Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 2/6/2017

Will a 2x2x3/16 angle bracket work to support a 30 inch wooden tread?

I have open stairs that need to be replaced and there is no center stringer and stairs were put together before mounting and were nailed in so i want to put angle brackets to support and slide in place.

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

5 Answers


For 30" span with 2x material, you should have a middle stringer - a pair of 2x6's is unsafe for that span, 2x10 is marginal, and 2x12 is OK for load BUT the bounce would be excessive in at least the 2x10 case. Code commonly (varies by locale) requires stringers be not less than 24" apart (free tread span) and 16" for some woods and tread material width (if multiple boards for the tread). If 5/4" tread then depending on material 10-16" is the maximum tread span.

It sounds like the treads were nailed in through the risers into the end of the tread - NOT the way it is supposed to be done. The treads should sit on TOP of the notches in the stringer, or if stringer is not stairstep cut (a solid stringer), then on metal stair tread brackets mounted to the risers - some areas allow wood cleats but for outdoors don't do it, because the wood-to-wood contact surface will rot faster.

A 2x2 bracket will support the weight of the tread OK (should be a bracket as long as the tread is wide) BUT a 2x2 cannot be properly fastened into the top of the stringer notch - fastener would be too close to the free surface and will break the landing off the notched stringer, if we are talking a notched (stair-stepped) stringer.

If you are talking about unnotched stringers like the photos in this article -

then angle iron will work - but most people just buy Simpson Strongtie galvanized stair tread brackets - TA10Z for 2x10's for example. Be sure to use proper structural screws or proper length Teco nails, NOT box nails - they are not rated for the shear load in the fasteners.

Hint - when putting them on, if outdoors, coat the top edge of the bracket with a thin bead of long-life silicone caulk to inhibit water from getting in there, because any material-to-material contact area like that promotes rot if water can get in there. Leave the bottom uncoated to allow any water to drain out.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD


We are talking indoor stairs in a 1972 built condo. They have 6 steps, a landing then another 6 steps. The side stringers are not step cut but solid pieces. They are notched with 11 inch wide holes that currently hold 1.5 inch thick x 30inch lumber cut treads.

Answered 3 years ago by Megster


What about a 2x2x1/4 instead for more weight capacity and screwed into solid stringer just below the notch?

Answered 3 years ago by Megster


Ok - that clarifies it - sounds like you are looking to just back-up the dado in the stringer for support ? Or possibly abandon the fasteners into the end of the slotted-in treads ?

The 2x2x3/16 bracket would certainly be strong enough as long as it supports basically (except front tread overhang) the entire depth of the tread - the standard Simpson stair tread brackets are only 12ga - a bit over 3/32 material. IF using a bracket which is bent metal so it has a rounded inside corner, be sure to file/sand away the bottom edge of the tread ends to match so the tread end is not held back from contact with the stringer by that curve in the bracket.

You can also - if this is exposed to view from the front as I presume since you said "open stairs" - decorative wrought iron and steel supports in various finishes from stainless and brass to factory painted from white through tans and browns to blacks are available - from specialty hardware and woodworking sources. Hardware stores in your area should know who the local woodworking supply and specialty hardware companies are - lots on the web and Amazon too. There are also decorative factory-finished wood ones from places like

You could also, to better match the stringers and treads since this will evidently be visible to people coming up the stairs, use hardwood cleats well secured with structural wood screws into the stringers. Because of the presumably shallow stringer penetration available (especially since you presumably cannot tolerate any pointing-through so the screw penetration should be held to 1/8-3/16" less than the stringer thickness), I would space probably #8 wood screws at say 2 inch spacing to get at least 4 horizontal screws per cleat into the stringer. Whether you would need screws up into the tread or not your call - the slotted-in connection with an end screw or two (if outside faces are accessible) should hold the tread in place in the slot, but if the stringers are decorative wood on the outside and you don't want wood plugs showing yuou might need a few screws alternating with the horizontal ones up through the cleat into the tread.

IF you are talking resting the treads totally on the cleat - not using the slot for some reason (plugging the front end of the slot with a wood block or such) then you definitely need probably 3-4 screws holding the tread on as well, though maybe #6 to minimize splitting risk at the end of the tread. Unless it is quite large (like 2x material) definitely use hardwood for any cleat with pre-drilled and countersunk holes for that, and pilot holing into the receiving piece - because you don't want to split the cleat or the stringer or the tread. Cleat could be rectangular, or fancier like a wide-topped triangle or rhomboid (rectangular near top for screw and trad-bearing strength, but tapered further down) for appearance, or a routed-edge detailed ogee shape or large quarter-round or such as fits the architecture. I have even seen people use 1" or 5/4" top-edge thickness hardwood crown molding for this, glued and close-space nailed to the stringer.

On the free tread width - obviously you need a wood that is strong enough for its span and thickness and depth, especially if thinner than 2x material as is possibly the case here - though quite likely hardwood so that helps too, as some stronger hardwoods would handle this in maybe true 1" to 1-1/2 " thickness or more. Course, if just matching what is there easier to decide - but bear in mind if these are free-spanning treads with no underlying support other than at the ends, they should be made of FAS or Select or maybe with high-strength hardwood #1 wood, not construction grades, with no checks or splits in the tread pieces. Commercial factory treads should meet this requirement, although I have seen some terrible junk (less than #2 common) coming in as imports.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



This is Chris in Member Care. Thanks for your interest in Angie's List!

We'll be happy to help find top rated providers, but it doesn't look like you have a subscription to the List yet. You can join by visiting or by giving us a call. Our call center is available 8:00 am-9:00 pm weekdays and 8:00-5:00 pm ET on Saturdays.

Thanks for your question and we look forward to assisting you!

Answered 3 years ago by Member Services

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy