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Q: One visitor asked, "When placing hardwood on stair treads, do they have to be 1" thick or thicker? And do you use one plank of hardwood or could you use strips of hardwood for stair treads?"

A: When asking about refacing stair treads, "Do they have to be 1" thick?", are you are referring to the existing tread, whether it be plywood or constrube plywood or construction grade pine, for example? My general answer would be no. If your treads, for example, are plywood, they may be 3/4 thick, which is the typical thickness of a subfloor, over which hardwood and other floor coverings are applied. I have refaced a number of stair cases. Yes you can use flooring of whatever size you like, whether 3/4 thick (which offers you greater choice of width) or standard 3/8 X 1 3/4 strip. You can purchase slabs which usually are available in oak or maple, and I believe are 1 1/8 thick. In this scenario, you would use a veneer, either 1/8 or 1/4 on the risers. Otherwise, you would paint them. If one was to reface with flooring, the procedure would be as follows. All the outer lips of the tread which overhang the riser (about 1 1/2") would be cut back flush with the riser. You would start installing from the bottom riser, at floor level. The last piece installed on the riser would be cut flush with the top of the tread. Then you would install a stair nosing on the first tread. Don't forget to also use glue, not just nails. Fill in the tread up to the next riser. Then start your next riser, and so on. It is a time consuming job.

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