How to Install Rubber or Vinyl Stair Treads

The purchase of rubber or vinyl stair treads warrants proper installation and maintenance procedures in order to assure complete satisfaction. For unusual and special conditions, contact the factory for recommendations. Download Installation Instructions

Where to Install

Install stair treads on any smooth dry interior step provided the shape of the step conforms to the underneath contour of the stair treads; particularly at the section where the flat part of the tread joins the nosing. A tight fit between stair treads and steps is essential. We recommend the use of Epoxy Nose Caulk on all stair tread installations (required with adjust-a-nose treads).

Where NOT to Install

If the shape of the steps do not conform to the shape of the stair treads and cannot be altered to conform, we do not recommend installation of treads unless special instructions are carefully followed. We do not recommend installing rubber treads on exterior steps.

Room Temperature

Materials, room and adhesives should be no less than 70 LJ Fahrenheit (21 D C) 48 hours prior to, during, and after installation.

Repairing Worn and Uneven Edges

Repair worn, uneven or misaligned edge of steps. If an open space exists underneath the nosing of the tread when it is applied against the step, you must fill the space with Epoxy Nose Caulk. It is essential that there be no space between the step and the stair tread when the installation is completed.

Preparation for Installation

Surfaces of steps must be level, clean, dry and free from oil, grease, rust, paint, varnish and old coverings, adhesives and any other foreign substances. Wooden steps should be thoroughly nailed down. Worn or dished-our steps, cracks, holes, depressions or any other irregularities on the steps should be repaired by filling or sealing and smoothing with an underlay compound.

Fitting and Cutting

Treads are usually supplied over-size, with untrimmed ends, to allow extra material to compensate for variations in step dimensions. Treads should be individually trimmed to fit each step, both in depth and from side to side. The rear edge should be cut with a slight under-bevel for a better fit. The stair treads can be marked with an awl and cut using a steel straight edge and a linoleum knife. The most important factor in proper stair tread installation is to see that no air space exists underneath the nosing part of the treads. The tread must not flex or move as traffic walks across the steps. Epoxy Nose Caulk should be used as described on the label. It is important to use the correct adhesive. For vinyl treads, contact adhesive must be used. For rubber treads, install with contact or suitable rubber flooring adhesive, dependŽing on service conditions. Cove base adhesives are not recommended.

Installation of Rubber Stair Treads

After the steps have been prepared and the stair treads cut and fitted as described, begin installation by spreading adhesive on the stair step completely covering the surface and the nosing. When using contact adhesive, the adhesive should then be spread on the bottom of the stair tread and completely underneath the nosing. Always follow instructions on label of adhesive container. We suggest coating two steps and two treads at one time, and then install the treads as described below. An alternate suggestion is to apply adhesive to every other step on a flight of stairs, install these treads, go back and do the remainder.

Install Stair Treads

Set the stair tread into its proper position on the step, beginning at the nosing and pushing back firmly and as tightly as possible, holding up the back surface of the tread. After nosing is completely in place, begin at the front and move back on the surface of the tread towards the riser; the tread should be pushed down firmly onto the step. After installation is completed, roll newly installed stair treads with a hand roller, making certain that the stair tread nosing is fitted tightly against the step nosing. If any difficulty is experienced in holding the nosing to an under-stair, use a few hardened steel headless brads to secure it while the adhesive is drying. Rubber or vinyl risers should not be installed so as to extend up underneath the nose of the stair tread. The top of the riser should butt against the bottom of the tread nose.

Final Precautions

Any adhesive or caulking compound on the surface of the stair treads should be wiped off before it dries, using a cloth dampened in denatured alcohol. If adhesive has dried, remove carefully with #00 steel wool and denatured alcohol. Rub lightly to avoid dulling and scratching stair treads. It is important that traffic be kept off newly installed stair treads, until the adhesive has set up sufficiently to prevent movement and assure a firm bond. Where construction work by other trades requires traffic over newly installed stair treads, protect treads with heavy building paper or planking as needed. Do not wash or apply any surface treatments for about one week after installation to allow sufficient time for the stair treads to become tightly bonded to steps.

Maintenance Tips

The following simple tips for correct care are recommended: 1. Daily sweeping (also before and between washings) with soft hair push broom, will cut down the number of washings and remove dirt and foreign matter. 2. During bad weather any accumulated rain or slush should be wiped promptly from stairs to prevent slipping. Wipe up spillage before it has a chance to harden. 3. When cleaning is necessary, wipe with cloth or damp mop, using clean room-temperature water. Do not flood stairs. 4. In stubborn cases, damp mop with room temperature water and solution of liquid detergent suitable for rubber floor covering or a solution of ammonia and water. Immediately rinse stairs with clean room-temperature water, changing rinse water frequently.