How to Replace Outdoor Stair Treads

How to Replace Outdoor Stair Treads

Check out our Step-by-step guide on replacing outdoor stair treads. Choose the right materials and secure your stair safety today!

When it’s time to refresh your outdoor steps, replacing old or worn stair treads can transform the look and safety of your outdoor spaces. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to replace outdoor stair treads, ensuring your staircase remains as welcoming and sturdy as a handshake from a dear neighbor.

To replace outdoor stair treads, start by removing the old treads with a pry bar, taking care not to damage the underlying stringers. Then, measure, cut, and install new weather-resistant treads using exterior-grade screws, finishing with a protective sealant or stain to extend their lifespan and enhance their appearance.

Installing indoor/outdoor carpet stair treads is a great way to add extra depth and style to your outdoor space.

Choosing the Right Materials for Outdoor Stair Treads   

Weather-Resistant Materials Are Key   

For outdoor staircases, selecting the right material is crucial to withstand the elements. Hardwoods like teak or ipe are excellent for their durability and resistance to rot. Composite materials are another great option, offering longevity and minimal maintenance. For those looking for a more budget-friendly choice, treated pine provides a balance between cost and performance.

Indoor/Outdoor Carpet Stair Treads   

For additional comfort and safety, consider indoor/outdoor carpet stair treads. These are particularly useful in slick or high-traffic areas, providing extra grip and reducing wear on the underlying wood. Plus, they come in a variety of colors and patterns to match any home’s exterior decor.

How To Replace Outdoor Stair Treads 

Replacing outdoor stair treads can be a rewarding DIY project that enhances the safety and appearance of your home. Here’s a detailed step-by-step tutorial to guide you through the process:

Step 1: Preparation and Safety   

  • Gather Your Tools: You'll need a measuring tape, a circular saw or handsaw, a drill, screws, a pry bar, and safety goggles.

  • Remove Old Treads: Use the pry bar to carefully remove the existing treads. Be sure to protect the underlying stringers (the structural support) from damage.

Step 2: Measure and Purchase Materials   

  • Measure Each Step: Each tread may have worn differently, so measure each one separately for accuracy.

  • Choose Your Materials: Select weather-resistant materials suitable for outdoor use, such as treated wood, composite materials, or hardwoods like teak or ipe.

Step 3: Cutting the New Treads   

  • Cut to Size: Based on your measurements, cut the new treads to size. Ensure each piece is uniform to maintain a level staircase.

  • Sand Edges: Smooth out all edges with sandpaper to prevent splinters and ensure a clean finish.

Step 4: Installation   

  • Dry Fit Each Tread: Place each new tread in its position to ensure a proper fit. Make adjustments if necessary.

  • Secure the Treads: Use exterior-grade screws to attach each tread to the stringers. Pre-drill holes to avoid splitting the wood, and countersink the screws for a smooth finish.

Step 5: Finishing Touches   

  • Apply Sealant or Stain: Protect your new treads by applying a weather-resistant sealant or stain. This will extend the life of the wood and enhance its natural beauty.

  • Add Safety Features: For additional safety, consider installing non-slip strips or pads, especially in areas prone to moisture.

Step 6: Maintenance   

  • Regular Checks: Regularly inspect your stair treads for signs of wear or damage. Tighten any loose screws and replace treads as necessary.

  • Clean Regularly: Keep the stairs free of debris and dirt to prevent wear and maintain traction.

How to Replace Stair Treads with Hardwood   

Here are some tips to replacing stair treads with hardwood:

Preparing Your Staircase   

First things first, remove the old stair treads. Be gentle to avoid damaging the stringers (the side supports of your stairs). Check for any signs of structural damage or rot and repair these areas before proceeding.

Installing New Hardwood Treads   

Measure each step individually, as outdoor steps can have slight variations. Cut your chosen hardwood to size, and secure each piece in place. For an added touch of Southern charm, finish the wood with a stain or sealant that enhances the natural grain.

How Do You Redo Outdoor Wood Steps?   

Redoing your wood steps involves not just replacing the treads but also ensuring the entire structure is sound and attractive. Sand down any rough edges from previous installations, replace damaged risers, and treat every part of the stair to resist weather and wear.

How Do You Fasten Outdoor Stair Treads?   

Securing Treads Properly   

To fasten outdoor stair treads securely, use exterior-grade screws for their durability against rust and corrosion. Pre-drill holes to prevent the wood from splitting, and countersink the screws for a cleaner finish. For treads exposed to heavy rain or snow, consider non-slip strips or pads to ensure safety throughout the seasons.

Maintaining Your Outdoor Stairs   

Regular maintenance extends the life and beauty of your outdoor stairs. Clean the steps seasonally to remove dirt and debris, and reapply sealant or stain every few years to keep the wood protected and vibrant. Always inspect for loose fittings or damage, especially after extreme weather conditions.


Replacing outdoor stair treads can significantly enhance the safety and curb appeal of your home. With the right materials and a bit of elbow grease, your staircase will stand as a testament to both functionality and style. Remember, each step you take in improving your home adds to its story and charm, making it a place of warmth and welcome for all who visit.