Repair & Care
Glue Hardwood Planks On Steps - Page Five
Installing Planks On The Step
Getting that stair nosing to fit tight is the hardest part of any job. We don't have the benefit of beveling the backside as we did with our planks because it will be noticeable on the underside once it's installed. In this case Tony made several trips back to the miter saw to get both sides the way he wanted them.
Working on the tread or step itself, the procedures are the same as far as fitting the planks, however the boards are reversing direction to engage the nosing that has the groove facing out. In the example on the right you'll notice the drywall bows in, then out from the nosing to the next riser.
The step itself will take two full board widths and approximately 2 5/8" for a final row. It's important to note at this time when working with stair skirting or stringers, some may be not attached firmly to the drywall themselves. Placing too much force when making a tight fit will throw off work already done on previous steps as you work your way up. Keep an eye on work completed and adjust accordingly.
For the steps themselves (and the risers) we're trying to avoid top nailing at all costs. Dry fit all pieces until you get the desired appearance. Remove all pieces placing them in an ordered fashion nearby so you know what order they go back. Warning! Don't engage the final row tight when dry fitting. You will never be able to remove it without damage.
Spread Glue On Step
To create a step without top nailing, use a urethane spread adhesive. In this example we've spread the glue with a trowel notch size equivalent to 50 square feet per gallon. You could use construction adhesive from a large caulking gun, but complete coverage is more desirable.
When placing your pieces back into place, avoid getting fingers into the adhesive as much as possible. Cleanup as you go. Urethane based adhesives are extremely gooey and messy. Once cured, they are very difficult to remove. Mineral spirits and a rag works to keep the area clean on most all prefinished brands but not waxed types.
Attaching Planks On Step
In some cases if you don't have a tight fit on the stair nosing it may be necessary to top nail (nosing) in order to keep it in place or from moving. When placing the pieces back, always keep an eye, or feel on how the nosing fits against the riser area; it should be tight.
Our last row is the key to the entire step. In order for the next riser area to work right it has to cover the last board installed on the step. Our measurement on the last board calls for 3/8" of material to be removed or thereabouts.
In many cases you may need to tap the last piece into place (downward pressure) with a rubber mallet or by using a scrap piece and a hammer. Using a pry bar we tighten up (pry back) all rows until they meet our expectations. At this time the last row will be top nailed, but fastened nearest to the edge of the last board. Don't get too close. It can split once the nail is engaged.
By scribing a line the thickness of what will go on the risers, you'll get a better idea of the area that will be covered. Barely visible, you'll notice the line in the image below. Engineered products will not split as easily as solid products. For thinner 3/8" solid products, chances are good the top nailing has to be visible otherwise you will get splits. Fill with a matching material provided by the manufacturer.
That basically sums up the procedure on how to install strip or plank on steps. For remaining steps, follow the procedures already mentioned. Always start from the bottom of each step (riser), then the step itself and continue up the staircase.
Scribe line to insure nail holes will cover
Nail last piece
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