How to Install Cap-A-Tread Stair Renewal System

Who doesn’t love a good look for his home? Sometimes, old furniture or staircases may appear worn out and need replacement or renovation. If you’re in a situation like this, we’re happy to lend a helping hand.

Installing cap a tread stair renewal system is an attractive way to add value to your home. Although installing a new cap a tread stair renewal system may seem easy, it still requires the proper knowledge to pull through. You’ll need to consider certain things and have the right tools to begin replacement. However, once you get everything right, you’re in for a pleasant surprise look.

Some examples of tools you’ll need for carpet removal include a scrapper, hammer, pliers, and vacuum. While for the installation, you’ll need gloves, safety goggles, measuring tape, adhesive, table saw, miter saw, and a speed square.

Also, you’ll need to purchase the correct type of product for your stairs. Cap-a-tread comes in two varieties, and you’ll need to check the thickness of the tread to determine which one to use. If the tread measures one inch or less, you should go for standard cap-a-tread, while if it’s more than one inch, type-2 cap-a-tread is your best bet.

Without further ado, let’s move on to our installation guide.

Types of Cap-a-tread stair tread cover

There are two types of cap-a-tread stair tread cover depending on the type of stair (its thickness) in your home to choose a suitable type. They include Type 1 cap-a-tread, which is commonly known as Standard Cap-a-tread, and Type 2 Cap-a-tread stair tread cover.

The Type 1 cap-a-tread, known as the standard is used for stairs with tread thickness of one inch or less while the Type 2 cap-a-tread is used for stairs when the existing tread thickness ranges from 1 1/8 – inches to 1 ¾ – inches. 

Steps to Installing the Cap a Tread Stair Renewal System

Installing a cap a tread stair renewal system is simple and straightforward. With this process, you don’t require any expertise to renew your home stair beauty. Summarily, these are the steps to follow to install a cap-a-tread to your stair with any product of your choice:

  • Remove all carpet, pad, and staples present on the stair
  • Clean the area and ensure it is dry and structurally stable
  • Measure and  label the width and depth of each stair treads and risers
  • Mark the measure on the cap-a-tread material
  • Cut the cap-a-tread to fit using a miter saw
  • Check the fit of the cap-a-tread you cut
  • Secure the cuttings my applying construction adhesive across the perimeter
  • Install the tread and risers on the stair system

Below is the detailed explanation of the step-by-step guide to installing a cap-a-tread to renew your stair beauty and home elegance

Note: The installation of cap a tread stair renewal system on your stairs should start from the bottom of the stair to the top, alternating between the risers and the treads. 
  1. Remove all the Carpet, pad, and staples to clean the stair

The first step is removing existing carpets, staples, pads, or coverings. Ensure the area is clean, dry, and structurally sound. Once this is set, you’re ready to begin the installation. Also, note that the cap-a-tread stair renewal installation should start from the bottom of the steps, beginning with the first riser.

  1. Measure the height and width of the existing Risers

Next is to measure the width and height of the existing risers (the vertical part between the steps). Start with the first bottom riser and measure. Carefully note down your measurements to prevent mistakes. Use the miter saw to cut down the width of your riser. Meanwhile, use the table saw to adjust the riser to your set measurement for the height.

  1. Apply construction adhesives to the riser and Install

Once this is set, it’s time to install the first riser. To achieve this task, use a construction adhesive on the back of the riser. Apply the adhesive around the riser’s perimeter and in the middle in a zig-zag pattern across the middle of the riser plank to ensure it sticks well. Afterward, glue the first riser to the stairs.

  1. Measure and cut the horizontal Tread
Next, you measure the width and depth of the treads (the horizontal component of the stair that people walk on). Always ensure accurate measurement by measuring twice and separately. Since most stairs aren’t the same size or are perfect squares, using an angle gauge or t-bevel helps with the measurement. After correctly measuring, use a miter saw to trim the cap-a-tread to the exact width.

Note: Measure each stair tread to know its angle, length, and depth, as most stair sizes and angle of inclination varies.

