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How to Install Hardwood Stairs

Once you have installed stairs, you can finish them by adding hardwood. Learn how to install hardwood stairs with these easy step-by-step directions.

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  • Time


  • Price Range

    $250 - $500

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 1: Measure and Cut the Stairs

To prepare for the stairs to be finished, cut back the lip on the existing treads and thoroughly clean the stairs with a vacuum.

Next use a tape measure (Image 1) and mark where cuts need to be made on each tread and riser, cutting at the marks with a miter saw (Image 2).

To get an exact edge, use a grinder (Image 3).

Step 2: Adhere the Risers

Apply a construction adhesive on the back of the first riser (Image 1). Position it in place (Image 2), and only after it’s in the correct position, nail it into place with a finish nailer (Image 3).

Step 3: Repeat the Gluing Process

Repeat the process with each step. Use a rubber mallet to position the stairs in their exact spot, making sure the stair is plumb and even with a box level (Image 1), using shims where necessary (Image 2).

Step 4: Finish the Stairs

After all the stairs are in place, wait for the glue to dry and lightly sands and cleans the stairs with a broom and a shop vac. Finally apply a stain and polyurethane finish.

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