Finished, Carpet-Free Stairs…Hooray!

Our stairs used to have carpet on them. The carpet was gross…our fault, since we’ve been remodeling and hauling stuff up and down those stairs since day 1. But it was time to rid the stairs of carpet, and we gleefully ripped it off a few months ago…only to find this.


We expected to replace the treads (we could see that they were MDF on the basement stairs) but we were hoping to reuse the risers…not so–the builders actually used the temporary treads they’d used during the building of this house as the risers so they were very beat up, low-quality wood and there were large gaps along each side. Rats.

So Kenny and I gathered up our supplies, stained and painted the new stairs and risers, and “hired” my dad and brother to do the actual install (payment=pot roast).


Above: risers. Below: treads.


We also replaced the upstairs hallway flooring with laminate to match the main floor.


Dad and John got to work and installed our new set of stairs in no time flat.


Then Kenny and I had to finish the things…and that took awhile. Our motivation was a little lacking, since there was a big visual change (above) after the install but not a dramatic visual difference filling nail holes, for instance. That’s always the case with the last 10% of a project.

BUT! We finally finished and are calling this a wrap. The new stairs look great with the railings and newel posts I updated last year.


There is nary a nail hole to be seen in these stairs, and caulk and paint filled out any gaps nicely. I used a piece of shoe molding (quarter-round) to bridge the gap between the bottom step and the existing flooring.


Last summer, when we remodeled our master bedroom and I redid all of the electrical, I ran some new wire and installed our old (too small) dining room light in the stairwell. It has made a HUGE difference and casts awesome shadows on the walls.


We of course replaced the baseboards in the upstairs hallway and I installed four (4!) transition strips into the bedrooms and bathroom. Those transition strip installs were my LEAST favorite part of this process and I had to re-do half of them. But they look great now and I’m glad I took the time to make them perfect.


Here’s another shot of the flooring and transition strips. Those angles (including some crazy angles in the closet behind the bifold doors) were not the most fun to install flooring around.


All in all, we guess we spent around $600 for this project. We could have spent a bit less, but we splurged for solid oak treads for the stairs that will last several lifetimes. And we’re very satisfied with the results, so it is money well spent!


Phwew. Happy to be closing the book on this project. :)


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