How to Replace Wood Stair Treads

How to Replace Wood Stair Treads

Discover how to replace wood stair treads with our easy-to-follow guide. Learn tips for removing old treads and installing new ones, including carpet options.

How to Replace Outdoor Stair Treads Reading How to Replace Wood Stair Treads 3 minutes Next How to Replace Old Stair Treads

Replacing wood stair treads may seem daunting, but with the right guidance, it can be a straightforward and rewarding DIY project. Whether you're updating old, worn-out stairs or simply looking for a style refresh, including carpet stair treads can offer both aesthetic appeal and added safety. In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of replacing wood stair treads, ensuring your staircase remains a beautiful and functional centerpiece in your home.

Step 1: Preparation and Removal   

How do you remove wooden stair treads? The first step in replacing your stair treads is to carefully remove the old ones. This might involve some detective work to determine whether your stair treads are nailed or glued. Typically, stair treads are secured with a combination of nails and adhesive, which can make removal a bit tricky.

Begin by prying up a corner of the tread with a pry bar or chisel. If you find resistance due to glue, apply heat with a heat gun to soften the adhesive, making the removal process easier. Be gentle to avoid damaging the underlying structure—your stringers (the saw-tooth shaped supports for the treads).

Step 2: Measuring and Cutting New Treads   

To replace old treads, measure each stair individually. Staircases can often have slight variations in width or depth, so accurate measurements for each tread are crucial. Use these measurements to cut your new wood treads, ensuring each piece fits perfectly. For an added touch of luxury and safety, consider carpet stair treads, which can be cut to size and applied on top of the wood for a snug, slip-resistant surface.

Step 3: Securing the New Treads   

Are stair treads nailed or glued? The answer is both. To secure the new treads, apply construction adhesive on the stringers to create a solid, squeak-free base.

How to replace stair treads:

  • Place the new tread on top, making sure it's perfectly aligned, and secure it with finishing nails for extra stability. Fill any nail holes with wood filler, sand down the excess, and wipe clean. 

Step 4: Finishing Touches   

Stain or paint your new stair treads to match or contrast with your existing décor. Applying a finish not only enhances the look but also protects the wood from wear and tear. Allow ample time for the finish to dry before stepping on the stairs.

Maintaining Your Staircase   

Regular maintenance can keep your staircase looking great and functioning well. Check periodically for any loose treads or signs of wear, and tighten or replace as needed. Cleaning your treads, whether wood or carpet, will also extend their life and maintain their beauty.


Replacing wood stair treads is a practical way to enhance the safety and style of your home. By following these steps, you can ensure a successful update to your staircase, adding charm and character to your living space. Remember, each step you take in this DIY project brings you closer to a transformed home.