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How to Repair a Broken Stair Tread – This Old House

This Old House general contractor Tom Silva reveals his quick fix for cracked wooden steps. (See below for a shopping list and tools.)

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Full episode:

How to Replace a Stair Railing:

How to Install a Handrail on Stairs:

How to Repair a Loose Newel Post:

Shopping List for How to Repair a Broken Stair Tread:
– Tapered wood dowels and tapered drill bit,”] for repairing cracked tread
– Carpenter’s glue, used to glue together cracked tread
– White cotton cloth, for wiping off excess glue

Tools for How to Repair a Broken Stair Tread:
– Drill/driver, used to bore dowel holes in stair tread
– Glue syringe, used to inject glue to crack
– Flat file, for filing dowel flush with tread

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24 thoughts on “How to Repair a Broken Stair Tread – This Old House”

  1. Scott Baker says:

    It would be nice to see them put their weight on the edge once the glue has dried and prove it's not going to open right back up.

  2. Tom es el sabio de la carpinteria por cierto donde se consiguen esos taketes q uso en la escslera

  3. That's a lot of work. Then hire someone else to replace the step.

  4. And it's between two walls

  5. What about if the trader is broken compleat

  6. B H says:

    This guy gets a $20, hal-@$$ fix from TOH, and other people get $10,000 Ipe wood decks built onto their house. Funny stuff.

  7. Randy Sims says:

    How would I fix the stair if the middle tread is missing? Would I put in a 3.5 Miller dowel or do something else?

  8. eXtreme Rc says:

    Why dident he match the grains on stairs with the dowels grains 🤔

  9. Phil from Modern Family needs this video.

  10. ThreeScroll says:

    0:28 “this old tread” no pun intended

  11. nelson calix says:

    me gusta como trabaja soy su seguidor yo soy carpintero también y me encanta que mis trabajos queden bien por eso lo admiro

  12. Northwinds says:

    put a metal brace under it

  13. "I can barely see the dowel "…what about the crack?

  14. Brian F says:

    I have some splintered star treads . Would you recommend using a trim router to clean up those edges?

  15. where do you find the dowel and the bit

  16. Nice job, I have the same problem with my stair. I can't find where to buy tapered wood dowels and tapered drill bit. May I have some help ? I am in France but I can through internet.

  17. The first heavy person stepping on that tread would open that crack up again. I think 6 to 10 long tempered screws in pre-drilled holes would work better but the best fix would be to replace the tread.

  18. bg147 says:

    I wonder if driving some long screws in and filling the ends with filler would have a similar effect.

  19. GILLEBRATH says:

    That's a nice fix and about the only way to go about it, except regular dowels could work as well with a regular bit. Thanks

  20. Looks those stairs needed a lot more work than just that one stair tread.

  21. Nice fix… never saw these dowels… we learn something every day

  22. Maxid1 says:

    If you can barely see the dowels, a little red paint on the ends will take care of that.

  23. the guy really got a love for these stepped dowel…  Make it sound as if they were a better gift to the world than Nutella…

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