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Unread 09-25-2020, 06:34 AM   #1
Lou_MA
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Help with tiling stair risers

I’m updating a basement staircase, and the plan is to install 3/4” red oak treads and a still-to-be-determined tile on the risers.

I have some scrap Hydroban board and was going to fasten it over the open stringers, then install tile.

I don’t have the tile in hand yet, so I’d be installing the treads first.

Is that approach sound? Anything I’m missing?

The old treads were fastened everywhere...into the stringers as well as from the riser behind and into the riser below. With foam board on the risers I’d only be able to fasten into stringers. Do I somehow need to connect everything better?
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Unread 09-25-2020, 07:28 AM   #2
HooKooDoo Ku
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While you have everything open, you might want to consider putting some drywall inside what I assume is a closet under the stairs.

While it might not have been required at the time your house was constructed, apparently modern building codes require it for fire safety (helps protect the stair longer in the event of a fire). When I got a permit to finish my basement, that was one of the requirements the inspected added to my plans.
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Unread 09-25-2020, 09:00 AM   #3
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What is the width of those stairs, and how thick is this foam board you intend to use for your risers, Lou?
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Unread 09-25-2020, 09:32 AM   #4
Lou_MA
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Stair width is 35”.

I was going to use 1/2” Hydroban board. Partly because I’ve got plenty of scrap. And partly because I was aiming for total thickness of everything (foam, tile, thinset) to be as close as possible to the old wood riser thickness of 3/4”.
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Unread 09-25-2020, 09:41 AM   #5
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I'm seeing a 16" unsupported span of a half-inch foam board only about 7" wide and with one end unsupported at all at the bottom and wondering what happens there when someone climbing the stair kicks the riser.
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Unread 09-25-2020, 10:26 AM   #6
Lou_MA
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My concern too. Was hoping I was making an issue out of nothing.

Alternatively I could use 1/2” ply as the riser, then a peel-and-stick like Greenskin, then tile. Would get me the same total thickness. Plus add a bit of beefiness.

Thoughts? And if that’s the way to go, install at least plywood part of riser before treads? Or doesn’t make a difference?
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Unread 09-25-2020, 01:39 PM   #7
CaliGrown
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1/2” Hydroban board would be alright, as CX pointed out them stairs are bound to have heavy use traffic. I’d add in some recessed blocking or ply onto the risers so it sat flush with your stringer edge. Then install the 1/2” board. Your green skin proposal could be less hassle. I personally don’t have experience with that product though so I don’t know it’s applications/limitations.
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Unread 09-26-2020, 07:08 AM   #8
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We make sure there is blocking in between. Thinset 1/4" durock to the riser. I would be worried the middle stringer could twist over time without blocking. 2x8 is what the carpenters will normally use.
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