Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use RetroTread® on a rounded starter step?

  1. Round? NO, Straight? – Yes. Our stair part companies such as Empire/Creative Stair, ECMD/Crown Heritage, Metrie, LjSmith can provide starter steps.


How long does it take for treads to acclimate to the house atmosphere before they are trimmed, stained and finished and ready for installation?

  1. RetroTread® is manufactured to be “equalized” to 35-40% Relative humidity. They do however gain and lose moisture in storage, so depending on where they have been stored since manufacture, they may be more or less than the manufactured moisture.  I would store in a home for 10 days in an area where all sides can “See” the home atmosphere. (This is very important. If only one side can “see” the home environment it may cause the product to warp temporarily.


What grit of sandpaper should I use for final sanding before finishing?

  1. 120 Grit


What do I do if my treads start cupping after finishing?

  1. The unfinished side of the tread has taken on moisture, which has caused the cupping. The finish protected the finished face from taking on moisture. First, get them into your home in a controlled environment if you have not done so already. Next, you need to get air to the unfinished side of the tread. Lay them unfinished side up and you will see them flatten out. You can speed the process up by placing a fan around them to circulate the air, be careful and not go overboard if they dry too quickly it can cause cracking.


What do I do when I hit the landings?

  1. Use our RetroLanding™ that is grooved in the back to meet up perfectly with hardwood flooring. You can also use on your top stair.


For the finishing of the product, can you recommend any finishes?

  1. We would refer you to the experts at your local finishing store.


How do you install balusters?

  1. Since Young does not supply balusters, we do not cover their installation. That would be covered by the supplier of the part of the stair package. If using Lowes as a source, the vendor would probably be Creative Stair. Other sources may have LJ Smith, Fitts, Crown Heritage, etc. Please mention your “Retro” job since these companies have Balusters designed specifically for Retro jobs.


Does using the RetroTread® impact code?

  1. Using the RetroTread® has very minimal impact, however, it will change your first and last step. Many of the stairs that are candidates for our product are older stairs that may not meet current codes now. If you are removing carpet and padding (5/8) from the stairs and replacing it with a 5/8” RetroTread®, you may not notice any difference. Typically resurfacing the stairway doesn’t need to be inspected, however, you can check the codes in your area. There are many things that occur during remodeling projects that may impact the rise on a stair, such as installing hardwood floors in the foyer, this throws your first step out of whack, and people do it every day.


Is there an A/B side on the RetroRiser®?

  1. No, there is one side, the sanded side is the face side


What type of adhesive do you recommend?

  1. Young Manufacturing Co., Inc. recommends PL Premium Polyurethane Construction Adhesive by Loctite®.


Do you need to leave any space in between for expansion?

  1. No. A tread expanding or contracting will not grow lengthwise.


What do I do if on my top stair it runs into 3/8 flooring?

  1. You can find reducer strip or transition moldings at your local flooring supply store.


I have installed my RetroTread® using the WRONG adhesive. Now my treads are warped. HELP!

      1. First, get those treads up! If not completely cured, try to pop treads up.
        1. Remove treads/risers in one piece from stair system
        2. Scrape adhesive off back with scraper
        3. Clean back off
        4. Clean the existing stair system
        5. Take 60/90 grit piece of sandpaper and lightly go over the backs of the treads. This opens the wood fibers back up
        6. Dry backs of treads out.
          1. Adhesive side up off the floor, heat, air circulation and low humidity are your best recipe for drying
          2. Do not force dry. Using a hairdryer or something of that nature could cause treads to dry too quickly and crack.
          3. Once they lay flat, stack in area of installation. Start putting down with PL Premium Poly Urethane Construction adhesive by Loctite®.


Can I use the RetroTread® over concrete steps into my basement?

  1. Unfortunately, we cannot recommend the RetroTread® for this application. The natural characteristics of concrete allows it to maintain and absorb moisture. If any moisture is transferred into the RetroTread® it will cause warping and cracking due to the natural characteristics of the wood. There are moisture barrier pads out there that are used for this application, however, it is not one we have tested and can stand behind in a recommendation.


How come Young does not make 2” back bands?

  1. It would more than likely cause more issues (cracks) than not. The RetroTread® is pressed on all sides, with manufactures glue.


My stairs are squeaking after installation, what do I do?

    1. Most of the time they are not glued down tight. You can go back and screw down. 
      1. 1 ½ both sides, bore #10 x 1 ½ counterbore Retro ¼ deep, screw down tight. Use brass screws or decorative screws. Dowel rod and plug the top.


Does it make a difference which is installed first, RetroRiser or RetroTread®. Shows both ways on installation video and downloadable instructions.

  1. There is no right or wrong, consumer’s preference.


What size finish nail is recommended?

  1. 15 Gauge