Covering Front Steps With Composite Decking

Front steps take a lot of traffic, and their appearance can suffer from it. Covering them with composite decking can soften the appearance, change the color and restore them to like-new condition. Composite decking can be cut and worked with standard woodworking tools and is much like working with traditional lumber. It comes in a variety of colors and is designed to not only be long lasting, but also maintain its appearance.

  1. Measure the steps. Measure stair treads (the tops of the steps) from side to side and front to back. Measure stair risers (the vertical face between treads) from side to side and from top to bottom.

  2. Count out one piece for each tread and each riser. Bore pilot holes in the four corners of each piece, 1 ½ inches in from each edge. Use a 1/8 inch bit. Position one piece on the face of each riser, flush with the top edge of the stair above. Drive one 1 5/8-inch treated deck screw through each hole into the step behind. Drive the screws in until the head is flush with the face of the decking. Repeat with each riser.

  3. Position one piece of decking on the top of each stair tread, with the front edge overhanging the face of the piece on the riser below by 1/4-inch. Drive one screw through each hole to secure the piece.

  4. Measure the distance from the bottom edge of the attached piece on the face of each riser to the top of the step below. Since composite decking comes in 5 1/2 inch widths you will need to cut some of your pieces to width to fit the steps. Cut one piece of decking to width, using a table saw, for each riser. Drill pilot holes and attach as before. Measure the distance between the back edge of the decking attached to each tread and the face of the piece you just added to the riser and cut pieces to fit. Install them with screws using the same technique.

  5. Install composite decking on concrete steps using the same measuring and cutting techniques. Set the decking in position. Bore pilot holes, aligned with the pilot holes in the decking, in the concrete with a 3/16 inch rotary mason's bit to a depth of 2 inches. Drive one 3 inch Tapcon-style concrete screw through each hole into the concrete.

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