I plan on replacing the 2x10 treads on my basement stairs with 1 inch thick hardwood. This will make a one half inch gap at the top of the stairs where it meets the first floor landing. This seems to be a trip hazard. Should I shim each tread surface of the stringers with one half inch plywood to make up for the difference in height?

1 Answer 1


Yes you can add 1/2" plywood to all carriages/stingers to make up the 1/2" difference. Glue and a few small nails to hold it in place while the new treads go on is all you will need. Do not spare the glue/construction adhesive.

  • Thank you, Jack, I have looked all over the web and do not see where anyone has thought of this. Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 23:03
  • definitely glue them--it will make the treads stronger. If the new treads are hardwood I presume you want the nice hardwood finish and will glue your shims on the bottoms of the treads? Commented Jun 28, 2015 at 3:39
  • Glue the shims to the carriages and the treads to the shims. Use only enough fasteners to keep everything steady until glue cures. Too many fasteners will split the older dryer wood carriages. Pilot holes may help.
    – Jack
    Commented Jun 28, 2015 at 6:17

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