How to Install Stairtek Retread


Stairtrek retreads allow you to update the look of your staircase without removing the staircase and starting over. The retreads fit over the top of your existing steps. You can also cover the stair risers, the vertical areas of the steps, with Stairtrek's riser replacements for a completely new finish. If you have carpeting on the stairs, you must remove the carpeting, underpadding and tackless strips before starting.

Things You'll Need

  • Broom
  • Tape measure
  • Plywood or other shim material
  • Circular saw
  • Finish nails
  • Hammer
  • Construction adhesive
  • Caulk gun
  • Remove all staples or nails from the steps. Sweep the steps off to remove all dirt and debris. The Stairtek retreads use construction adhesive; removing dirt and dust ensures a secure adhesion.

  • Measure the distance between the face of the riser and the nose overhang of the step above the riser, using a tape measure. Subtract 3/4 inch from the measurement to determine the thickness necessary for your shims. The Stairtek riser is 3/4 inch thick. The combined thicknesses of the shims and the new riser equal the distance of the nose overhang. You can use 2-inch-wide plywood strips or solid lumber for the shims.

  • Measure the length of the riser, the side-to-side width of the step. Cut two pieces of shim material to the length measurement, using a circular saw.

  • Nail one shim across the bottom of the first riser with finishing nails. Nail the second shim at the top of the riser, below the nose of the first step. Repeat the process for all risers on your staircase.

  • Measure the height of the first riser from the floor to the bottom of the first step's nose overhang. Then, confirm your original length measurement of the riser to ensure accuracy. Transfer the height and length measurements to the new riser and make the cuts.

  • Apply construction adhesive to the back of the riser with a caulk gun, running the bead 1 inch from the top and bottom edges. Set one end of the riser against the shims and press the opposite end into place. Drive four finish nails along the top and bottom of the riser.

  • Measure the depth of the first step's tread, measuring from the back of the step -- where it meets the second riser -- to the front edge of the nose. Subtract 1/4 inch from the measurement; this will be the depth of the new retread. Measure between the two ends of the step for the proper length. Transfer the depth and length measurements to the retread and make the cuts.

  • Apply two beads of construction adhesive along the length of the retread, about 1 inch from the top and bottom edges, then apply a wavy bead in between the first two beads. Add another bead along the corner on the underside of the nosing.

  • Position the retread onto the step so its nose is snug against the new riser. Drive four finishing nails near the back edge of the retread, positioning the nails where they will be covered by the new riser on the next step.

  • Install the remaining risers and retreads following the same procedure.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider purchasing the Stairtek measuring tool when ordering your retreads and risers. The tool helps to ensure more accurate measurements.
  • A sliding compound miter saw is ideal for crosscuts (length cuts) on treads and risers, and a table saw is best for rip (width) cuts. Both saws are available for rent.

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