Saturday, May 2, 2015

Staring At My Stairs.

How many different angles can one take a photo of one's stairs?

We-he-hell I don't know! Let's find out!

It took an entire Saturday of hard ace work to completely finish the longer direction of my stairs, and it was heinous. I'd rather chew broken glass then take this on again. It was that fun.
But I do love them. But um, how do you people with those fabulous dark wood floors stay sane? These show every.single.speck of dust. My eye is twitching for you just thinking about attempting to keep them dust free.
I'll take this any day over carpet, though. 60 seconds with a wet rag and they are clean. 60 seconds is all it takes. Ironically that's how long they stay clean.
So I wanted to do something super funsies with the landing. Something different. Something brave. In a perfect world, I'd have a large enough landing that I could put a cute little window seat that nobody ever sits on but looks just darn cute.
Since this isn't that world, I considered my options. Seriously looked into a floor medallion for the landing. Something like this one.
I don't have the faintest idea how to incorporate them into another flooring product and also they're a bajillion dollars. I mean you could sell your house to pay for the floor medallion. And then you'd be left with just the floor medallion.
Just want you to have all the facts.
You might not love this. It's okay if you don't, because you don't live here and I do and I totally understand your feelings, but I do love it. We took some left over oak, and then we took some left over maple hardwood, and we like married them together. Because I have maple floors and they're not going anywhere. And now I have oak treads, and they're staying, too. They should be together as one.
 And the hubs had this great idea to like make the hardwood turn with the stairs, and I was nodding my head loving this new different plan but had no idea what he was talking about but I loved that he was being creative so I was onboard.
I really do love it. I also love that the Jeffro, like the engineer he is, drew it out and planned it all perfectly and then went out and cut those pieces and kept the whole thing perfectly square and then brought them all in and they magically fit because his math was pure. That's what I married you for, Jeffro.  Your brains. Also your abs and shoulders. But not your farts, because, wow.
So if I get tired of it, it's not a big deal to replace. It's a teeny area. Also, it was free.
So, let's talk stairs.
So you say you want solid wood treads, huh? Like I said when we chatted last about stairs, just count on not having nice wood under your carpet. Sometimes it happens. I've heard about it before in hushed, reverent tones. There is also probably a unicorn in your backyard. But like I said: sometimes.
Pssssst (loud obnxious whisper): not in Utah.
Stair Tread Options
Lemme give you the run down on your options for running to the hardware store, okey dokey? Generally, (GENERALLY) this is what you can expect to find:
Four choices, here:
1. Solid oak 1 and 1/2" treads. Barely under $30 each.
2. Oak (solid? not sure) tread covers that go over the top of your existing tread: $27 ish.
3. Solid oak 3/4" treads. A little over $20.
4. Pine treads. The low low cost of $10.
I was tempted with door #4. Really, I was. And then I thought about all those knots, and knots starting to pop out, and a really cabin-y barn-y feel and moved on.
Also, I have 14 total stairs. So here's my oak range: $280-$420. (Before taxes.)
And then it hit me:
Wait a second.?. I could spend a few hundred bucks to still take these home, rip them to my exact width, cut each one, and stain and seal every single one?? What? What am I paying for? Just the bullnose?
Yeah. I wanted to make my own treads. If I still have to rip and cut each dang tread, I'm going to save some money. 
 Now hold up a second:
I'm not really suggesting you should copy me. You might want to.  This is not the normal way to do things. I might regret it 10 years down the road.
All my treads are 3/4" oak plywood.
Here's the thing: I already had a crap ton of this hanging out in my garage. I already had it. It made sense to use what I already had to save money and cut down on my hee-uge lumber pile.
Oak ply comes in 4x8 sheets for the price of $50. I bought one sheet and got 8 treads out of that sheet. Then, I ran over to the wood moulding section and purchased a pretty bullnose-ish piece of oak trim for the cost of around $4, wood glued and clamped the snot out of them, and they were ready to stain.
So my stairs cost me (again I had some material lying around): $78. Plus taxes.
Price per tread (if purchasing all the material from scratch): $8.50 (before taxes. Not including stain and sealant, yo.)
Obvs, the price is a pro, and here's the con: it dawned on me that if I ever wanted to restain these, you really can't do that with oak ply. Over-sanding the top takes you down to the ugly ply part. So there's the downside.
Oh! And if you are crazy like me and simply cannot live without stair skirts, I think Ana White did a great job of explaining cutting the stair skirts to size right here. They are worth it. They are fabulous. Good luck. May the force be with you.
So! One last time:
This is actually my new favorite angle of the house. I love the way the moulding on those windows turned out, and I love my stairs.
My stairwell is no longer the crotch of the house. Sigh. It's the little things.


Daddy-O said...

Wow! Just WOW! The landing with the dark trim is stunning! The whole project couldn't be better. My only question is where were you standing when you got the shot looking down on the landing and up at the top stairs? Wonder Woman? Standing in the window? Velcro?

Rhonda said...

That looks fantastic! Great job and a big hi-5 to Jeff. So once again I ask, when is the party?

Janelle said...


Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

Mandi, WWWWOOOOOWWWWWW!!!! You did your stairs!! I remember you lamenting not having real wood ages ago and so what's a girl to do but fix that problem right up. You amaze me. And the skirt does make a huge different (in addition all that crazy awesome molding on the wall). Love the landing, it's so unique and SO custom, I love it! You are so talented!

Hippymom83 said...

Beautiful! And your hubby's idea was genius! Our deck is sort of like that and I was so excited when I saw it for the first time (when we were house shopping). The decking is laid out at a 45 degree angle to the house and meets in the center of the deck in a reverse V shape. It's SO much more interesting than boring old parallel (or perpendicular) decking treads!

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