How to Make Your Own Stair Risers

How to Make Your Own Stair Risers

Embarking on a DIY project to make your own stair risers is an excellent way to add a personal touch and enhance the comfort and style of your home's staircase.

Embarking on a DIY project to make your own stair risers is an excellent way to add a personal touch and enhance the comfort and style of your home's staircase. This task not only allows for customization to match your interior design but also complements other stair components like carpet stair treads, which can bring a soft and warm feel underfoot, making your staircase safer and more inviting.

How to make your own stair risers:

  1. Measure and plan

  2. select material

  3. cut to size

  4. sand and finish

  5. install

How to Make Stair Risers   

Creating your own stair risers involves careful measurement and precise cutting to ensure each piece fits perfectly and enhances the overall safety and appearance of your staircase. Here’s a straightforward guide to get you started:

  1. Measure and Plan: Determine the height and width of each riser. The standard height for a stair riser is usually between 7 to 7.75 inches, which is comfortable for most users.

  2. Select Material: Choose a material that fits the durability needs and aesthetic desires of your home. Wood, MDF, and plywood are common choices, each offering different benefits in terms of cost, appearance, and ease of installation.

  3. Cut to Size: Using the measurements you’ve taken, cut each riser to size using a table saw or circular saw to ensure clean, straight edges.

  4. Sand and Finish: Sand the edges to prevent splinters and apply a finish that matches or complements your staircase. Paint or stain can be used depending on the material and your design preference.

  5. Install: Fit each riser in place between the stair treads. Secure them using wood glue and nails or screws, ensuring each is tightly fixed to prevent any movement.

What is the Best Material for Stair Risers?   

When selecting materials for your stair risers, consider both functionality and design:

  • Painted MDF or Plywood: Ideal for a smooth, paintable surface that is cost-effective.

  • Hardwood: Best for durability and a classic look that can be stained to highlight the natural wood grain.

  • Laminate: A great choice if you want a durable, easy-to-clean surface that comes in a variety of patterns and styles.

Each material has its advantages depending on your budget, desired aesthetic, and the amount of foot traffic your stairs will endure.

What is the Standard Height for a Stair Riser?   

The standard height for a stair riser typically ranges from 7 to 7.75 inches. This measurement is crucial as it affects the comfort and safety of stair use. Ensure uniformity in riser height across your entire staircase to prevent tripping hazards and to maintain a consistent look.

Customizing Your Staircase   

Making your own stair risers allows for a high degree of customization. Consider adding decorative touches such as:

  • Carved Designs: Adding intricate carvings or cut-outs to wooden risers for a touch of elegance.

  • Tile or Mosaic: Incorporating tile or mosaic designs can create a stunning visual impact and add color.

  • LED Lighting: Installing LED strip lights under the lip of the risers for a modern look and improved visibility at night.

Incorporating these elements not only enhances the functionality of your stairs but also turns them into a focal point of your home’s interior design.


Creating your own stair risers is a perfect way to elevate the style and comfort of your home’s staircase. This project not only provides a satisfying DIY challenge but also results in a customized look that can be coordinated with other elements like carpet stair treads to create a cohesive and inviting space. With the right materials, tools, and a bit of creativity, you can transform your staircase into a stunning and safe feature in your home.