls office accepts this method of construction.