Making Cement Stair Treads

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Made up of small, individual paving blocks, concrete stair treads attach to steel stairway structures with bolts. Commonly found in motels and apartment complexes, longevity and durability typically characterize cement stair treads. Over time, even cement stair treads can break. Age can also cause treads to grow dingy, and they can become outdated. Retrofit stairs the economical way with homemade treads.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 laminated boards
  • Saw
  • Wooden strips
  • Wood screws
  • Clamps
  • Square
  • Vegetable oil
  • Dust mask
  • Ready-mix cement
  • Cut down the length of four laminated boards, splitting them to a width 3 to 4 inches greater than the thickness of the old stair tread. Cut two of the boards to measure 3 to 4 inches longer than the length of the old tread. Cut the other two boards to measure 3 to 4 inches longer than the width of the old tread.

  • Cut four wooden strips to lengths equal to the thickness of the old stair tread. Screw one strip to one side of the end of each board.

  • Set the boards on their sides with the strips facing out. Arrange them into a rectangle with dimensions that match the dimensions of the old tread. Clamp the corners together, affixing the jaws around the strips and the opposite sides of the boards that the strips abut. Place a square at each corner and make any necessary adjustments to create 90-degree angles.

  • Set the clamped form on top of another laminated board. Clamp the form to the baseboard.

  • Mark inside the form to indicate the requisite height of the new tread. Smear vegetable oil on the inside of the form.

  • Put on a dust mask. Prepare ready-mix cement as directed. Pour the concrete into the form, up to the marks. Tap the sides of the form slightly to allow the concrete to settle.

  • Allow the concrete to stiffen, then remove the form.

Tips & Warnings

  • Utilize a variety of techniques to stylize the treads. Add pigment to the concrete mix for color, create traction in the finished concrete by rubbing the wet concrete with a stiff brush, or carve faux stone shapes into the concrete with the end of a thin dowel.

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References

  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images
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