Laminate flooring is a versatile option to other forms of flooring since it can resemble their appearance while also providing significant strength and durability.
However, laminate flooring, like other floors, has its own set of installation distinctions.
If you’ve got the necessary tools and a little spare time on your hands, you can install laminate flooring yourself despite the fact that it’s not the easiest material to work with.
The following are some straightforward instructions for placing laminate on stairwells.
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Article Brief Overview
There are a plethora of benefits to having laminate flooring installed.
It is inexpensive, long-lasting, and attractive when correctly fitted.
What some people are unaware of is that laminate flooring may be installed on stairwells as well.
We’ll go through how to install laminate flooring on stairs in the following section so that you can match your stairs to the rest of your flooring.
If you want to install laminate flooring on stairs, you’ll need to glue a few pieces of your floor together first.
Once the piece has dried, you can cut it to size to fit your tread and riser.
Leave a small amount of space between each tread so that you can place your stair nosing piece onto the front.
Install the tread first, followed by the nosing, and finally the riser, in that order.
Construction adhesive should be used to secure everything to the flooring.
It is discussed in this article how to measure, cut, and install laminate flooring on stairs so that it looks just as wonderful on your stairs as the rest of your home’s flooring.
What is Laminate Flooring and how does it work?
Laminate flooring is designed to look like wood, but the similarities between the two materials end there.
Laminate is a type of melamine that has been combined with formaldehyde.
Laminate is formed by a variety of chemical processes to form an incredibly durable solid that may be used as flooring, but it can also be utilized in a variety of other applications such as countertops, whiteboards, cabinets, and other furniture.
Laminate flooring is more than just a surface covering for a room.
The image you see is a high-resolution photograph of the actual wood grain.
That photo is protected by a clear aluminum oxide finish, which maintains the “look” of the laminate while providing additional protection.
The formaldehyde included in the laminate has raised concerns that it may have long-term health consequences.
There have been no conclusive studies to support this; nonetheless, even if you are cutting laminate, you should wear a face mask and goggles if your cutting tool is spitting a lot of dust while you are working.
It is important to know that laminate flooring is not the same as plastic flooring.
In comparison to lamination, the procedures used to manufacture plastic are fundamentally different.
Understanding that laminate flooring is essentially a stew of chemicals solidified into a plank that you can walk on, on the other hand, is important when purchasing laminate flooring.
Is It Possible to Install Laminate on Stairs?
It is possible to install laminate on stairs, and most laminate manufacturers include nosing pieces that are designed to fit onto the front of each tread.
They are sold separately and are designed to be used in conjunction with normal laminate planks on the edge of the stair tread to create a clean look and continuity between the tread and riser.
Placing laminate on your stairwell is not quite as straightforward as installing it on your floors or in your living room.
For starters, the stairwell is one of the most high-traffic areas in your home.
This means that the laminate on your steps will require additional adhesive, and you will need to glue it to the subfloor.
When it comes to installing laminate flooring on stairs, what safety precautions should be taken?
Accidents on the stairwell can be quite dangerous.
In the case of a badly built stair nose, when someone steps on it, the stair nose gives way, and… well, you get the idea.
Local construction codes take precedence over anything we say to our consumers, so always abide by the rules.
Also, unless you are at the very top of your ability level or a professional installer, you should avoid attempting to lay laminate flooring on stairs.
Stairs are difficult to install and can be quite frustrating if you are not properly trained and prepared.
Do you have any recommendations for unique tools or equipment required to lay laminate flooring on a stairwell?
Installing laminate flooring on stairs is one instance in which you will not want to employ a floating-floor system, therefore do not use underlayment in this situation.
You will need to glue and screw (or nail) the laminate to the stair treads in order for it to be secure.
Ideally, the adhesive should be Liquid Nails® or a construction-type glue that can be applied with a glue gun.
We propose scratching the rear surface of the laminate–flooring plank using a knife, screwdriver, or a PaperTiger® scoring tool, which is often used to assist in the removal of wallpaper, in order to ensure a tighter hold by the adhesive to the back of the laminate-flooring plank.
In addition, there is another advantage to utilizing a pretty liberal amount of construction glue while mounting the stair nose that you may not have considered: durability.
For example, in older homes, it is fairly uncommon for hardwood step treads to be worn down halfway down the treads.
The glue will actually level the little dip in the centre of the leading edge of the step, resulting in a more stable installation overall.
Glue alone is not sufficient; once the glue is in place, we recommend drilling pilot holes and inserting screws, followed by the application of filler to conceal the screws.
Some folks will advise you to use a nail gun instead.
Simply make certain that the nails you use are ribbed for increased gripping force.
If you don’t have nail guns or a chop saw (which is another useful item to have on hand because it allows you to make very accurate cuts), you can rent them if you don’t already have them.
What is the best way to put laminate flooring on stairs?
Preparation is the next step
- Selecting the right flooring
- Prepare the laminate by exposing it to air.
- Existing flooring, paint, or glue should be removed.
- Step overhangs should be removed.
- Calculate the length of your stairwell and cut your laminate.
- Place the tread on the ground.
- Install a set of risers.
- Install the stair nosing
- Cover the screw holes with tape.
- Remove the laminate and clean it.
- Leave it for a day or two.
Preparation of Floor
1. Make an informed decision about your Flooring
The first step in installing laminate flooring is determining which type is the most appropriate.
