Stair Renovation Made Easy

Many homeowners and Do-It-Yourselfers would like to change their plain, carpeted staircase into a beautiful oak stair that would add elegance and style to their home. This could be a very costly endeavor. Or with the right products and a helping hand from your stair expert, it could prove relatively inexpensive.

Changing carpeted treads to red oak or maple is a process that has been simplified by the new RetroTread™ from Young Manufacturing. Depending on your existing tread design, these tread caps can be placed over the existing treads with minimal modifications. In most cases, removing the old treads is not necessary, which saves a great deal of time and money.

The unique design of RetroTread™ provides strength at the nosing while maintaining the same thickness of the removed carpet for a uniform riser height and code compliance. The riser height is an important safety issue which is why a standard 1″ thick tread can’t be used. Installation is easy. First remove the carpet. Then cut off the nosing of the existing treads. Apply a riser material to cover the rough riser. Cut to length and install the tread cap. No longer is it necessary to replace the entire stair. Now, with RetroTread™, in most cases, a new staircase can be achieved easily by the accomplished Do-It-Yourselfer.

The balusters or pickets can be upgraded in much the same way. The outdated square balusters can be replaced with square top balusters with a turned design. Again, this can be accomplished without removing or replacing the handrail. Simply by using the same bottom holes and by replacing the fillet in the plowed rail (or in some applications by using the same holes in the handrail) the balusters can be easily installed, without rail replacement.

For the rich look of wrought iron, a new product from Crown Heritage called the Transformer System works in much the same way as the wood baluster replacement in that removal of the handrail is not required. A demonstration video at shows how easy it is to upgrade from wood to iron balusters.

All of these upgrades can be achieved by the DIY or local stair builder. Your stair part supplier can help you with any questions and walk you through the installation process.