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Help! Carper installers damaged oak stair tread

15 years ago

We just had new carpet installed on a beautiful oak staircase with curved stairs. The steps have oak trimmed ends and are plywood under the carpeted area in the middle. Somehow, during carpet install, they chipped off a piece of one of the treads on the top surface about 2" x 1", and varying depth, about maybe 1/8" maximum. It is like a piece just split off the top surface. The hole is irregular shape, sort of a split following the wood grain. They covered with some sort of colored filler, but did not completely fill the hole, and there is still a loose splinter hangning on by one end, though most of the chunk that came out is missing completely. It looks terrible.

Is there any way to repair this? The staircase is red oak, and is 18 years old. The original finish has aged, and I'm guessing would be tough to match, were we to attempt to replace the whole tread. I imagine that repalcement would be costly, especially since the stairs are curved, and then we would have a tough time matching the color. Anything but an exact match would probably be more noticeable than the damage, which is on a higher stair, so is not visible from the foyer below.

Can anyone recommend the best way to repair this problem--and what sort of professional would do this sort of thing? I googled hardwood floor repair, but most websites talked of replacing planks--which isn't our problem, and stair repair yielded lots of advice on fixing squeaks, etc., but nothing on a cosmetic repair of a tread. I would appreciate any advice/guidance. Thanks.

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