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Construction in Thailand Is building in Thailand as bad as it seems? Can properties really be built and fitted out to European standards? Would you like to Build your own house in Phuket, or a swimming pool in Bangkok? Solar water heating in Pattaya? Or maybe you want to build a resort or guesthouse on Koh Samui? If you want to build a luxury house in Thailand then this is the forum for you.


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Old 14-10-2011, 01:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Adding wood treads to existing concrete stairs (indoor)

Hi Everyone!

I'm about to cover a typical indoor concrete staircase with wooden treads (mai daeng), and only using this on the treads, leaving the exposed concrete on the riser, but I lack the knowledge to know if the Thai builder knows what he is talking about or not. Please help if you can.

1) Do I need to insulate the bottom of the wood from the concrete to prevent rot later on? Or can I just attach them after treating the wood and that will be enough? I've read elsewhere online that used outdoors you must do this, but I can't find information regarding indoor stairs.

2) Ideas for attaching the wood to the cement without having to put holes in the top of the wood? He wants to use small nails and wood glue. That may be enough, I don't know (but doubt it), but thought some of you have been through this before and may have a good solution that is workable here.

The idea is like this, but the concrete would remain exposed:

Thanks!
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Old 14-10-2011, 06:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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..use a peripheral bead of construction adhesive ..like "no more nails" available in most hardware stores...Just clean the concrete of any paint or loose stuff and wash with water. Good exterior solvent based construction adhesive works on wet materials too but try to dry it off to avoid mold and speed drying.

easy peezy..
 
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Old 14-10-2011, 08:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Looks like a nice idea

as long as the concrete steps are sealed properly (just a good cement screed without any dust), the wood can be stuck down

as Crepitus says, construction adhesive is the best way, although I would use more than just a bead. It needs a good coverage so zigzag the adhesive all over the bottom of the step then weight down with blocks for a day
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Old 14-10-2011, 08:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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^Spot on, why the builder would even consider nails for this task is beyond me. Screws would be stupid and ott but nails ffs? Into concrete?



OP, you should film him attempting that and post it here for shits and giggles!
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Old 14-10-2011, 08:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino
Or can I just attach them after treating the wood and that will be enough?
I just read this bit

if you treat the wood with anything other than a water based insecticide, you may find the adhesive will not stick

you may not even need to treat it if the stairs are indoors
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Old 14-10-2011, 09:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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There are concrete nails, they are very hard and can shatter, user should wear safety glass.
But then when l think about it, l havent seen Thai's wearing safety glasses at any time, scares me to watch them.
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Old 14-10-2011, 09:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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yeah, I tried using them to nail my drive down but it still drove away
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Old 14-10-2011, 09:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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While we are talking about steps,, l notice many steps built in Thailand, have a very short step width ( depth, the part you put your foot on ), this make for a stairs very difficult to walk up or down.
Step tread's as a rule, should have a depth of about 260 mm, with the riser at 160 mm or there abouts. lf this simple rule is followed, you will find the stairs much earier to negotiate
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Old 14-10-2011, 09:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Selleys liquid nails, available at most hardware stores is brilliant for such applications.

Just make sure everything is clean, dry and dust free.
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Old 14-10-2011, 10:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I've got wood covered stairs and risers but must say I prefer the look of those without the risers covered.
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Old 14-10-2011, 01:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for the input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crepitus View Post
..use a peripheral bead of construction adhesive ..like "no more nails" available in most hardware stores...Just clean the concrete of any paint or loose stuff and wash with water. Good exterior solvent based construction adhesive works on wet materials too but try to dry it off to avoid mold and speed drying.

easy peezy..
And bypass any nails/screws?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrAndy View Post
Looks like a nice idea

as long as the concrete steps are sealed properly (just a good cement screed without any dust), the wood can be stuck down

as Crepitus says, construction adhesive is the best way, although I would use more than just a bead. It needs a good coverage so zigzag the adhesive all over the bottom of the step then weight down with blocks for a day
I think the more the better too. I'd hate for him to try to save me a few baht and the stairs comes unglued.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khmen View Post
^Spot on, why the builder would even consider nails for this task is beyond me. Screws would be stupid and ott but nails ffs? Into concrete?



OP, you should film him attempting that and post it here for shits and giggles!
Yea, he wants to use little nails. That was when flags went up. He's generally a pretty good guy to have working but this idea didn't seem right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrAndy View Post

if you treat the wood with anything other than a water based insecticide, you may find the adhesive will not stick

you may not even need to treat it if the stairs are indoors
Interesting. That just poked a whole in the plans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mozzbie47 View Post
There are concrete nails, they are very hard and can shatter, user should wear safety glass.
But then when l think about it, l havent seen Thai's wearing safety glasses at any time, scares me to watch them.
No glasses, no gloves, and the cheapest flip-flops they can find. Somehow most of them amazingly make it home from work every day with no injury.

