How to Install Hardwood Flooring on Stairs

Updated July 20, 2017

Many families are upgrading their carpeted staircases to hardwood staircases. They are easy to clean, look beautiful and are featured in many home magazines. If you want an updated look, then updating your carpeted staircase to hardwood could be the project that you are looking for.

Put on a pair of gloves to prevent tack pins from ruining your hands.

Use a pair of pliers to snag the corner at the bottom of the carpet on the existing stairs while you pull on the carpet with your other hand.

Take a pry bar and tap one end with your hammer to remove the tack strips.

Take a belt sander to clean the mess under the carpet. Any material that is left behind could cause the floors to squeak when you walk on them. Make sure to clean the corners as well, even if you have to clean them by hand.

Remove as many staples as you can with a pair of pliers.

Take a level to make sure each stair is level. If not, they are liable to squeak.

Sand the areas until they are level if you find any discrepancies.

Draw a chalk line on each step with how much nosing needs to be removed, ensuring your line is accurate. Each step will be different, so you need to do this on each one.

Cut along the chalk line with a circular saw. Each side will have a few inches attached still.

Cut the centre of the extra material with the circular saw. Take a pry bar and place it near the middle of one side and pry one half off. Do the same with the other side.

Ensure risers and steps are level before moving on, if not, they will need to be corrected.

Take a compound mitre saw set at a 30- to 45-degree angle and bevel the backside of each stair stringer. This will ensure a tight fit.

Nail down each stringer with a pneumatic nailer or a finish nailer with 15-gauge 2-inch nails. Nail three nails across the length that will be hidden from the step above it.

Things You'll Need

  • Construction gloves
  • Pliers
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Belt sander
  • Level
  • Chalk line
  • Circular saw
  • Compound mitre saw
  • 15-gauge 2-inch nails
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