My New House Not-Monday: The Stairs

Welcome to the September 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Home Tour

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have opened up their doors and given us a photo-rich glimpse into how they arrange their living spaces.


And for another addition of My New House Mondays, except not a Monday (hello Carnival readers!) and really not such a new-to-us house anymore. We’ve been in this house over four years! And we did our flooring on the main level two years ago! Two years. It’s amazing how time flies. Anyway, it’s been on our list of to-do’s ever since to do the hallway upstairs and hopefully our stairs (one set going up and one going down, as our house is a split level), depending on the amount of laminate flooring we had left once the hallway was done.

Last fall I got ambitious and tore out the ugly carpet in the hallway and on the top set of stairs (bottom set of stairs lost it’s carpet when we did the other flooring). That left us with white wood stairs. Not something that I would even dislike if it weren’t for the condition of them. Biggest issue being that two of the stairs on the bottom set were cracked all the way through the middle. I tried different methods of holding the crack together so I could paint over it, but it just broken right apart again. The next step was to go put a piece of 2×4 underneath them to brace the crack, but we never got that far. My husband finished the hallway laminate early this summer and came up with a plan to completely cover our stairs in the laminate, even the risers! So finishing our stairs went onto the before-baby to-do list.

Our biggest issue came from the noses. They were incredibly thick and rounded, so even if we put the noses that match the laminate on top of them, white would have shown through the bottom. This is where my husband’s brilliant plan came in–we cut them off! I thought it was kind of crazy at first, but it worked out really well.

Top set of stairs minus their noses.

It took some very precise measuring (which, as you can see, still wasn’t perfect) and cutting with a circular saw braced up against a piece of wood. It was kind of terrifying, but also awesome. Since it didn’t reach all the way to the sides, we used a jigsaw and dremmel to cut off the rest.

Lower set of stairs post-circular saw and pre-dremmel. (Please forgive the blurry husband foot)

Lower stairs minus noses.

Then once the noses were off, it was mostly a bunch of measuring. We cut eat piece of laminate to the precise width of the stair (checking to make sure it fit and trimming again if necessary), then did another the same way for the riser. The riser was cut so it was level with the top of the background riser and the tread so it was the correct size that the nose would fit over the top of it without a gap in the overhang (or underhang?). It sounds more complicated than it was, really. We just had to piece it together like a puzzle and do lots of cutting and measuring. The hardest part was using the locking mechanism of laminate to lock the two pieces together at a 90 degree angle. Once we had that in place, we used liquid nails on the back along with a nail gun to secure them.

Upper stairs in the process of being put together.

Our final step is to do the very top riser. If you look closely at this last picture, you can see that the bottom of the hardwood flooring shows past the nose a bit. Since this is the case, we need to make sure that we have a perfectly straight and nice looking line on the top riser. So my husband is going to take the last two pieces to his co-worker’s house and cut them on his table saw to get the nice clean cut. That part we didn’t accomplish before Banana arrived, but I still consider these stairs complete (since my part of the work is over). Yay new stairs!

“Completed” lower stairs.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon September 9 with all the carnival links.)

