How to Attach Oak Treads Without Screws

Hardwood stairs can be a long lasting flooring option in many homes.

Oak stair treads can be installed with a hammer and spiral finishing nails.
Many homeowners choose oak hardwood for the stair treads. Installing oak treads on a staircase is not as difficult as it may sound. While it is possible to install oak treads with screws, some professionals advise against it. Screws create large holes in the wood that must be filled. Spiral finishing nails and wood glue are a much better option. They will hold the tread in place without marring the surface of the oak tread too much. .

Measure the stair tread with a measuring tape.

Mark the measurements of the stair tread on the oak tread with a pencil. Mark each stair tread with an A, B, or C. This will help you keep track of which stair tread belongs on which stair.

Cut the oak stair treads to size with a table saw. Wear safety glasses as you operate the table saw.

Apply wood glue to the back of the oak stair tread.

Nail the stair tread into place with 2 1/2-inch spiral finishing nails. Space the nails approximately six inches apart. The nails will keep the tread in place until the glue dries. Set the finish nails below the surface of the oak tread with a nail set and hammer.

Fill the nail holes with wood putty. Allow the wood putty and wood glue 24 hours to dry before heavy use of the stairs.

Things You Will Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Oak stair treads
  • Pencil
  • Table saw
  • Safety glasses
  • Wood glue
  • 2 1/2-inch spiral finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • Nail set
  • Wood putty


  • Pre-drill the nail holes to avoid splitting the oak treads as you hammer the nails in place.

About the Author

Cadence Johansen is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about travel, marriage, family relationships, caregiver support, home improvement and money. Johansen has been writing professionally since 2008. She holds a master's degree in family studies from Utah State University.