  1. Measure the depth of the tread’s bullnose protrusion
Measure the depth of the tread’s bullnose protrusion

For the depth, measure from the edge of the bullnose protrusion to the face of the riser. Use a table saw to cut the length appropriately. Before applying adhesive, check if the tread fits perfectly with the steps. If you’re okay with the tread’s fitting, apply construction adhesive to the back of the cap-a-tread perimeter and in the middle in a zig-zag pattern. Afterward, fit the cap-a-tread on the stairs.

  1. Insert Brad nail on the Tread
Insert Brad nail on the Tread

To keep the tread in place while working your way up the stairs, insert about four brad nails along the back edge of the tread. There is no need to worry about the holes; they will be hidden when you glue the next riser to the steps.

  1. Follow this part of the Riser-Tread Installation along the stair

Continue with the same pattern along the risers and the treads till you reach the last tread, where you’ll transition to the existing floor. There are different tread alternatives for transitioning, depending on your type of flooring.

  1. Apply Caulk along the seam

Once you’re done installing the cap-a-tread stair renewal, apply caulk around the seams of the finished risers and treads, and allow them to dry properly. Afterward, clean the area to ensure a neatly completed job.

Watch this video clip to learn how to install the installation of cap-a-tread stair tread:

Maintaining Your Cap a Tread Stair Renewal System

Installing your cap a tread stair renewal system isn’t the last step. You’ll need good maintenance practices to keep your cap-a-tread installation good and clean. These maintenance practices help maintain the durability of the cap-a-tread. We have some maintenance tips for you below.
  • Clean Regularly

Debris, dust, and other dirt can build up on the stairs over time. Depending on the traffic in your home, your stairs will need regular cleaning. Sweep, and brush the stairs regularly, then use a vacuum to suck up any remaining debris.

Don’t forget the difficult areas of the stairs, like the railings and corners. In some cases, you can polish your cap-a-tread stairs to keep them looking fresh. Here’s a pro tip: Start cleaning your stairs from the top and clean downwards so that dirt can fall off when sweeping and you don’t track dirt on the recently-cleaned surfaces.

  • Remove Scratches and Dents

Over time, scratches and dents on the cap-a-tread can happen. Some dents can be easy to remove, while others may be difficult. It depends on the severity of the scratch and dent. You can conceal minor dents and scratches by applying protective wax. For larger dents, using steel wool on the area can help. A fresh finish can also help remove unwanted spots on the steps.

In addition, you can put a rug at the entrance of your house. The rugs can help keep tiny gravel or sand off the bottom of shoes so they don’t scratch the cap-a-tread stairs. Also, when moving furniture up or down the stairs, adding padding to the furniture’s base can help prevent scratches and dents.
  • Avoid Spills on the Stairs

Spills happen when liquids pour on the stairs. In case of spills, quickly wipe the area clean and dry. Wet stairs can lead to quick deterioration. Also, when spills aren’t quickly wiped dry and clean, they can form dents on the surfaces of the steps and can be difficult to remove over time.

  • Check the Structure

As time passes, the structure may weaken, and tight ends can become loose. Therefore, you should pay attention to the stairs’ structure. If you hear any creaking sound, be sure to check, and take necessary action.

Quickly detecting loose ends and weak wedges means the areas are quickly repaired instead of replaced. In cases where there seem to be extensive structural defects, replacing the cap-a-tread would be safer. Plus, it can save you more money than repairing damaged parts.


Installing a cap a tread stair renewal system should be easy if you follow the proper steps and use the right tools. Before you begin, ensure you purchase the right cap-a-tread for your stairs. Depending on the tread’s thickness, you can choose between the standard cap-a-tread or the type 2 cap-a-tread.

In addition, ensure to stick to proper maintenance strategies to get the best from your stairs installation. Quickly clean spilled drinks, and sweep or vacuum the stairs regularly. Adhering to standard maintenance will keep your cap-a-tread stairs looking good. Plus, it preserves the life span of your stairs.

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