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 Post subject: Staircase refurb
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:47 pm 
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I'm about to refurbish the landing and stairs of my 70s terrace. It's not in the best shape, it seems there was a fire at some point and the owner cobbled things back together without any thought or skill.

In addition, the staircase is not exactly compatible with more normal balustrades etc. Couple of pics at the bottom of this post.

My current thoughts are:

Replace apron lining, nosings etc. Nosings are currently higher than the floorboard level. Apron lining is a bit of a mess. I'm thinking to use timber as the run is longer than 2.4m so MDF or ply would need a joint.

The stringers are rough and smoke damaged under the paint. Clad with 6mm MDF. Not sure what trim is best to plant on top to tidy up. Also not sure what to use at the bottom of the apron linings to cover the gap, as it will be packed off the wall slightly.

For the balustrade, fit two extra square Newel posts adjacent to the start of the walls. Fill and sand the old Newels back to a better condition. Run balustrading between either side.

Putting a handrail down the flight is the trickiest bit for me currently. It really needs to go from the top to the bottom, unlike present. Of course that means it would have to start to the side of the Newel, with a 90 degree bracket or similar, which will mean further down it is much too far from the wall. I'm thinking the only way to do this may be to have a short run from Newel to Newel, then start a new run, probably on the other side, using brackets fixed to the wall, so it would then be set in further than the first run.

I should add I'm thinking to use Fusion to speed up installation, although it does make it rather expensive...

Any thoughts or alternative suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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 Post subject: Re: Staircase refurb
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:24 am 
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LEH wrote:
Replace apron lining, nosings etc. Nosings are currently higher than the floorboard level. Apron lining is a bit of a mess. I'm thinking to use timber as the run is longer than 2.4m so MDF or ply would need a joint.

I've seen apron linings in thinner materials than solid wood (which would be at least 18mm I think) - sheet materials can be had in standard, off the shelf lengths of 3.2 metres (10 ft). You do need to talk to a timber or sheet materials merchant, though, not the local B&Q or small builders merchant. To minimise the step between the apron lining and the stringer linings I'd recommend going to material as thin as possible (say 3 or 4mm MDF). Yes, with sheet materials might mean a joint (although possibly not with 3.2 metres/10 ft stock), but if you are paint finishing it should be possible to deal with that by chamfering both the mating faces and filling with 2-pack filler, then machine sanding.

The nosings being higher indicates to my mind some sort of applied nosing - so were those installed to hide fire damage, and if so, what damage?

LEH wrote:
The stringers are rough and smoke damaged under the paint. Clad with 6mm MDF. Not sure what trim is best to plant on top to tidy up. Also not sure what to use at the bottom of the apron linings to cover the gap, as it will be packed off the wall slightly.

You can actually go as thin as 3mm or 4mm with MDF, which might make things better in terms of losing the minimum amount of width on the treads, which in any case look pretty narrow. If possible you should try to arrange it so that the apron marries flush with the stringer liner, if needs be by fiddling a bit with the thicknesses (MDF comes in 3.2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 15, 18mm etc)

LEH wrote:
Putting a handrail down the flight is the trickiest bit for me currently. It really needs to go from the top to the bottom, unlike present.

TBH I think that the handrail looks like it will project upwards to about the same distance off the newel post as it is off the wall pattress. If needs be a dog's leg might have to be put into the handrail (possibly using b*stard mitres), but it doesn't look too bad TBH

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 Post subject: Re: Staircase refurb
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:13 pm 
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Thanks for the reply.

Here are some measurements of how it is at the moment:

Attachment:
IMG_4571.JPG
IMG_4571.JPG [ 353.11 KiB | Viewed 550 times ]


Job and Knock wrote:
I've seen apron linings in thinner materials than solid wood (which would be at least 18mm I think) - sheet materials can be had in standard, off the shelf lengths of 3.2 metres (10 ft). You do need to talk to a timber or sheet materials merchant, though, not the local B&Q or small builders merchant. To minimise the step between the apron lining and the stringer linings I'd recommend going to material as thin as possible (say 3 or 4mm MDF). Yes, with sheet materials might mean a joint (although possibly not with 3.2 metres/10 ft stock), but if you are paint finishing it should be possible to deal with that by chamfering both the mating faces and filling with 2-pack filler, then machine sanding.


The lining is currently 25mm thick timber. The walls are block up to the upstairs floor level, with the floor joists sat on them. The lining has been fixed to the joist ends, but without packing (there is a gap) so a bit wonky. I'd cut grounds to get everything lined up and supported.

MDF would be nice as it will be painted, I use an independent timber yard so may ask about longer lengths.

Job and Knock wrote:
The nosings being higher indicates to my mind some sort of applied nosing - so were those installed to hide fire damage, and if so, what damage?


The apron lining was fitted too high, and the nosings are planted on top, simple as that :)

Job and Knock wrote:
You can actually go as thin as 3mm or 4mm with MDF, which might make things better in terms of losing the minimum amount of width on the treads, which in any case look pretty narrow. If possible you should try to arrange it so that the apron marries flush with the stringer liner, if needs be by fiddling a bit with the thicknesses (MDF comes in 3.2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 15, 18mm etc)


Yes that might be useful. I will have to juggle the dimensions a bit, which is another reason to use MDF for the apron too. The walls are being bonded and skimmed, which will bring their level out somewhat, say 6mm. That means the apron lining could be brought a further 6mm without leaving a gap with the wall (if I keep it 25mm thick), and that would mean I could clad the stringers with 6mm to bring everything to the same level. I wouldn't mind using thinner MDF, say 18mm, as it would be cheaper, but I suppose I would then have to trim the underside of the apron lining to hide the gap, unless there is some other combination that works.

LEH wrote:
TBH I think that the handrail looks like it will project upwards to about the same distance off the newel post as it is off the wall pattress. If needs be a dog's leg might have to be put into the handrail (possibly using b*stard mitres), but it doesn't look too bad TBH


See above. Brackets project the handrail center 63 mm from the wall/newel. The difference from the outside edge of the Newel to the wall (without pattress) would be about 57mm. I can't neatly take that out with a pattress. So I think like you say I either have to dogleg it a bit, probably at a shallow angle as it's quite a small amount to take out (I think handrail is about 55mm), or have a short run between Newels on one side of the stairwell, and a second on the line of the wall on the other side of the stairwell going the rest of the way down. The advantage there being I don't have to play around with miters, but it might make the staircase narrow.


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 Post subject: Re: Staircase refurb
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:05 pm 
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Any more thoughts on this?

Another thing I realised is, is that the Newel sat next to the wall is going to look a bit nasty unless it's housed out slightly to accommodate the wall corner (to avoid a visible joint between wall and Newel). I think this shouldn't be a problem as the wall has been bonded and skimmed which should have brought it out say 7-10mm.


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