Get a Handle on Pesky Stair Problems

Don't let stair problems get you down! Step up your stair game with these updates and repairs.

From years of ups and downs, your stairs have likely been through a lot. So it's no wonder that over time staircases and handrails are prone to their fair share of problems. Instead of letting squeaky stairs interrupt your silence or wobbly railings ruin your balance, put an end to your stair issues with the help of a local contractor.

Squeaky Stairs

Whether they're alerting others to your late-night snack or waking a tired toddler, squeaky stairs can be flat out annoying. While squeaking stairs are bothersome, they can also serve as an indication of underlying damage. If you feel like something may be off with your stair's structure, it's important to address the issue immediately to avoid hazardous situations.

More often than not, squeaky stairs are the result of a loose tread (the flat part you step on) rubbing against the riser or the structure of the stairs itself. Tightening the stair brackets can usually solve this problem, but the repair could be more complex depending on your stairs' situation. In most cases, it is easiest to fix squeaky stairs from underneath, but if this space is enclosed by a wall or otherwise blocked, the stairs can also be fixed from above. But fixing stairs from the top can affect their appearance, so you may want the help of a pro for this project.

Silence Your Squeaky Stairs

Tattered Treads

As the part of the stairs that sees the most action, stair treads tend to experience a lot of wear and tear. One common problem, especially with older wooden stair treads, is cracking. Unless the crack is severe or posing a safety risk, it's usually best to try to repair it before turning to replacement. Some options for crack repair include using wood glue, screws, or patching which are all applied from underneath the stairs. If repair doesn't secure the crack, it may be time to look into replacement. But beware: Because it often requires removal of other parts of the stairs, like trim, stair tread replacement can be rather difficult.

Better Homes & Gardens Tip: If multiple stair treads are damaged, it may be best to have all of the treads replaced at once. Not only will replacement make the stairs safer, but it will also allow you to update the appearance of your stairs.

Wobbly Railings

Steadying yourself with a wobbly staircase railing can quickly turn into a scary situation. If a wobbly railing is plaguing your staircase, it's best to get it fixed ASAP. Finding the source of a loose railing will take a bit of investigating because it could be caused by a loose post, a damaged baluster, a separating railing, or a combination of these issues. The complexity of the repair often depends on the configuration of your stair rail and may require taking apart a portion of the railing or working beneath the stairs.

Put an End to Wobbly Railings

Ragged Runners

Stair runners are a great way to add both style and safety to your stairs, but after heavy use they can become drab and dangerous.  If your runner is loose but still in good condition, runner repair could be an option. With repair, your runner can be reattached to your stairs to make it safe again. If your runner is looking rather run-down, you may want to opt for replacement. When choosing a new runner, you'll want to consider material, performance, size, and style. Nylon runners are a popular low cost option that are durable and stain resistant, while wool is a favorite high-end choice for its luxury look and cozy texture.

Better Homes & Gardens Tip: Stair runners are a great way to spruce up your stairs and your home, so don't be afraid to go bold! If you're planning an upcoming design overhaul, don't forget to consider what runners could add to your home's new style.

Replace a Ragged Runner


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