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Stair Tread Thickness

Question

If I cut 16 runs at 7 1/2", wouldn't my very first step be 9"?

Answer

If your stair treads are made from 2x4's or 2x6's, they are 1 1/2" thick. Cut 1 1/2" (or whatever tread thickness you have) off the bottom of the stair stringer and install the top step of the stringer down 9" (in your case) from the finished floor. When you put the stair treads on, you are adding 1 1/2" to the bottom rise of 5" which equals 7 1/2" and subtracting 1 1/2" to the top rise of 9" which equals 7 1/2", making all the stair rises the same height. See my article How to Cut a Stair Stringer for more information.

Dave

(Ask Dave) (About Dave)

Your source for building tips, woodworking & furniture plans, house plans and building advice directly from Dave...

Hi, I'm Dave Osborne. With over 50 years experience as a journeyman carpenter, foreman and contractor in heavy construction I enjoyed working with apprentices and sharing the tricks of the trade that others shared with me. Now I get emails from Members all over the world and we include many of my answers in our Free Monthly Newsletters. Some of my answers include drawings and instructions specific to a project, but may also answer your questions. I use correct construction terminology, so you can confidently inform your building supply dealers or contractors exactly what you need.

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