Build my own cabin - DIY projects

Do-It-Yourself Carpeted Stairs to Hardwood


Converting a carpeted staircase to great looking hardwood stairs is a project many homeowners can tackle themselves.  The following webpages explain the process we took to convert some dirty carpeted stairs for a total price of about $700.  We installed the new stairs in about a day and a half (not counting the time to pre-stain and poly the treads). 

One twist we added on this staircase renovation was to use stacked stone or ledger panel stone for the stair risers.  Believe it or not, using the stacked stone was cheaper than buying hardwood oak risers and I think adds a nice pop.

STEP 1: Removing Carpeted Stairs

Step 1 is removing carpet and carpet pad from the staircase.  A good pair of pliers, utility knife, and some gloves will make the job easier.  We started at the top and worked downward removing the carpet.  There will be tack strip nailed around the edges of the stair treads however those treads are coming out anyways so there's no point in removing all the tack strips.  Here's a picture of our original carpeted stairs.


Here's a picture of the carpet removed from the staircase and removal of the old stair treads in progress.  It helps to have a small sledge hammer to knock the nose of the stair treads up and break them loose.  If the original stair treads were installed in the last couple decades, they'll likely be nailed and glued down and can be hard to knock them loose.


Leave the original risers in place.  They will provide additional stability to the cement backerboard used in the next step.


STEP 1: Removing Carpeted Stairs

STEP 2: Installing Stone Stair Risers

STEP 3: Staining and Installing Hardwood Stair Treads