I am in the process of finishing my basement, but I ran into an issue with the new height of the floor and the bottom of the stairs. My new basement flooring is raised ~2" (OSB nailed on top 2x2s which are attached to the cement floor via tapcons).

I have yet to do directly in front of the stairs because I am fearing I will be breaking code. I have been searching around and have seen that there may not be more than a 3/8ths variance between stair heights, which my subfloor would obviously break, but was not clear if the landing is considered within this restriction.

If it does break code, do I need to modify my steps to accommodate the new floor height? I'm not terribly concerned with finishing the area directly in front of the stairs, but then that also leaves the issue of a gap between the cement and the new floor (tripping hazard?).

Any advice is appriciated.

  • If I understand correctly you are referring to the top of the stairs? Unfortunate I don't have that kind of space. Though taking that idea and modifying it slightly, is it possible to make a landing at the bottom of the stairs level with the last step, and then have one little step after that landing?
    – J. B.
    May 12, 2021 at 22:26

1 Answer 1


New landing at height of last step

  • Build the new basement floor across the full room.
  • Add a new landing - really just another floor that is at the height of the existing bottom step. Depending on how you finish it, you may add a thin (max. 3/8" ideally, as already noted) layer on top of both the stair and the new floor to make it function and appear as one smooth surface. This landing should be at least 3 feet deep, though that includes the stair that becomes part of it.

That leaves you with one short step at the end of the landing down to the new basement floor.

basement stairs landing

  • 1
    I think this will work perfectly! I'll extend the wall out 3' to cover the new landing and then have my new basement floor be the "step" off of the new landing. With the landing and the one step that will be the new basement floor, I don't believe I need a rail?
    – J. B.
    May 12, 2021 at 22:59
  • I am 99% certain you don't need a rail for that last step. May 12, 2021 at 23:17

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