How to Replace Stair Treads

Tape & AdhesivesStair treads have many benefits. By making your stairs less slippery, they can help protect you, your family, friends, guests and visitors from dangerous falls. They look beautiful, adding to the visual appeal of your home or office, and they muffle sound, helping to keep your work space or home place serene and quiet. They also protect the hardwood or carpet on your stairs in these high-traffic areas - an important benefit when you consider how expensive it is to replace steps or stairway carpets.

Did you know that stair treads can also save you money?  That's because you can install your own stair treads quickly and easily, without having to hire anyone, while installing carpeting on your stairs will require the services of a professional.

What's more, when you purchase your stair treads from Dean Flooring Company, you can save even more. That's because we make all of the stair treads we sell ourselves, right here in the U.S. That cuts out the middleman and one layer of costs. In addition, since we sell our stair treads online, we don't have to shoulder the high cost of running a brick and mortar showroom. That cuts out another layer of costs, and we pass the savings on to our customers.

The carpeting that you have seen on stairs may look simple and straightforward, but as with many things, looks can be deceiving. The fact is that installing carpeting or stair runners up and down your staircase is not an easy, run-of-the-mill installation. The edges of the carpet must be perfectly straight and frequently tacked for the proper look and adhesion.

Add to that the costs of buying carpeting and padding for your stairs vs. the cost of buying stair treads. Because stair treads are manufactured specifically for the job and waste no material, you often will save when you choose to go with stair treads rather than carpeting and carpet runners. Simply put, carpeting will usually require a greater outlay of money.

Unless you happen to be a professional carpet installer yourself, properly installing a new carpet on your stairs requires the services of a professional, which will usually cost about $300 to $600. Of course, the tab could be even higher if you live in a high-wage area, because this is a time-consuming job.

Of course, you can hire someone to install stair treads, too, if you lack the time or don't want to do the job yourself for some other reason. Even if you hire someone to install stair treads, however, you will typically still save money compared to installing carpets and carpet runners. That's because installing stair treads takes just a few minutes, compared to the hours it will take to install stair carpeting and stair runners. In addition, you won't need to hire a professional to install stair treads, since the job takes practically no skill or experience. Thus you will save money on labor not only by paying for fewer hours of work but also by paying a lower rate for unskilled labor compared to skilled labor.

How Easy is it to Install Your Own Stair Treads?DIY Peel & Stip Stair Tread

Installing stair treads is so simple and easy that practically anyone can do it. At Dean Flooring Company, we have prepared brief instructional videos (available for Bullnose, Peel-and-Stick, and Tape-Free Stair Treads) and written instructions that can show you how.

If you're wondering how to replace stair treads, the answer is that it is fast, easy and simple to do. Here's a quick how-to:

The first thing to do is to remove your old stair tread. Depending on how it has been affixed to your steps, this can take no time or just a little time. With some of the stair treads available from Dean Flooring Company, for instance, you merely lift up the stair tread and voilà - you have a bare surface on the step on which you can install a brand new stair tread.

Stair treads affixed to your staircase in other ways can take a bit more effort, but not much. For those affixed with double-sided adhesive tape, for instance, simply pull the stair treads up from the steps, making sure to remove all residue of the tape from the steps.

If the old stair treads have been fastened to the stairs with glue, it may take a little more work to remove them. A good, hard yank will usually do the job, however. Likewise, staples will usually require a little more pull to remove the stair treads that they are holding down. If there's old carpet padding on your stairs, don't try to reuse it. Throw it away.

Once you have removed the old stair tread and any carpet padding, it's time to prepare the step for a replacement stair tread. In some cases, there will be little or no residue, but it's a good idea to clean the steps. Remember that the cleaner the steps are, the better the new stair treads will adhere to them.

DIY Bullnose Stair TreadDepending on what type of material you have under your stair treads - hardwood, stone, carpet or something else - use the simplest method possible to remove dust, grit, grime and any residue from adhesive tape or glue. Dust with a whisk broom or a dust mop to remove dirt and grit. Often a simple wipe with a damp cloth will give you the clean substrate you need, although in some cases, you will have to do a bit more. Since your steps will be covered by your new stair treads, the look of the underlying steps won't be your primary concern, however. Creating a clean, flat surface that the new stair tread will solidly adhere to is what you're after.

When your steps are clean and dry, you are ready to install your new stair treads. The process is fast and easy. Use a tape measure to make sure you place your stair treads exactly where you want them on your steps. Most people like to center each stair tread on each step, leaving an equal distance between the edges of the stair tread and the edges of the step. But if you prefer some other arrangement, that is your prerogative. Make sure to measure, however, to ensure a pleasing arrangement and layout.  

When you've decided exactly where to place your stair treads, use double-sided or double-faced tape to attach your stair treads to the steps. Sometimes this tape comes with stair treads; in other cases, you'll need to order it separately. Remove one side of the tape and attach it to your stair tread. Then peel the protective covering off the other side of the tape and attach it to the step. Some people use only two pieces of tape across the top and bottom width of the stair tread to attach it, but we recommend taping on all four sides for better stability. Press down on the edges of the stair tread after you've put it on the step to ensure the best adhesion for the tape.

Then, simply repeat the process for all the steps you intend to cover with new treads. As you can see, the process is fast and simple and requires no special tools or skills.

With DIY stair tread installation being so easy, it's no wonder why so many people go this route. Feel free to call us with any questions you may have about replacing stair treads, or send us an email. We're here to help.