Wood stair tread

Wood stair tread DEFAULT

A bird's-eye view of a poorly installed tread. Incorrect staple placement has caused this profile to crack upon installation. Also, no flooring was installed over the profile at the time of install, leaving it more susceptible to further damage and failure. - Click to enlargeA bird's-eye view of a poorly installed tread. Incorrect staple placement has caused this profile to crack upon installation. Also, no flooring was installed over the profile at the time of install, leaving it more susceptible to further damage and failure. - Click to enlarge

Nothing finishes a room off better than complementing your hardwood flooring with a beautiful hardwood staircase. Wood treads and risers are typically installed by a stair specialist, not the company installing the flooring, although some high-end wood flooring contractors also handle stairs. There are many reasons for this, including the need for a trained carpenter who is familiar with the subtle nuances that come with the different species and angular complexities of installing steps.

When you find yourself installing wood treads and risers, remember these dos and don'ts to help ensure a proper install.


Do ensure that you measure properly. For older homes that may have settled, or newer homes where workmanship is less than perfect, there are specialized tools available that can create an exact template of the tread or riser including length, end angles and depth.

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When installing glue blocks to the stringers for extra tread support, most installers will use scrap lumber and cut it to their liking. A high-quality construction adhesive should be used.When installing glue blocks to the stringers for extra tread support, most installers will use scrap lumber and cut it to their liking. A high-quality construction adhesive should be used.

Do apply "glue blocks," where possible, on all of your stringers prior to tread installation. Glue blocks are approximately 4-inch blocks, square or triangular, that can be made at the job site from scrap lumber. Where possible, these blocks should be installed at every wood-to-wood contact point on the underside of the stair. This helps maintain stability of the riser and the integrity of the stringer, which also helps ensure a solid floor without squeaks.

When installing glue blocks, follow this procedure for a professional installation.

Secure blocking to the stringers at the front, along the edge located directly behind the risers.

Install the risers with a level top edge slightly above the top edge of both the blocking and the stringers.

Never nail into a block from either a tread or a riser.

Adhere the blocking to the risers and the stringers using a construction adhesive.

Use a dimensional sized 2-by-2 piece of lumber for blocking material.

The top tread on the stairs that cannot be accessed from underneath cannot be glue-blocked. Use generous amounts of adhesive to account for the lack of glue blocks.

Support blocking can be added to the side of the stringers to increase surface contact for gluing.

{rblink 2046}Do work at least one riser ahead before installing treads. Installing two risers is one way to ensure proper strength and performance. The important thing is to remember to install riser, tread, riser, tread or install the risers first.

Do use both adhesives and fasteners when possible. This will prevent movement. The Janka hardness in some exotics may require the use of only adhesives or pre-drilled fasteners. When using just adhesives, kerf the stair bottoms first.

Do seal the sides of the tread and riser in closed stair wells. Paint can cause moisture to infiltrate the wood. Sealing edges is particularly critical on closed stairwells when paint is applied to the wall or skirt board.

Do know and follow the care and maintenance procedures. Treads and risers are created to be consistent with the care and maintenance of the matching flooring manufacturers' products.

Do nail only where there are stringers, and finish the nail holes with filler. Sink all nail holes. The fibers of the wood will fan out to help fill the nail hole, and the filler should do the rest.


Don't leave steps partially finished. This may be common sense, but I've seen jobs that were left half-done where clients could trip or splinter the wood material. This is hazardous to their health and the future of your business.

Don't fasten treads and or risers with only nails or staples. The adhesive is much more important than the fasteners. There will be times when fastening may be limited, so a good adhesive is critical.

Don't use the stringer as a level for the treads. The tops of the stringers will never be level. Rely on the front edge of the riser for your level surface.

Don't deviate from local building and construction codes. The inspector will tear out your staircase if it doesn't meet ADA and ASTM codes.

Don't assume that any two treads or risers will be the same size. This is particularly important on closed-wall installations, because the adjacent walls will vary in width.

Don't do a job without the proper tools. Money spent on the proper tools will save you tenfold on the job site. Reduce the windshield time and call-backs, and provide a quality installation.

Don't face-nail through the tread and into the riser. Nails should always go into the stringer to reduce the risk of splitting the riser and tread. Stay away from the front edge of the tread, as this is visually unattractive and you run the risk of compromising the installation of the riser.

