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Old 12-25-2017, 01:23 AM   #1
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Tiles on Stair

Wanted to tile my stair, but after a couple of hours of reading here, I am not quite sure any more (although I have tiled a stair in Germany many years ago, but it was concrete). So here is photo, I took the carpet and one tread off. Three stringers, 48" wide.
Replace the lumber with plywood and CBU? What do you guys think? The risers are plywood, but really crappy fit, gaps everywhere. I read somewhere that one should have a solid connection between riser and tread before tiling.
Any thoughts, advice, warnings?
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Old 12-25-2017, 08:30 AM   #2
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Hi Marion, Merry Christmas!

I think if you install solid blocks between the stringers just in front of the treads and then install 3/4 in. plywood, you'll have a tile-worthy substrate. Add 1/4 in. cement board or a membrane, and you'll be ready for tile.
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Old 12-25-2017, 08:40 AM   #3
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As John pointed out, once you have the substrate ready you can tile. I'd use screws instead of nails though.

Do spend some time thinking about the very edge where the riser meets the tread. I factory made stair edging would help keep the tiles from chipping and people from slipping. They may be listed with the other tile profiles some manufacturers produce.

A tile with a DCOF of 4 or more would be in order for slip resistance.
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Old 12-25-2017, 11:11 AM   #4
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Thanks John and Paul. Merry Christmas everybody!
With the blocks, do you mean 2x8 or something parallel to the riser, between the stringers?
Certainly I will use screws, not nails, and nose profiles! I might even buy the non-slip stair nose, will see.
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Old 12-25-2017, 12:18 PM   #5
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You need to create some way to fully support the treads around the edges
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Old 12-25-2017, 03:46 PM   #6
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Just to add, looks like the 2x12 treads you now have overhang the risers. I would cut the new plywood so they are flush with the riser with no hang over. Along with the screws, I'd also use PL Premium under the plywood.
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Old 12-25-2017, 09:04 PM   #7
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Something like that under the tread?
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Old 12-25-2017, 09:46 PM   #8
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Yep.
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Old 12-26-2017, 06:02 AM   #9
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Make sure to use deck screws and not sheetrock screws.
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Old 12-26-2017, 01:33 PM   #10
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Best of luck as you work to stiffen up the stair structure. Challenging and time consuming, that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Houston Remodeler
A tile with a DCOF of 4 or more would be in order for slip resistance.
I think Paul had a slight typo here and meant to say “.4”

Otherwise, the tiles would be so grippy, you could tile the outside of a building and walk up the walls like 1960s’ Batman & Robin.....but without needing the rope!!!
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Old 12-27-2017, 12:02 AM   #11
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The reinforcement goes pretty quick, what takes most time and force is to get the 2x12 treads off. Held in with nine (9!) big nails, heads buried about 1/2 inch, and construction adhesive. So far only one came off in one piece, and it took forever, even with my bad ass antique nail puller.
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Old 12-27-2017, 12:45 AM   #12
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The kind with the little jaw that grabs the nail? I bet only a fraction of our visitors have seen one. Go ahead and post a picture of it.
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Old 12-27-2017, 06:14 AM   #13
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I'd probably try a reciprocating saw to remove those treads. Cutting the nails is easier than pulling them.
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Old 12-31-2017, 06:01 PM   #14
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Tool Guy, here is the thing. Removal of the 2x12s still a pain in the butt.
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Old 12-31-2017, 06:11 PM   #15
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Landlord came un-announced today. Threw a fit over the mess, but likes the idea of tiles, and scolded me for not telling him earlier. Well, we usually just fix things around the house, and don't bother him.
Good thing is, he is going to pay for the material, and told me to get the best quality tiles possible, commercial grade.
We both agreed that something neutral that does not get out of style in a few years, works best. He wants tiles that are basically indestructible.
What do you guys recommend? What should I look for?
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