  • Being Barlow Home Tour — Follow along as Jessica at Being Barlow gives you the tour of her family’s home.
  • A Tour Of My Hybrid Rasta Kitchen — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama takes you on a tour of her kitchen complete with a Kombucha Corner, a large turtle, her tea stash, and of course, all her must-have kitchen gadgets. Check out Hybrid Rasta Mama’s most favorite space!
  • Dreaming of a Sisters Room — Bianca, The Pierogie Mama, dreams, schemes and pins ideas for when her younger daughter is ready to move out of the family bed and share a room with her older sister.
  • Building a life — Constructing a dream — Survivor at Surviving Mexico-Adventures and Disasters shows you a glimpse inside the home her family built and talks about adaptions they made in constructing their lives in Mexico.
  • Why I’m Sleeping in the Dining Room — Becca at The Earthling’s Handbook welcomed a new baby but didn’t have a spare bedroom. She explains how her family rearranged the house to create Lydia’s nursing nest and changing room in spaces they already had.
  • The Gratitude Tour — Inspired by Momastry’s recent “home tour,” That Mama Gretchen is highlighting imperfect snapshots of things she’s thankful for around her home. Don’t plan to pin anything!
  • Our Home in the Forest — Tara from Up the Dempster gives you a peek into life lived off-grid in Canada’s Yukon Territory.
  • natural bedding for kids — Emma at Your Fonder Heart shows you how her family of 3 (soon to be 4) manages to keep their two cotton & wool beds clean and dry (plus a little on the end of cosleeping — for now).
  • I love our home — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings explains how lucky she feels to have the home she does, and why she strives so hard to keep it tidy.
  • Not-So-Extreme Makeover: Sunshine and Rainbows Edition — Dionna at Code Name: Mama was tired of her dark, outdated house, so she brightened it up and added some color.
  • Our little outdoor space — Tat at Mum in search invites you to visit her balcony, where her children make friends with wildlife.
  • Our Funky, Bright, Eclectic, Montessori Home — Rachel at Bread and Roses shows you her family’s newly renovated home and how it’s set up with Montessori principles in mind for her 15-month-old to have independence.
  • Beach cottage in progress — Ever tried to turn a 1980s condo into a 1920s beach bungalow? Lauren at Hobo Mama is giving it a try!
  • Conjuring home: intention in renovation — Jessica at Crunchy-Chewy Mama explains why she and her husband took on a huge renovation with two little kids and shares the downsides and the ups, too.
  • Learning At Home — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling helps us to re-imagine the ordinary spaces of our homes to ignite natural learning.
  • My Dining Room Table — Kellie at Our Mindful Life loves her dining room table — and everything surrounding it!
  • Sight words and life lessons — The room that seemed to fit the least in Laura from Pug in the Kitchen‘s life is now host to her family’s homeschool adventures and a room they couldn’t imagine life without!
  • A Tour of Our Church — Garry at Postilius invites you virtually visit him in the 19th-century, one-room church where he lives with his spouse and two kids.
  • Preparing a Montessori Baby-Toddler Space at Home — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares the Montessori baby-toddler space she’s created in the main living area of her home along with a variety of resources for creating a Montessori-friendly home.
  • The Old Bailey House — Come peek through the window of The Old Bailey House where Erica at ChildOrganics resides with her little ones.
  • My New House Not-Monday: The Stairs — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl shows you her new laminate stairs in her not-so-new-anymore house.
  • To Minimalist and Back Again — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares how she went to the extreme as a minimalist and bounced right back. Read how she finds it difficult to maintain the minimalist lifestyle when upsizing living space.
  • Our Life As Modern-Day Nomads — This family of five lives in 194 square feet of space — with the whole of North America as a back yard. Paige of Our Road Less Traveled guest posts at Natural Parents Network.

9 thoughts on “My New House Not-Monday: The Stairs

  1. Your stairs are looking good! We have stairs to our unfinished second floor however they are only cement–we haven’t finished tiling yet. Someday! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love looking at before and after photos, the end result sometimes shock me – I would have never imagined it from the outset. Your new stairs look lovely!

  3. Wow, that’s a lot of work, but the stairs look great! I wonder if they are safer without the noses? I once slipped on our carpeted stairs and felt that it happened because I put my weight too close to the edge, where it was really more on the carpet folded over the nose than on the stair itself.

    • I was really concerned about how safe the new noses would be, but holy wow those things are secure! To be fair, my husband did five nails per nose and we did the liquid nails, but still. I’m amazed. And it also made me nervous when we first took the carpet off the stairs that they’re so much harder (like if you do slip, it might hurt you more), but I’ve noticed that I don’t fall nearly as much. I’m a total klutz and I think that having the slippery carpet on them is what made me fall all the time. Now the only time I hurt myself on them is when I do silly things like think I’m at the bottom when I actually had one stair left.😛

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