Repairing a Broken Step

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated July 1, 2022)

Have you ever noticed how over time, even your stairs will need to be repaired? Just as with anything else in your home, it is entirely possible to fix a broken step. The trick is to figure out what kind of stairs or steps you are dealing with. Basically, are they wood or are they masonry of some sort. These directions for repairing a broken step are designed for dealing with one that is made out of wood.

  • Really look at the step. If you think that you have a broken step, you will need to really look at it to get a good look to see whether that is the case. This means that if you have carpeted or tiled stairs you will need to remove the carpeting or tiles. Be sure that you do that as carefully as possible so that you can replace it when you are finished. Carefully look at the step to see where the problem is. Be aware that the most common problem is the tread, so these directions will proceed with that in mind. If the broken or damaged part of the step is different, the only real difference will be to replace that particular damaged part with the tread.
  • Remove the tread. Treads should be fairly easy to remove with either a pry bar or hammer. Just be sure that you don't damage any of the wood work that is below the tread, and that you don't leave behind any nails. Anything that you do accidentally damage will need to be repaired before you replace the tread. Be careful as you remove the tread that you don't damage it unnecessarily so that you can find a replacement.
  • Locate a replacement. Take your now removed tread and go to your local home improvement store. You should be able to find some premade treads that fit the same dimensions as your old one with little or no trouble. If you can't find any that match exactly, then find one that matches as close as possible. If you had to go with a close, but not perfect match, you can simply trim the tread down with a saw to the proper dimensions. Be sure to get several treads incase you run into problems.
  • Attach. Take the new tread home, and attach it to where the old one was located. Apply a strip of wood glue where ever the tread will be meeting the rest of the woodwork. Press the tread down, and then you have two choices for attaching the wood further. The first, and most common, is to use nails. The second, and more durable, method is to use some woodscrews. Unlike nails, the screws won't work themselves out over time and lead to squeaky stairs.
  • Replace any covering. Allow the glue to firmly set, and then replace any coverings that you may have removed. Be sure that you firmly attach everything so that it won't come up later.
  • Clean up. When you have finished attaching the coverings, it is time to clean up. Discard any strips of wood, or garbage that you may have. Properly store all tools and any left over screws, nails, and treads.

Keep in mind that these instructions are only for repairing a broken step that isn't too far-gone. For example, if you are faced with an entire staircase that needs to be repaired you will need to probably get some extra help. It is vitally important that you realize when you need to call the professionals, otherwise you can end up spending way more money than you would like or imagine.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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