Materials Questions

All materials must be No.2 construction grade or better.

  • Interior stairs: Douglas fir, Red oak, 11/8" plywood (risers and treads only up to 72" long)
  • Exterior stairs: Redwood, Cedar, pressure treated lumber.

Do not use plywood for stringers. For screws, see Step 3 in the box instructions.

The treads may be carpeted or finished with a laminated flooring surface. When using solid oak stringers, the treads may also b solid oak.

The underside of the stair may be finished with sheetrock. 1 X 4 battens are attached longitudinally to the bottom of the risers and sheetrock is attached to the battens.

Moulding may be used to finish the edges.

How do I finish the stairs?

The exterior stairs (Redwood, Cedar, pressure treated lumber) are either stained or painted. The interior stairs, (when using finish materials such as Oak), may be stained or painted. When using unfinished materials ie-Douglas Fir, a finish material such as 1/4" plywood (stain finish) or M.D.F. Board (paint finish) is laminated onto the stringers and finished with mouldings (see box instructions).

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

Click to see diagram.

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

Click to see diagram

What tools will I need? You should have the following tools:

  • power saw
  • power screwdriver
  • hammer
  • builders square
  • tape measure
  • level
  • pencil

How many bracket sets will I need?

You'll need one bracket set for each tread- left bracket , right bracket and spacer. See Stair Calculator to find out how many steps you will need.

How do I purchase bracket sets?

The bracket sets are available in single sets or contractor packs of 8 sets of brackets, as well as a contractor spacer pack with 8 reusable spacers:

  • single packs- 1 left and 1 right bracket, 1 spacer
  • contractor pack-8 left and 8 right brackets (brackets only)
  • spacer contractor pack- 8 spacers (spacers only)

The spacers are reusable and may be kept for use with future purchases of brackets.

What is the minimum/maximum thickness for risers and treads using hardwood or plywood?

Dimensional Lumber....................minimum thickness, 1-1/2"
Hardwood..................................minimum thickness, 5/4" ( this normally finishes 1" to !-1/8" thickness)
Plywood (interior only)................minimum thickness, 1-1/8"

What kind of screws do I use?

Pan head screws which have a flat bearing surface. Round head screws will also work fine.

What will the stairs cost?

See our store page for the bracket cost and refer to this chart to see the cost comparison to traditional stair building.

The EZ Stairs system includes the brackets and spacers. What additional materials do I need to build my steps?

For interior or exterior stairs you'll need the following*
You'll need (4) 2x6's length will vary depending on your project. 2x8 risers and 2x12 treads can be used for exterior deck steps. Composite material can be used too-make sure you review our composite instructions.

For interior stairs, many DIY'ers and Professionals will use _" plywood risers and treads up to 42" wide. The outside stringers stay at 2x6's...again (4) of these are needed. Of course, if you are looking for the strongest possible steps you can build 'indoors' just go with the same 2x lumber we recommend for exterior use. If you want to buy pre-made risers and treads, see the Stairtek website.

Screws: *
Exterior we recommend ACQ approved/coated and /or stainless steel. Interior standard steel screws will work fine. *See assembly brochure for exact sizes and the amount needed will vary according to the number of steps being built*

Power Drill / Hand Saw and/or Skill Saw

Due to the EZ Stairs design, minimal amount of 'cuts' are required. We recommend having your risers and treads 'pre-cut' in advance (by your local supplier) to the exact width you want your steps. That being done the only cut's remaining on the job site will be the end cuts to your 2x6 stringers. A basic skill saw or hand saw can be used. A standard hand held power drill will work well.

Where can the tongue & grove stringer can be purchased for interior stairs?

Usually for larger projects, the T&G is specially milled and it takes special knives. I would suggest selecting and color matching your stringers and have a 3/8" wide x 1/2" deep grove milled in the matching edges of each stringer. Next, have a spline milled to fit in the groves. This will accomplish the same function and will be less expensive than having special knives cut. The lumberyard can do this for you.

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

Can you use 2 x 12 stringers?

You can use 2x12's for stringers. Mark out the stringer as you would for a cut stringer. Next, you must mark "allowance lines" for your tread thickness plus 3/4" and riser thickness plus 3/4" by marking lines, parallel to the cut stringer lines. Place the brackets at the new allowance lines and attach all brackets except the top and bottom. From the top and bottom allowance lines, mark and make the end cuts as you would according to the EZ Stairs instructions. Attach the top and bottom brackets at the allowance lines.

Can I use 1" thick treads instead 1-1/2" with your system?

Yes. 1" thick oak for instance, is considered 5/4 thick (1-1/4") material which is fine to use with our system.

What do I do if the riser height is greater than 7 1/4"?

Use 2 x 10 risers