Retrofit Stair Risers

Retrofit Stair Risers

Learn how to retrofit stair risers with this guide, covering the process of using tile, wood, or an application. We'll help you update your staircase!

Learn how to retrofit stair risers with this guide, covering the process of using tile, wood, or an application. Whether you're looking to update your staircase for aesthetic or practical reasons, this article will provide you with all the information you need. Retrofit stair risers should always be installed before installing carpet stair treads.

Introduction to Retrofitting Stair Risers   

Many people wonder can you put new stair treads over old ones, and can you put new risers over old ones. The answer is yes. Retrofitting stair risers involves covering the vertical part of the stairs that supports the treads. This process can be done using various materials such as tile, wood, or a specialized application.

Whether you're looking to update your staircase for aesthetic or practical reasons, retrofitting stair risers can completely transform the look of your stairs. 

What is Retrofitting Stair Risers?   

Retrofitting stair risers is the process of adding a new material to the vertical part of the stairs. This can be done to cover up old, worn-out risers, or to update the look of the staircase.

Reasons for Retrofitting Stair Risers   

There are several reasons why homeowners choose to retrofit their stair risers. It could be to update the look of the staircase, cover up imperfections or damage, or simply to add a personal touch to the home decor.

Benefits of Retrofitting Stair Risers   

Retrofitting stair risers can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your staircase, increase the durability of the stairs, and provide an opportunity to add a personal design element to your home.

Choosing the Right Material for Retrofitting   

When it comes to retrofitting stair risers, there are several material options to choose from. The most popular choices include tile, wood, and specialized applications.


Using tile to cover stair risers can provide a durable and easy-to-clean surface. It also offers a wide range of design options, from classic to contemporary, making it a versatile choice for retrofitting stair risers.


Wood is a timeless and elegant choice for retrofitting stair risers. Stair riser retrofit is similar to retrofit wood stair treads, in that you can use similar materials, and they are both coverings. Hardwood lumber companies offer a variety of wood species, such as red oak, that can be used to cover stair risers. Wood provides a warm and inviting look to the staircase and can be customized to match the existing decor.


Specialized applications, such as adhesive stair riser covers, offer a convenient and quick solution for retrofitting stair risers. These applications come in various materials and designs, providing flexibility in design and installation.

Retrofitting Stair Risers with Tile   

Preparing the Stair Risers for Tiling   

Before tiling the stair risers, it's essential to clean the surface thoroughly and ensure it is free from any dust or debris. Any existing paint or varnish should be removed to create a smooth and clean surface for the tiles.

Choosing the Right Type of Tile   

When selecting tiles for the stair risers, consider the size, color, and texture that will complement the overall design of the staircase and the surrounding area.

Installing the Tiles on the Stair Risers   

Carefully measure and cut the tiles to fit the risers, then use a suitable adhesive to secure them in place. It's important to ensure that the tiles are level and evenly spaced for a professional finish.

Grouting and Sealing the Tiles   

Once the tiles are in place, apply grout to fill the gaps between the tiles. After the grout has dried, seal the tiles to protect them from stains and moisture.

Retrofitting Stair Risers with Wood   

Selecting the Type of Wood for the Stair Risers   

When choosing wood for retrofitting stair risers, consider the durability and aesthetic appeal of the wood species. Red oak is a popular choice for its strength and natural beauty.

Measuring and Cutting the Wood for a Perfect Fit   

Accurately measure the dimensions of the stair risers and cut the wood to fit precisely. It's essential to ensure a snug and secure fit for the wood treads.

Attaching the Wood to the Stair Risers   

Use a strong adhesive or nails to attach the wood to the stair risers, ensuring a secure and stable installation.

Finishing and Sealing the Wood   

Apply a protective finish to the wood to enhance its natural beauty and protect it from wear and tear. Sealing the wood will also help to prevent moisture damage and make it easier to clean.

Retrofitting Stair Risers with an Application   

Choosing the Right Application for the Stair Risers   

There are various types of applications available for retrofitting stair risers, including adhesive covers and specialized coatings. Consider the design, durability, and ease of installation when choosing the right application for your staircase.

Applying the Material to the Stair Risers   

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for applying the chosen material to the stair risers. Ensure that the surface is clean and dry before applying the application for a secure and long-lasting finish.

Finishing and Sealing the Application   

Once the application is in place, consider adding a protective finish or sealant to enhance its durability and make it easier to maintain.

Maintenance and Care for Retrofitted Stair Risers   

Cleaning and Upkeep for Tiled Stair Risers   

Regularly clean tiled stair risers with a mild detergent and a soft brush to remove dirt and stains. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the tiles.

Maintenance Tips for Wood-Covered Stair Risers   

Wood stair risers should be regularly dusted and cleaned with a wood-specific cleaner to maintain their natural beauty. Periodically check for any signs of wear or damage and address them promptly to prevent further deterioration.

Caring for Stair Risers with an Application   

Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for cleaning and maintaining stair risers with an application. Depending on the material used, specific care instructions may apply to ensure the longevity of the application.


Retrofitting stair risers is a practical and effective way to update the look of your staircase. Whether you choose to use tile, wood, or a specialized application, the process can significantly enhance the aesthetic appeal and durability of your stairs. By following the steps outlined in this guide and considering the maintenance tips, you can enjoy beautifully retrofitted stair risers for years to come.