Does anyone have advice on how to pull several stair risers back into contact with the treads where they have separated? I just bought a 1920"s house and a few of the risers appear to have been "kicked inward" for lack of a better descripton. There is NO access to the underside of the staircase. The area underneath is finished plaster and lathe. The stair treads feel solid, but the 1/2 inch gap is unsightly. This would likely be a DIY project so any descriptions would be gladly welcomed! (attached pic does not show gaps, just for reference of enclosed staircase)


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Deb Tarr Sinasac on Sep 14, 2017
I"m having the same problem. It"s not as if you can get behind the stairs to hammer in the staples that have pulled loose. Yes, mine are just stapled. Guess the contractor never intended for the stairs to be exposed and finished. I am putting a strip of cove molding that is stained and varathaned to match the step but there is that one step where the riser is pushed back and I can"t figure out how to pull the riser back towards the step to reduce the gap. Or do I just try to cut the staple....it"s a dilemma.
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Stephen Rider on Dec 19, 2018

I have a similar issue where the bottom of the riser on the top step has been locked in and become detached from the step. It appears to be old damage, but until now was covered up with carpet.

I’m having the floors refinished, and the steps will be stained but the risers painted. Here’s what I’m going to try:

1) drill a small hole in the riser near the bottom. Screw in a metal loop. Now I can pull on the riser with a thin cable (?).

2) apply some glue, pull the riser into place and clamp overnight

3) drive a small finishing nail into the step at an angle to reinforce the glue. Still using the loop and clamp to hold riser in place

4) remove loop, fill hole and paint riser


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