Stair Tread Mouldings for Hardwood Steps

(finishing off the corners under the treads & riser-stringer interface, using specific stair tread moldings designed for the job)

Mouldings for a Standard Finished-End Tread – stringer side

1. If you have an open stair tread with a finished end, but no return (see styles here) then you will need to add a trim under the edge of the tread and down the corner between the riser & stringer.

We typically suggest using #1510  Panel Moulding.    Or for a less colonial look you could use a traditional door stop as long as one edge is square where it meets the riser. Door stop #1500 


2. If you’ve added a false stringer on the outside edge, this is also a great trim to finish off the bottom edge. If the edge is uneven #1510 can be rabbeted 1/4″ deep to overlap sheet If the edge is nice and straight you can avoid the extra work and just butt it up to the bottom edge.

This moulding is typically available in stock in oak and maple   … and occasionally in small quantities of other more exotic wood species.

Mouldings for a Standard Finished-End Tread – riser face

A small panel moulding #1520 1520 Panel Lacasse Fine Wood Products Sudbury Ontario is used to trim the face of the step, between the upper stair tread nosing and the tread below…. so a little 7″ long piece. It hides the connection between the plywood riser and trim #1510  installed on the side of the step, as suggested above.


The two mouldings together form a fancy outside corner to cap the riser-stringer interface.

Door Stop: for Inside Corner of Riser, in wall-to-wall installation

Typically installers use a piece of colonial door stop #1500  for this application. This trim is only necessary if you find you have a gap where the plywood riser meets with the stringer in the left corner.


It makes a cleaner look if you are able to get a tight fit. Best suggestion is to make sure the angles are square first and then cut the riser SLIGHTLY longer than measured and and with 1/4″ thick plywood you can usually snap fit it into place. Don’t oversize the riser plywood TOO much though, or you’ll end up with a bubble in the middle.

Stair Tread Moldings: Stringer Cap

If you have a stringer that sits in the middle of the room and needs to be capped then the easiest choice is using moulding #4240  .  This is designed to cap 1.5″ of rough lumber with 1/4″ hardwood plywood on each side. Thus the inside groove is slightly under 2″ … WHY under 2″. Well most hardwood plywood today is not a full 1/4″ but rather a slightly thinner metric equivalent. Thus we make it slightly smaller to reflect this discrepancy. It makes the fit slightly better.


If you have a stringer showing, as in the picture to the left, where it is sitting against the wall, then you can purchase the same moulding, rip off one side of this trim as you see in the drawing to the right … to provide an easy solution to cap the top of the construction lumber, where it hits the wall,  and lip over onto the hardwood faced stringer.


Well that’s it guys, I can’t think of another moulding that you might use in recovering stair treads, but I’m sure you’ll ask if you find a challenge that I haven’t addressed here.. so please email or fax with your requests and I’ll get right back to you… Karen

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