We had a bunch of black slate that needed to be broken into smaller pieces (used on a balcony floor, embedded in concrete), but the edges were very sharp, and as they broke them with a hammer, little pieces were flying around. I told the foreman to stop, I'd run to the store to buy them all gloves and safety glasses, and he said "mai pen rai" and pulled out his Siam Commercial insurance card that covered him for up to 50,000b. lol

Oh well. You can only lead a horse to water.
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Old 14-10-2011, 01:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurgen View Post
I've got wood covered stairs and risers but must say I prefer the look of those without the risers covered.
I tried to find a better photo to show as an example but could not find one online that only had exposed concrete. We like the look a lot. We saw it used in a few guesthouses in Chiang Mai a few months ago. With the rest of the decor using wood and concrete, it really had a nice urban yet earthy feel to it.
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Old 14-10-2011, 01:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Oh well. You can only lead a horse to water.
You can send a whore to Vassar...but you can't make her think...
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Old 14-10-2011, 02:32 PM   #14 (permalink)
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she might be a smart whore
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Old 14-10-2011, 09:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Looks like a nice idea

as long as the concrete steps are sealed properly (just a good cement screed without any dust), the wood can be stuck down

as Crepitus says, construction adhesive is the best way, although I would use more than just a bead. It needs a good coverage so zigzag the adhesive all over the bottom of the step then weight down with blocks for a day
Yup use as much as ya need for sure but too much will oooze out and YOU will have to clean it off before it dries like a rock...good idea to check for levels/valleys with a straaight edge so not to waste your expensive goo filling up holes left by the your builder or... A screed of cement, as mentioned ,would be a good leveler if too far out of whack..of course check your step board for warping too.

Had our builder use ca for our cement compound skirting boards..used a whole [at]#$%^ tube in 3 metres,!! Then started using the silicone I had bought for the bathtub......actually it did work ..but a negligible load application...
 
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Old 14-10-2011, 11:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Another posted mentioned that treating the wood may cause the glue to not stick properly. Anyone have any experience with this? In theory it sounds correct, but Thailand often defies logic, so I have to assume anything is possible. :-)
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Old 14-10-2011, 11:25 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino
And bypass any nails/screws?
Nope, the concrete will not be level, the risers will be different heights, you will need to use shims to make the planks level, then drill and screw them into the concrete, obviously recess the screw hole and fill.
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Old 14-10-2011, 11:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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nice idea that, spot on
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Old 14-10-2011, 11:33 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Here's one I made earlier.

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Old 15-10-2011, 02:26 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Here's one I made earlier.

That looks very nice. How did you attach the tread to the concrete under it, or is this a full wooden staircase?
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Old 15-10-2011, 02:29 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Drilled and screwed it into the concrete, this one cost well over 100k, teakwood and stainless.
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Old 15-10-2011, 04:03 AM   #22 (permalink)
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treads

if I was to do this job I would look at dovetail metal strips 50% thickness of the tread screwed into place from riser to 20mil from edge of tread . Dovetail the underneath of the tread with a router to the same length of metal bars . The tread just slides into place & is secured by useing strong resin to hold the tread in place .
This method is much safer as it stops the tread from tipping in the event of the resin failing at a future date
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Old 15-10-2011, 01:11 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
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if I was to do this job I would look at dovetail metal strips 50% thickness of the tread screwed into place from riser to 20mil from edge of tread . Dovetail the underneath of the tread with a router to the same length of metal bars . The tread just slides into place & is secured by useing strong resin to hold the tread in place .
This method is much safer as it stops the tread from tipping in the event of the resin failing at a future date
That is a great idea. Any reason why you would use metal strips instead of wood, then using wood glue to attach the strip with the tread?
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Old 15-10-2011, 03:57 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yogi View Post
if I was to do this job I would look at dovetail metal strips 50% thickness of the tread screwed into place from riser to 20mil from edge of tread . Dovetail the underneath of the tread with a router to the same length of metal bars . The tread just slides into place & is secured by useing strong resin to hold the tread in place .
This method is much safer as it stops the tread from tipping in the event of the resin failing at a future date
That is a great idea. Any reason why you would use metal strips instead of wood, then using wood glue to attach the strip with the tread?
Using metal strips is more to do with strengh . Also the termite factor as they do seem to enjoy wood .
The only other way I would do this job is to get a plug cutter & cutt wood plugs from scraps of the same timber as the treads .Then drill countersink fix tread & plug . This would mean that all woodstaining would have to be done after fixing.

Another way of putting strenth into the tread is to put metal dowls into the rear edge (edge to meet riser) & drill holes into concret to accept the dowls. It is importent that the tread have that extra stength to stop it from tipping. The only time it will tip is when somebody steps on it so safety is a must .
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Old 15-10-2011, 04:09 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I'm having some stairs fitted at the moment that only have wood on the treads and no the riders, I really like that look. Feels a little more modern than a full wood staircase, also cheaper ;-)



I'll take another pic in a couple of days when it's done. It should look something like this when it's done:



They screwed the treads down with concrete screws, then put wood filler on top of the screws, they did something similar in our wardrobes and after it's been stained and varnished you can't even spot where the screws were.

The problem in this part of the world is that the wood isn't usually left to dry for long enough so tends to bow. So best to make sure it's really screwed down. One of might mates had his whole kitchen made from the local teak and now two years on, not one of the doors close properly.
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