RELATED: How I Do These Jobs: Creating Floating Stairs

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Stair Treads for your staircase from Pear Stairs

Pear Stairs is a leading UK supplier and manufacturer of stair parts, stairs and staircases. We specialise in all things stairs and can provide stair treads.

Our expert designers pay meticulous attention to detail when manufacturing staircases, so if you’re looking for top-quality stair treads in the UK, you’ve come to the right place.

Whether it be for a new build or remodelling project, our stair treads provide a solution for every job. Available in oak and hardwood, they are guaranteed to accentuate the beauty of natural wood – providing a solid foundation for your staircase.

Depending on the style of your staircase, your stair tread will change as well. We have a wide range available in all types of style and material. We have oak and hardwood staircase treads both available from our online shop.

In addition to standard wood stair treads, we also supply:

  1. Glass Treads
  2. Winder Treads
  3. Bullnose Treads
  4. D-end Treads
  5. Spacesaver Treads

No matter which of our stair treads you choose, you can relax in the knowledge that they are made from the highest-grade material and create a stunning focal point. We use state of the art machinery to ensure all our stair parts are worthy of being the centrepiece of your home.

Find out more about stair treads, and the different types available, below. If you require assistance choosing the best stair treads, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by completing the online enquiry form. Or call us on 01938 553 311 to discuss your requirements further.

What is a stair tread?

What is stair tread? 

The tread is the part of the step which is trodden on while climbing or descending the staircase. The tread and the riser together make one step; a series of treads and risers connected by a string and railing make a flight of stairs.

A Tread can be as simple as ‘the bit you put your feet on’, or it can form a part of the statement your staircase makes.

What is stair tread? 

A stair tread may incorporate ‘nosing’, a decorative feature applied to the edge of the tread and protruding slightly over the riser beneath. This can be used to cover end grain (the rough line left after cutting in to shape).

What is stair tread? 

Nosing may also be applied to hide end grain on the open sides of the treads on a cut string staircase (where the edge is visible).

Different types

All of our treads are available in the standard sizes specified in the descriptions below, or can be made custom to your specifications, ensuring compatibility with your staircase design.

Standard wooden staircase tread

Wooden Tread 

A simple rectangular tread for use on straight staircase designs.

Rectangular Tread 

For ease of installation, our standard tread is manufactured with a knotch on the underside, into which the top of the riser can be slotted. This is routed to fit risers 18mm wide; the standard width for all hardwood risers.

Standard Tread 

Where plywood risers are used, standard riser width will be 9mm. In this case, the remaining space in the slot can be filled with a wedge or a second piece of chamfered 9mm ply.

Standard Tread 

We sell pre-made standard stair treads of 21mm thickness and 268mm depth (the distance from the riser to the back of the step). These can be cut to the desired depth during installation if required.
Standard stair tread is supplied in 1m boards, which can be cut to size during installation.

Glass tread

Glass tread 

Pear Stairs are able to supply glass treads, which are toughened for strength and laminated for slip resistance.

Glass tread 

Glass treads can be combined with timber stringers and a timber balustrade to stunning visual effect, or paired with one of our glass balustrades to maximise the effect of the material.

Glass tread 

For a truly modern and minimalistic look, many choose to combine glass with stainless steel components, such as these stainless steel dowel risers.

Glass tread 

A glass stair tread gives the look and feel of a ‘floating’ staircase; but despite its weightless appearance, ours meet and exceed the load-bearing capabilities required by building regulations.

In fact, toughened glass is five times stronger than normal glass, and the laminating process increases this strength further.

If you are interested in purchasing glass treads for your staircase, please speak to one of our qualified designers.

Winder tread

Shop for Winder Treads


Winder Tread 

A winder tread is a triangular tread which is designed to be used on winder or curved staircases, and cut to a narrower width on one side than the other.

Combining multiple winders enables a staircase to change direction without incorporating landings; this is desirable where space is limited, or may simply be preferred aesthetically.

Winder Tread 

We sell pre-made winders with individual turns of 30°. These can be cut to size during installation if required – in this case, you will need to cut the tread widthwise (the left edge in the picture on the left hand side), maintaining the 30° angle and nosing.

Winder Tread 

To accomplish a 90° turn, three winders must be used together.

