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Q: One visitor asked, "Thank you for putting out a great web site! I have a question I hope you can answer. I want a hardwood look on my stairs. Currently they are carpeted and the treads beneath are 3/4 inch construction grade fir as are the risers. I cannot easily remove the treads as they are heavily boxed in on either side and I cannot access the rear of the staircase without major demolition. So, I cannot easily install the set of 36" x 10" solid oak or chipboard with oak veneer top replacement treads I wanted.
My idea now is to place a 1/4" solid oak veneer (carefully cut from a solid oak sheet) on the treads glued down over the existing fir treads.Then glue and brad nail a solid oak 1" half round as a nosing. Once in place I would stain and finish. The risers I would either veneer as well or paint out white.
Do you foresee any problems with this idea? Any suggestions are most welcome."

A: This is what you can do. The existing tread lip will need to be trimmed back on each tread, to be flush with the riser beneath it. Then you can install a solid slab tread, which are about 1 1/16 thick. You can put veneer on the risers, and that will hide the part of the tread that overhangs, the lip, where you cut it off.

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