Cleat - Stair Framing And Construction
A cleat is usually a board that is nailed or screwed to another piece of wood, for one reason or another. The most common use of a cleat while building a stairway, would be for attaching a stair tread to the stringer. (See picture below)
Before we had metal stair angle brackets, wood cleats
were a necessity, but I don't recommend using them anymore.
One of the biggest problems I've noticed with stairs that use some type of wooden cleat to attach the stair tread to the stair stringer is that they loosen up over time. I've even seen them split over time, if exposed to high temperatures and traffic.
One way to avoid this problem is to use a metal angled stair tread bracket that requires lag screws to fasten the treads to the stringers. You can also use a router to notch out out a groove in the stair stringer. This method will eliminate the need for a cleat or angled bracket.
Which ever method you use for building a stairway, you should always inspect the stairway for loose treads or any other types of stair damage. The sooner the damage is repaired, the safer the stairway will be to use.
Stairs / Stair Glossary
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