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How to Cover OSB Stair Treads

Sal Marco

OSB stands for oriented strand board. OSB is a strong and durable composite material. Manufacturers combine wood particles, shavings and sawdust with resins, and then heat press them into thin sheets. Stacking the thin sheets and heat pressing them together forms the finished board. OSB is not an attractive building material. It looks rough and unfinished. The choice of covering depends on your personal style and design theme.

Painting OSB Stair Treads

  1. Apply a coat of an epoxy-based primer with a paint roller or paintbrush to the stairs.

  2. Allow the primer to dry thoroughly, generally two to four hours.

  3. Apply a coat of epoxy-based paint to the stairs and allow it to dry fully, usually two to four hours.

  4. Mix a skid-proof paint additive to the remaining paint. The additive will create a rougher texture to the paint thus preventing a slippery stair surface.

  5. Paint the final coat onto the stairs and allow drying for two to four hours before using the stairs.

Covering OSB Treads with Vinyl Tile

  1. Measure the stair tread and mark the back of the vinyl tile with the measurements.

  2. Cut the vinyl tile along the guideline with a utility knife.

  3. Apply a coating of vinyl tile adhesive to the stair tread. If the tiles are peel and stick, remove the protective backing to expose the pre-applied adhesive.

  4. Place the tile onto the stair tread, beginning at the edge of the stairs. Press the tile in place firmly. Roll a rolling pin over the tile to gain good adhesion.

  5. Place metal stair edging at the front of the stair tread, hanging down onto the riser and nail in place. Metal stair edging will hold down the edges of the vinyl tile and provide a finished look.

Carpeting OSB Treads

  1. Measure the stairs and purchase a carpet runner in the same dimensions. Carpet runners have finished edges, which make installation easier because you will not have to roll the edges around the sides of the stairs.

  2. Nail tackless installation strips onto the tread up against the stair riser. A stair riser is the toe-kick part of the stairs. Tackless installation strip are strips of wood with sharp tacks protruding through. The tacks grip the carpet and keep it from sliding or coming off the stairs.

  3. Place the carpet runner at the top of the stairs and press the carpet onto the tackless strip.

  4. Pull the carpet tightly across the tread and down the riser to the next strip. Rent a carpet installation knee-kicking tool to stretch the carpet more tightly than by hand.

  5. Move down the flight of stairs, covering each tread and riser while tightly stretching the carpet and attaching it to the installation strips.