How to Attach Stair Treads to Stringers

How to Attach Stair Treads to Stringers

Learn how to securely attach stair treads to stringers, including a step-by-step guide on installing carpet stair treads for a sturdy, slip-resistant staircase.

What Screws to Use for Stair Treads Reading How to Attach Stair Treads to Stringers 4 minutes Next Should You Nail or Screw Stair Treads?

How to attach stair treads to stringers is a crucial step in building a sturdy, safe staircase. To attach stair treads to stringers, begin by positioning the tread so it’s flush with the top and edges of the stringer, then secure it using screws or nails, ensuring to drive them through pre-drilled holes to prevent splitting the wood. For added stability, especially in high-traffic areas, you can also use adhesive in conjunction with the mechanical fasteners.

For those opting for carpet stair treads, understanding the best method to secure them to the stringers is essential to ensure they are both aesthetically pleasing and firmly in place, preventing slips and enhancing the overall safety of the stairs.

How Are Stair Treads Attached to Stringers?   

The process of attaching stair treads to stringers can vary slightly depending on the materials used, but the basic principles remain the same. It involves accurately measuring, cutting, and then securing the treads to the horizontal beams or stringers that support them.

Steps to Attach Stair Treads to Stringers   

  1. Measure and Cut: Measure the length of the stringer and cut your treads to match the exact width.

  2. Position: Place the stair tread on the stringer, ensuring it's flush against the back of the step.

  3. Secure: Fasten the treads using either nails or screws, starting from one end and working to the other to ensure an even, secure fit.

Should You Nail or Screw Stair Treads?   

Deciding should you nail or screw stair treads to the stringers depends on your priorities for the staircase.

Advantages of Nailing   

  • Speed: Nailing is generally faster than screwing.

  • Cost-effective: Nails are typically less expensive than screws. 

Advantages of Screwing   

  • Strength: Screws provide a stronger hold, which is crucial for high-traffic areas.

  • Ease of Replacement: Screws can be more easily removed if treads need to be replaced in the future. 

How to Install Carpet Stair Treads with Double Sided Tape   

For those choosing carpet stair treads, double-sided tape offers a simple, effective attachment method that avoids the complexities of nails or screws. Here are some tips on how to install stair treads with double sided tape:

Installation Guide   

  1. Clean and Dry: Ensure the wooden tread and the underside of the carpet are clean and dry.

  2. Apply Tape: Place strips of double-sided tape along the edges and middle of the back of the carpet tread.

  3. Position and Press: Align the carpet tread correctly on the wooden tread and press down firmly to secure it in place. 

How Do You Hold Stair Treads in Place?   

Maintaining the position of stair treads over time is vital for safety and aesthetics.

Ensuring Long-Term Stability   

  • Regular Checks: Periodically check the fasteners for any loosening or wear.

  • Additional Security: For added stability, especially in high-traffic areas, consider using adhesive in conjunction with mechanical fasteners. 

Tips for a Successful Installation   

When attaching stair treads to stringers, precision is key. Here are a few tips to ensure a successful installation:

  • Use the Right Tools: Ensure you have a power drill or a good hammer, a saw for any necessary adjustments, and measuring tools.

  • Pre-drill Holes: To avoid splitting the wood, pre-drill holes for the screws or nails.

  • Choose Quality Materials: High-quality materials will not only look better but will also withstand wear and tear over time. 


Properly attaching stair treads to stringers is fundamental to building a safe and durable staircase. Whether you choose to nail, screw, or use double-sided tape for carpet treads, each method has its benefits. The right choice will depend on your specific needs, the type of tread, and the expected traffic on the stairs.