How to Repair a Staircase
A well-maintained staircase not only looks better but it is safer to use. Most repairs are fairly straightforward but improvements may prove trickier. The most likely fault with stairs is that they creak as you walk on them. This is caused by loose parts and is most easily cured by working from underneath the stair (assuming you have access to it via an understairs cupboard) to re-secure the triangular wooden blocks between tread and riser.
It is sometimes possible to prise apart a vertically split baluster, or spindle, and squeeze in some wood adhesive. The split can then be taped or held with a G-clamp, until the adhesive has dried. Where the split is horizontal, remove the baluster and drill small holes in the two halves. Cover one end of a narrow dowel with adhesive and insert it into the lower half of the baluster. Spread adhesive on to the top of the dowel, insert it into the hole in the upper part of the baluster, then push the two halves together and leave until the adhesive has dried. To replace the baluster in position, nail through the base at an angle to secure the baluster to the tread. Read how to repair stair balustrade.
Fitting Stair Rods
Stair rods are coming back into fashion. They are used only with stair ‘runners’ – a length of carpet running up the stairs with a space either side; they are not used with fitted carpet covering the whole stair.
Stair rods are available in brass, crystal and wood. You can order them to the correct size for your carpet. It should be emphasised that the stair rods should not be relied on to hold the carpet on their own; it should also be held by grippers in each junction between tread and riser.
Each stair rod is held in place by two brackets, one on either side of the stair runner on each tread -normally, including the floor at the bottom. Each bracket comes in two halves: you screw the bottom of the bracket to the stair after making bradawl holes, lay the stair rod in the brackets and then fit the top half.
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