The beginning of a turn is accomplished using a single winder. Our pre-made single winders are manufactured 1.7m wide, and cut to a 615mm tread depth on the outside edge (the edge opposite the turn). The width can be altered during installation, but the depth should remain the same to preserve the angle of the turn.

Winders can also be produced in measurements custom to your requirements.

Winder Tread 

The single winder is followed by a second winder tread which is sometimes referred to as a ‘kite winder’ – this is because it is kite shaped, with four sides.

The four sides of the kite winder are necessary to enable the kite to sit at the center of a turn in the staircase; this will normally take the form of a 90° corner in the string or a wall. The two outside edges of a kite winder are therefore cut at 90° from one another, allowing it to be slotted easily into place.

Our pre-made kite winders are cut to 1.23m wide and a total 634mm tread depth on the outside edge.

Kite winder 

The third and final winder required to complete a 90° turn is a second 30° winder.

Our pre-made third winders are cut to 1.22m wide and 615mm tread depth on the outside edge.

The width of any winder tread can be altered during installation, but the depth should remain the same to preserve the angle of the turn.

Winders can also be produced in measurements custom to your requirements.

Winder Tread 

A left or right turn can be incorporated into a staircase using left or right handed winder treads; for a left turn, left handed winders should be used; for a right turn, right handed winders should be used.

Whether the tread is right or left handed determines which side of the tread is narrowest; for example, on left handed winder tread, the narrowest side would be the left hand side.

Please make sure you know whether you require left or right hand winders before ordering from us. This is to ensure that the nosing and riser slot are positioned correctly on the treads you receive – were you to simply flip a right-hand winder over, the tread would be upside down, with slot on top and nosing below.

Winder Tread 

Each of our winder treads is manufactured with a nosed edge, meaning that nosings do not need to be purchased separately.

Bullnose tread

Shop for   Bullnose Treads



A bullnose (also called a ‘bullnose step’ or ‘starting step’) is a decorative feature that can be added to the bottom of a staircase which is open on one or both sides. (‘Open’ means that the edge of the staircase does not butt up against a wall.)


This means that the first step from the bottom of the staircase may be rounded, and wider than the other steps.


This isn’t just cosmetically appealing; a wider base can mean a sturdier staircase.

Bullnose tread should be used with a bullnose riser. Together, the two components form one bullnose step.


We sell pre-made bullnose treads of 265mm depth and 1.05m length. These are the standard dimensions; treads can be cut to size during installation if necessary, or produced custom to your specifications.

The pre-made bullnose treads in our shop are single bullnoses, designed for staircases which are open on only one side. Before ordering bullnose tread, you’ll need to know whether you require a left-handed or right-handed bullnose.

bullnose tread 

For a staircase which is open on both sides, a double bullnose is used. This is rounded on both sides.

Because a double bullnose tread cannot be cut down to size during installation, we don’t sell pre-made double bullnose treads in our shop.

bullnose tread 

Instead, we manufacture double bullnose treads ourselves, custom to your staircase’s measurements. If you require a double bullnose, please contact a member of our staff with your staircase’s exact measurements, and we will manufacture the tread to fit, in a timber of your choice.

We are happy to produce bespoke bullnose treads to your design specifications, such as the unique six-sided step opposite.

D-end tread

D-end tread 

A D-end step (sometimes called a ‘curtail step’) is a decorative feature, similar to a bullnose, that can be added to the bottom of a staircase which is open on one or both sides.

D-end tread 

D-end tread is designed to be used with a D-end riser; together, the two components form a single D-end step.

D-end tread 

Pear Stairs supplies single and double going D-end treads.

A single going D-end step is used when only a single entry step (the first step from the ground floor) is desired, and can be used in less spacious settings for an elegant appearance.

Double going D-end tread 

A double going D-end step is used when two entry steps are desired.

The single going D-end then sits on top of the double going D-end, creating a wider, more imposing staircase entry. This is called a ‘double D-end’ or ‘double curtail’.

Double going D-end tread 

We sell double going D-end tread of 245mm tread depth and 485mm going (the total step depth, on which the single going D-end step sits). This type of tread is available either left or right handed – it is important that you know which side the D-end will be on before ordering.

Whether the D-end is left or right handed is determined by which side of the staircase butts up against the wall.

Single going D-end tread 

We sell pre-made single going D-end tread manufactured to 260mm tread depth. This can be used on either left handed or right handed D-ends.

