How to Install Hardwood on Stairs: A Step-by-Step Guide

How To Install Hardwood On Stairs

Hardwood flooring is a popular choice for homeowners who want to add elegance and durability to their home’s interior. Installing hardwood on stairs can add a beautiful touch to your home’s staircase while also improving its functionality and longevity.

However, installing hardwood on stairs can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not familiar with the process. In this article, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to install hardwood on stairs, including the materials and tools you’ll need, preparing the stairs, measuring and cutting hardwood, installing the hardwood, and finishing touches.

Before you begin installing hardwood on your stairs, you’ll need to gather the necessary materials and tools. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:


Measuring and cutting the hardwood planks for stairs is a crucial step in the installation process.
Measuring and cutting the hardwood planks for stairs is a crucial step in the installation process.
  • Hardwood planks: Choose the type of hardwood that best suits your style and budget. Some popular options include oak, maple, and cherry.
  • Underlayment: This is a thin layer of material that goes between the hardwood planks and the stairs to provide cushioning and soundproofing.
  • Finishing nails: You’ll need these to secure the hardwood planks to the stairs.
  • Stain or finish: This will protect the hardwood from scratches and wear and tear.


  • Measuring tape: You’ll need this to measure the length and width of each stair.
  • Circular saw: This tool will be used to cut the hardwood planks to the right size.
  • Pry bar: You’ll use this to remove any old carpet or flooring from the stairs.
  • Nail gun: This tool will be used to secure the hardwood planks to the stairs.
  • Sandpaper: You’ll use this to sand the hardwood and create a smooth surface.

Preparing the Stairs

Before you begin installation, you need to prepare your stairs for the process. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Remove any old carpeting or flooring: Use a pry bar to remove any old carpeting or flooring from the stairs. This will ensure a smooth surface for the hardwood planks.

  2. Clean the stairs: Use a broom or vacuum to remove any dirt or debris from the stairs. Then, use a damp cloth to wipe down the stairs and remove any remaining dust or debris.

  3. Check for any damage: Inspect the stairs for any damage, such as cracks or loose boards. If you notice any damage, repair it before installing the hardwood.

Measuring and Cutting Hardwood

The next step is to measure and cut the hardwood planks to fit your stairs. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Measure the width and length of each stair: Use a measuring tape to measure the width and length of each stair. Make sure to measure the width at the widest point and the length at the longest point.

  2. Cut the hardwood planks to size: Use a circular saw to cut the hardwood to the correct size. Make sure to cut each plank slightly longer than the stair’s length to allow for trimming.

  3. Trim the hardwood planks: Once you’ve cut the planks to size, use a circular saw to trim them to the exact length of the stair.

  4. Label each plank: Label each plank with a number that corresponds to the stair it will be installed on. This will help you keep track of which plank goes where.

By following these steps, you’ll have your hardwood planks cut and ready to install on your stairs.

Installing the Hardwood

Now that you have all the materials and tools you need, it’s time to start installing the hardwood on your stairs. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth and successful installation process:

  1. Start at the bottom: Begin by installing the hardwood on the bottom riser, using finishing nails to secure it in place. Make sure the plank is level before nailing it down.

  2. Measure and cut: Use your measuring tape to measure the length and width of the next stair tread, and cut the hardwood plank accordingly. Repeat this process for each stair tread, making sure each plank fits snugly against the previous one.

  3. Secure the planks: Once you’ve cut your planks to the right size, use your nail gun to secure them in place. Make sure to nail each plank into the stair tread and the riser for added stability.

  4. Use adhesive: Apply a small amount of adhesive to the back of each plank before securing it in place. This will help prevent the planks from shifting or creaking over time.

  5. Repeat the process: Continue measuring, cutting, and nailing down each plank until you’ve covered all of the stairs.

  6. Finish with the last riser: Once you’ve installed the hardwood on all of the stair treads, install the last riser using finishing nails to secure it in place.

Finishing Touches

Once you’ve installed the hardwood on your stairs, it’s time to add the finishing touches. Follow these tips to ensure your stairs look beautiful and are protected from wear and tear:

  1. Sand the hardwood: Use sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges or imperfections on the hardwood. This will create a smooth surface for staining or finishing.

  2. Apply the stain or finish: Apply a coat of stain or finish to the hardwood to protect it from scratches and wear. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying times.

  3. Let it dry: Allow the stain or finish to dry completely before walking on your stairs. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on the product you’re using.

  4. Add a runner: If you want to add an extra layer of protection to your stairs, consider adding a runner. This will help prevent scratches and wear and tear on the hardwood.

By following these steps and tips, you can install hardwood on your stairs and add a beautiful touch to your home’s interior. With proper care and maintenance, your hardwood stairs will last for years to come.

Dayne Williamson

I'm Dayne Williamson, and I love all things technology and finance. I started Napo News Online as a way to keep people up-to-date on the latest news in those industries, and I've loved every minute of it. I'm always looking for new ways to improve my site and help my readers, and I can't wait to see what the future holds.

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