Stair retread assistance

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Pgiannakos

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I posted this in the introduction section but not sure if I should’ve asked it here.

My current project is a stair retread project. I removed the existing carpet, cut off the bull nosing and installed white oak stairtek retreads with poplar retro risers. The stairway has two landings that I installed 3/4in white oak hardwood. I glued and nailed all of the parts. I used a tread jig to get as close as possible to the stringers, but unfortunately some of the stringers were bowed, mostly in the middle so I couldn’t butt up the tread exactly without a gap. I’ve attached pictures of some of the gaps. Long story short, what can I use if anything, to fill in those gaps where the treads meet the stringers? I plan on using a very light colored oil based stain that won’t change the white oak color that much. I also have a gap where the one board of meets the bull nosing on the landings. The nosing is a different brand then the landing flooring. Not sure if that’s the reason why they don’t lock in better. Should I try and fill that gap or leave it?

I was considering trying the timbermate wood filler in white oak or maple or a minwax filler. Will those eventually crack or shrink from the stress of the stairs and seasonal changes?

Would wood glue mixed with sawdust be better?

I know would fillers don’t stain that great and you’ll always see where it was applied, but since I’m keeping it a very light color I figured it won’t stand out much.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Recommendations for a stain and poly are also welcome. This is completely new to me and im afraid of botching it. Thanks in advance guys.
 

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Tile Tom

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first off, great job! They look awesome.
I usually calk the sides when I’m done if I have that issue. Just keep your bead as small as possible and be neat!
Calk can either make or break a project depending on how good you can calk. If not so good at it use painters tape to mask off tread, riser and stringers. Then just calk, smooth & pull the tape.

Good luck
 

C.J.

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I wouldn’t try and fill the gaps with putty cus that never looks good long term. A clean bead of silicone will do wonders otherwise I’d just leave well enough alone because those treads will grow and shrink seasonally anyway so just roll with it.
 

Pgiannakos

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Thanks for the advice guys. I’ll go the caulk route for sure. I used dap dynaflex 230 for the risers. Could I stick with that for the tread gaps as well or do you suggest something else?

One other question, I have a few nail holes to fill on the treads as well. Some weren’t completely covered by the riser and I put a few on the bottom three steps as shown in one of the photos. Any recommendations what to use to fill them? Wood filler? Wood glue with saw dust? Thanks
 

highup

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If you have a decent paint store, they can mix up some color match caulking. I don't recall the name of it but it's kind of very tiny tip and the caulking is rather thin inconsistency. It dries slowly but it's flexible. I went to a job to redo a botched up carpet job and the shop asked me if I could caulk some areas on the stairs where wood planks were installed. The homeowner was very picky and I thought the installation was excellent. I carefully taped off the wall and pumped in a little bit of caulking wiped it smooth and peeled off the tape. It turned out nice....... even tho it was nice to start with.
If you have some remnants from your installation, you could take a few pieces to the paint store and decide on a color that would work best. I'm guessing that you would want to go towards the lighter side than the darker side when you pick a color.
 

highup

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This is the product.

You might also be able to find a close enough color using unsanded grout caulk. Your choices will be limited but that material remains flexible. I wouldn't use the silicone type because if the skirt boards were ever repainted......
....well, you know 😉
The stairs look great. I'm glad it was you, not me, that installed them 😁
 

Pgiannakos

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Thans
This is the product.

You might also be able to find a close enough color using unsanded grout caulk. Your choices will be limited but that material remains flexible. I wouldn't use the silicone type because if the skirt boards were ever repainted......
....well, you know 😉
The stairs look great. I'm glad it was you, not me, that installed them

Thanks I’m going to check it out
 

highup

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Those caulking tubes come with screw on tips and the end of the tip is very small, something that you'd want for something like this. It's got a nice consistency too.
You just want to spend some extra time taping against the wall to be sure that caulking doesn't lose up behind the tape.... That frog tape might be helpful too. When I used it in a few spots on a set of stairs that I was asked to touch up.
I taped off the wall first and then carefully taped off the edge of the stair, two layers out so I had a wide area to make a mess on when I squeegeed or smoothed the caulking flat with a narrow plastic spreader. You just have to take your time but obviously from looking at the stairway you're definitely capable of that.
 

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