Both single going and double going D-end treads are supplied in widths of 1.4m, which can be cut to size during installation.

D-end tread 

Where a staircase is open on both sides, a double D-end (not to be confused with a double going D-end) is used – this is rounded on both sides.

D-end tread 

As a double D-end tread cannot be cut down to size during installation, all double D-end treads must be manufactured custom to your staircase’s measurements. This means that we can’t sell double D-end treads pre-made.

If you require double D-end tread, please contact a member of our staff with your staircase’s exact measurements, and we will manufacture the tread to fit in your choice of timber.

We can also manufacture bespoke D-end steps, custom to your design specifications. Examples of D-end steps we have produced for our customers are:

D-end tread 

This extra-large double going D-end step.

D-end tread 

This bespoke square-edged double going D-end step.

Spacesaver tread

Spacesaver tread 

Spacesaver tread is used with spacesaver stairs, are also called ‘alternating tread’ stairs and ‘paddle’ stairs. This type of staircase is designed, as the name suggests, to save space!

Spacesaver tread 

The tread on a spacesaver staircase is unique in design: Part of each tread is cut away on either the left or right hand, alternately. The climber ascends and descends the stairs by placing the left foot on the left hand tread, the right foot on the right hand tread, and so on.

When ordering spacesaver stairs, most of our customers specify which side tread they prefer to start with; left, or right. This makes it much easier to grow used to climbing spacesaver stairs, as most people have a foot they favour first when climbing a staircase. Try climbing your pre-existing staircase and make note of which foot you start with.

Spacesaver tread 

Spacesaver stairs can take some getting used to, require practice, and should only be used by people who are physically fit.

It is impossible to turn around on spacesaver stairs and both feet cannot occupy one tread at the same time; this is not ideal for residential use.

Additionally, Pear Stairs only supplies spacesaver staircases in hardwood. We believe this is safest, due to the high strain placed on each of the treads when climbed.

Spacesaver tread 

Where a spacesaver staircase is used, it must comply with certain guidelines:

  • A spacesaver staircase must not be used as the sole staircase in a dwelling.
  • A spacesaver staircase must only be installed in straight flights – winders are not viable.
  • A spacesaver staircase must be installed with a handrail on one or both sides.
  • A spacesaver staircase must not be the sole route of access to more than one room, which must not be the sole WC in the dwelling.
  • A spacesaver staircase must not be the sole route of access to a habitable room; i.e., a bedroom, lounge or other room which residents access often throughout the day.


Pear Stairs produces spacesaver treads to a minimum thickness of 32mm, for safety. As each spacesaver staircase is produced to customer specifications, tread width may vary, but we suggest an absolute minimum width of 500mm.

Our free staircase design tool – StairCreator  will be able to show what different staircases can look like with varying stair treads. For spacesaver staircases please contact our dedicated design team on 01938 553311.

Sours: https://www.pearstairs.co.uk/
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Know your options before selecting the perfect stair tread for your project.

Whether you’re building a new home or renovating an existing one, designing a staircase to fit your design style and lifestyle is an important consideration. Once you have decided on a type of stairs it is time to decide what type of stair tread to choose. There are plenty of tread styles and materials to choose from to complement your home’s design. Whether your home is modern, contemporary, rustic or traditional there is a style to fit your requirements.

At Keuka Studios, we design our staircases to accommodate your preferred style of stair treads.

What types of stair treads are there?

Various Types of materials are available and include – Wood, Glass, Tile, Composite, Stone, and Steel.

1. Wood Treads

With wood, it is important to consider if your project is for the interior or exterior of your home.  Many wood species do not hold up well in the outdoor weather elements so choosing an appropriate type of wood should be carefully considered.

For interior staircases, there are a variety of woods available to choose from for your project that will add different aesthetics to your decor. Some of the more popular varieties are Red Oak, White Oak, Hard Maple, Walnut, and Distressed Woods.

Red Oak is readily available has a reddish-brown appearance and is considered hard and heavy with medium bending strength. It adds a sense of warmth to the decor.

Floating stair treads against stone wall. Treads are Red Oak with Steel stringer structure.

White Oak is slightly lighter in color than red oak and is a heavy hardwood with medium bending strength.  White Oak has become very popular in modern design as it tends to have a straighter more linear grain than red oak. Using white oak lightens up a room. It is not recommended for aesthetic outdoor tread applications as it turns black quickly with weather (although it does resist rot quite well). 

