Repairing Cracks in Wooden Stair Treads

Stair treads are the part of the stairs that you walk on.
They are sometimes called steps. Wooden stair treads sometimes crack over time through normal use. It is important to fix any cracks that develop in your wooden stair treads. Cracks can weaken your stairs and lead to further damage. A cracked stair tread can also become wobbly and make the stairs unsafe. Inspect your wooden stair treads as part of your general home maintenance routine.

Step 01

Apply downward pressure on the cracked stair tread with your hand to open up the crack enough so that you can squeeze wood glue into it.

Step 11

Apply wood glue inside the cracked area of the stair tread and release the downward pressure on the tread. Push the crack together firmly with your hands.

Step 21

Clamp the stair tread using a wood clamp. Wipe off any excess glue that oozes out from the stair tread with a damp rag. Allow the glue to dry for 24 hours and remove the clamp.

Step 31

Hammer one finish nail on each side of the crack in the stair tread in the ends of the repaired stair tread. Drive the nails into the tread at a slight angle to provide a more secure grip. The nails will reinforce the stair tread and help prevent further cracking.

Step 41

Center a nail set on the head of each finish nail and tap the top of it with a hammer to set each nail approximately 1/16-inch below the surface of the wood.

Step 51

Fill each nail hole with wood putty using a putty knife. Allow the wood putty to dry for 24 hours and sand it flush with the surface of the wood using a fine-grit sanding block. Wipe off the sanding dust with a tack cloth.

Step 61

Touch up the filled nail holes with a wood finish touch-up and a small paintbrush. Allow the touch-up to dry for 24 hours before heavy use.

Things You Will Need

  • Wood glue
  • Wood clamp
  • Damp rag
  • Hammer
  • Finish nails
  • Nail set
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife
  • Sanding block, fine-grit
  • Tack cloth
  • Wood finish, touch-up
  • Small paintbrush

Tip

  • Fix loose stair treads to help prevent cracks from developing.

Warning

  • Wear eye protection when making stair tread repairs to help prevent injury.

About the Author

Jonah Morrissey has been writing for print and online publications since 2000. He began his career as a staff reporter/photographer for a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. Morrissey specializes in topics related to home-and-garden projects, green living and small business. He graduated from Saint Michael's College, earning a B.A. in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communications.