We remodeled our family room in the lower level which has steps going down from the main level. I made my own step plates out of 5/8 saw mill cut oak boards. I wanted some color variation in the steps to help show off the wood grain in oak so I used both white oak and red oak to get the boards to stand out. I also put in strips of black walnut to give it a unique look.
After I glued up the boards I planed them down to the required thickness, added a end cap, and after we removed the carpet on the steps secured them down by screwing from underneath the steps through the existing 3/4 plywood steps.
It was a fun and challenging project but it is very rewarding to hear comments from friends when they see the steps.