Keuka Studios custom stairs and railing made with white Oak Treads and glass railing.

Hard Maple is a creamy white with a slight reddish-brown tinge and is generally straight-grained it has a high resistance to abrasion and wear making it a good solid choice for stairs and landings.

Maple staircase with maple handrail.

Walnut is a tough hardwood, the sapwood is creamy white, while the heartwood is light to dark brown. The dark wood is typically the most sought after so expect to pay more as much of the sapwood will be unusable.

Distressed Wood is often just reclaimed lumber from an old barn or factory where years of heavy use have added some character to the wood. Alternately, it could be newer wood that has been mechanically stressed and finished to give that distressed look. Either way, it can add a textured, rustic appeal. This can be desirable in a high-traffic area as any additional wear over time will just add to the character of the wood.

Distressed wood treads on rustic industrial staircase.

In addition, it is popular to whitewash or bleach wood to give it an antique distressed look while lightening the surface of the wood. Sometimes pigment is added prior to the finish coat allowing the natural grain to pop more.

Antiqued knotty pine was selected for the treads on this staircase to complement the wide-aged pine board flooring on this Nantucket home. Pine is a softer wood that will more easily wear over time than hardwoods.

For exterior staircases, ironwoods are recommended such as Ipe or Cumaru. Additionally, although much softer redwood and cedar are good options since they stand up better than other species to the elements. To maintain the natural beauty of these woods they require regular oiling and care, or they can be left exposed to the elements to age to a grayish appearance.

Keuka Studios can provide stair treads and landings in your wood of choice, to be finished on-site by your contractor.

2. Glass Treads

Choosing glass stair treads with a steel floating stair stringer system will create a stunning architectural element in your home. There are dozens of varieties of colors, patterns,  textures, and finishes available in glass. One important consideration is to choose a tread that has a non-slip surface. In addition, would you prefer LED lighting for the treads? The combination of glass tread combined with LED lighting can add a dramatic effect to the overall aesthetic of the staircase. At Keuka Studios we have the capability to create steel stair stringers to accommodate glass treads and hide the LED lighting wires. 

Glass Stair Treads on floating steel stringer stairs with led lighting.
Ladder Stair to rooftop deck glass treads and LED lighting

3. Tile Treads

Tile stair treads can be a beautiful and durable alternative to wood. They have the advantage of not needing oiling or ongoing maintenance since they won’t decay or attract insects. Many of today’s tiles simulate the look of wood. We can design and fabricate steel stair tread pans to accommodate the selected style tile tread or pavers.

tile treads with custom stair support and stringers.

4. Composite Treads

Composite materials resist fading, scratching, and mold, they don’t rot, crack, or splinter. They are durable and require minimal maintenance. For this project below to accommodate composite decking on floating stairs, we designed a steel support system for the treads and the railing posts connect to the steel stringer below the steps.

Composite treads on floating cable railing staircase.
Exterior Deck Staircase with composite decking.

5. Stone Treads

Bluestone Treads are the most common stone tread currently trending for outdoor stair applications. Bluestone treads have a grayish-blue color and are typically 2 inches thick. They add durability and beauty to any outdoor staircase with minimal maintenance required. In addition, they blend naturally with the adjacent landscape. 

Limestone Treads can be used for interior and exterior stair projects. It is a natural stone that can be easily shaped and cut to any size. Limestone is highly durable and is widely available. It is available in a variety of color variants ranging from honey creams to grays. Limestone can be polished to the desired finish. It is important to seal limestone to prevent staining.

Limestone treads on a steel stair with keuka curved cable railing system

6. Steel Treads

Metal stair treads are strong and offer a rustic industrial styling. Steel treads pair beautifully with open beam architecture and are often preferred on spiral staircases. With metal treads, it is important to provide some sort of slip protection. This could be in the form of a diamond plate surface, metal grating or a series of hole patterns in the treads.

Spiral staircase with steel treads.

At Keuka Studios, we custom fabricate stairs and railings to fit your style and space. We make our stair stringers to accommodate the type of treads you choose. We can provide you with wood, glass, and steel treads for our staircases. All you have to do is choose your style.

Sours: https://www.keuka-studios.com/6-types-of-stair-treads-what-to-know-before-choosing-various-types/
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