Construction Questions

How do I build the stairs?

Stairs may be pre-assembled, moved into position and attached, or built in place. Stair calculator

PRE-ASSEMBLED: The completed stringer is placed on the floor with the brackets facing up. The risers are stood on end and attached to the brackets by screwing from the back with 1 1/4" screws. Once the risers are attached to the stringer, the opposite stringer is placed over the ends of the standing risers and also attached by screwing from the back. The two stringers (joined by the risers) are laid on the floor with the tread surface of the brackets facing up. The treads are placed into position and firmly knocked down into the bracket and back against the riser.

2 1/2" screws are inserted through the top of the tread into the top of the riser every 9". The stair is placed onto its side again and 1 1/4" screws are then inserted into the bottom of the tread through holes in the bracket. Once complete, 2 1/2" screws are placed through the back of the riser into the back of the tread every 9". Check that the back of the tread remains straight. The stair is now placed into position and attached.

BUILT IN PLACE: In some locations it is not possible to pre-assemble and the stair must be built in place. The two stringers are attached in position. Then all the risers are attached to the brackets, using 1 1/4" screws. Often, with this type of construction, it is not possible to attach some or all of the stringers by blind screwing from the bottom, using 11/4" screws through the brackets. In these cases, the treads are attached by screwing from the top, using 2"#12 galvanized, counter sunk, self- tapping screws.

Starting from the bottom tread, the tread is placed in position with its back hard against the riser. The tread is knocked firmly against the bracket at both ends, producing marks on the underside of the tread left by the raised holes in the bracket. The tread is removed and pre-drilled with a 3/16" at the marks through the tread. The tread is put back into position and attached to the brackets using 2" self-tapping screws through the pre-drilled holes. Then 2 1/2" screws are placed into the back of the tread through the bottom of the next riser. The next tread up is secured until the top. The back of the top tread is attached to a 2 X 4 support (see box instructions). See video.

For more information see our assembly procedure for INTERIOR STAIRS.

Build DECK STAIRS up to 4 times faster. Composite trimming and cleat installation pdf.

See how an EZ Stair's customer built his deck stairs-step by step.

How do I attach the stair?

The stair may be attached at the top, using appropriate metal anchors, straps or plates. Check your local codes. The stair bottom may be attached to a 2 X 4 cleat secured to the floor or footing.

How do I attach and finish to a wall?

When building against a wall, the stringer may be nailed or screwed to the studs. If there are fire considerations at the wall, fire rated sheet rock may be required to be attached first and the stringer secured over the sheetrock. Check your local codes. If this is not a requirement, the stringer may be attached to the studs and the sheetrock brought down on top of the stringer and finished with moulding. Fire blocking may be required between the studs. Again, check your local codes.

How do I cut inside the stair trim?

See box instructions for interior stair trim. The trim material is laid on the stair and marked and cut, as shown in the box instructions.

How do I do an initial 2x6 stringer set-up with a gap closure?

When you adjust (pivot) your brackets to your customized rise requirement, a gap will generally still remain between the 2x6's. Many builders leave this gap for drainage purposes. However, many prefer the gap to be closed. To close the gap between the 2x6's, during the initial stringer assembly, follow these instructions (after you have determined what your desired rise and tread need to be and you've pivoted brackets into position).

Insert 2 additional screws into the bottom bracket 2x6 member, then remove the top pivot screw in the top 2x6. Close the gap....the brackets will not move out of position. When the gap is closed, insert all screws into the pre-marked holes except your first bracket and last in the run you're building. The reason for not inserting these screws at this stage is that these 2 brackets will normally need to be rotated out of the way, for the 3 to 4 quick skill cuts that will be required to complete your stringer.

How do you finish interior stairs using the EZ Stair brackets?

Click to see diagram.

How do I assemble the splined or tongue & groove interior stringers?

See illustration of EZ Stairs splined or tongue & groove interior stringer assembly. You can do this yourself or bring this drawing to your local lumberyard, so they can do it for you. pdf version

How do you utilize EZ Stairs for exterior composite decking or use with 2 x 6 wood treads?

Click to see diagram.

Can you make EZ Stairs without risers?

The brackets can be used without risers if the stair is less than 36" wide and the treads are 2x12.

How wide can I build the stairs with this system?

Exterior stairs- build up to 7' and Interior stairs -build up to 9'

When I rotate the brackets until the gap between the 2x6's is closed, my rise and run doesn't work.

Believe it or not, you are probably doing everything correctly in setting your brackets using the spacers and pivot screws onto the two 2x6's. More than likely, your problem is in the next step.....adjusting the brackets whereby you fully rotating the brackets until the gap between the two 2x6's is completely closed. The gap is not intended to be closed. The gap is initially set to accommodate a wide range of motion so that you can adjust your rise height between 0" and 8-1/4". As an example, if your rise is to be 7-1/2", using a framing square with the long side placed on top of the tread surface of one the brackets and the short side placed against rise surface of the next bracket, rotate the brackets until the rise height reaches the 7-1/2" required. There will be a gap remaining between the 2x6's. If you wish to close the gap completely (once the brackets are set correctly) please see our streaming animated instructional video for the appropriate procedures.

How would I use EZ stairs for a solid 2X12 x16 stringer rather then the 2x6's?

Mark out each stringer using a framing square as though you were going to cut the stringer out like a conventional cut stringer. Once you have marked the stringers, then using the wide side of the framing square (2") mark a line 2" below each tread line. Using this new line and the rise line, place the brackets onto the stringer with the bracket flanges touching both lines and attach the brackets using screws. Special stair lugs are available at most hardware stores for attaching to the framing square to help in marking stringers.