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Risers and Treads


When installing stair treads and risers some people are telling us the stair riser goes on top of the tread. We prefer the look of it behind the tread and thats what it looks like on your page. We just want to know the correct way of installing the riser.


As with any job, there is more than one way of doing it. Regarding the stair riser behind the tread question, I agree with you. It looks better first of all, but more important is the fact that the riser actually helps support the next higher stair tread. The riser goes behind the lower tread and is nailed to it and fits under the upper tread supporting it as well. The stair risers are nailed onto the stair stringer first, then the treads nailed on after.

Start at the bottom riser, narrower than others, then put on the next riser up. Now nail the first stair tread on the stair stringers and nail the riser onto the tread. Use glue to prevent squeaks. Work your way up the set of steps this way.


(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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