Don’t only think about how it will look; think about how it will function as well.
Laminate is notoriously slippery, especially when wet.
Not a good idea if you’re constantly going up and down the stairs, or if you have small children in the house!
As a result, you should go for a rougher, more textured laminate to reduce the likelihood of slipping.
You’ll also need to acquire nose stripping in the color of your choice (we’ll go over this in more detail later in this guide).
2. Allow for the laminate to become acclimated
Once you’ve chosen the appropriate style and feel, the next step is to allow your flooring to become acclimated to its new surroundings.
To do this, open the laminate boxes and arrange them in a lattice pattern on the floor.
This allows air to flow through the laminate, allowing it to respond to the temperature and humidity levels in your home.
It is recommended that you leave your flooring in this condition for at least 72 hours before placing it.
This will avoid future warping, expansion, and contraction of your laminate by allowing it to acclimatize.
3. Remove any existing flooring, paint, or adhesive that is present
If you already have flooring on your stairs, you should remove it as well as any underlayment.
Cleaning the area, even if there is no flooring present but only paint or leftover glue from the old flooring, will provide you with a clean canvas on which to lay your laminate flooring.
In the case of carpets, a pair of pliers will be sufficient to remove this obstruction quickly.
Extra Tip: Before you begin putting your flooring, make sure that your sub-floor is as level as possible.
Chip away any excess debris and even sand down wood stair treads to provide a perfectly smooth surface for the laminate to be applied to.
4. Trim any overhanging limbs on any Steps
Many of you will discover that your stairwell has an overhanging section.
Once the laminate has been laid, you’ll be able to use the nose stripping you purchased to create an overhang on your own, but for the time being, you’ll need a surface that makes it simple to install your laminate.
You can either cut away the overhang with a jigsaw or use a piece of plywood to fill in the gaps with a piece of plywood.
5. Take measurements for your stairwell and cut laminate to size
There are three parts that you will need to cut from your laminate, and it is best if you prepare them ahead of time before you begin installing the flooring:
Pieces of tread (the top of the step, where people will stand)
Riser parts are pieces that support a structure (the front piece on the vertical side of the step)
Nosing for the stairwell (the corner piece which will create an overhang)
The tread sections should be as close to one another as possible from left to right, thus getting your measurements perfect is crucial.
Due to the fact that most laminate boards will not cover the entire step, you may need to cut from a second board.
Glue them together, tongue to groove, to ensure that they are secure during the fitting process.
Having said that, it is not necessary for it to extend all the way to the front edge of the staircase.
There needs to be some space left over for the nose to breathe.
When it comes to the riser pieces, the process is very similar – just make sure they’re exactly aligned with their corresponding tread piece and trim as necessary.
Last but not least, trim the nosing to the same length as the tread and riser sections.
If the angle of the steps makes it difficult to fit, you can trim the edges to make them more comfortable.
Installing Laminating Flooring in Stairs: A Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Remove the existing flooring and underlayment in the first step
The first step in installing laminate flooring is to verify that your staircase has been properly prepared and is ready to be used.
Starting with the removal of any old flooring from your stairs, as well as any existing underlay, if you haven’t already done so.
Once you have a bare staircase, make sure to remove all paint and glue from the surface and hammer any protruding nails back into place.
After that, give your steps a good brushing to ensure that they have a clean and even surface to work on.
Step 2: Trim any overhanging branches
It is possible that your stairwell has an overhang from the existing nosing (the protruding edge of the stair).
Remove it first before proceeding with the installation of your laminate and custom nosing (we’ll get to that later).
Use a jigsaw to remove the overhang, or attach a piece of plywood to the riser to fill in any gaps left by the removal of the overhang.
Step 3: Install Your Underlayment
Underlay should not be regarded as an optional extra; because it can help to muffle sound, enhance acoustics, and create a more pleasant feel underfoot, it is especially crucial in high-traffic areas such as stairwells and hallways.
Make sure you select the proper underlay for your laminate flooring before attaching it to your stairwell in preparation for installing your flooring.
Step 4: Cut your laminate to the appropriate size
You’ll need three pieces of laminate for each step in this process:
The tread piece, which rests on top of the step, is made of wood.
The riser piece, which is located vertically on the front of the step, is made of steel.
Also included is the stair nosing (or trim), which is a decorative piece that drapes over the front of the step.
The length of your tread pieces will be determined by the length of your laminate plank, which should be as snug as possible on either side of the step when laid across the top of the step. It’s possible that you’ll need to trim your board down to fit this purpose.
To cover the entire step with a single laminate board, cut a second plank to size and glue it tongue-to-groove next to the first plank, leaving enough space for the nosing to be seen between them.
If you have riser pieces on your stairs, make sure they are level with the riser on your steps and that they fit snuggly on top of the tread piece.
It’s possible that you’ll need to cut these down to fit the length of your stairwell.
It is not necessary to have your nosing be the same length as your tread or riser when it comes to your tread.
Step 5: Install the Treads
Because laminate must be allowed to dry before it can be walked on, begin your installation at the top of the stairs and work your way down to avoid becoming trapped upstairs!
Using wood adhesive, attach your tread to the rear of the first step, making sure that the tongue of the tread faces outwards and that it is snugly against the back of the step.
Step 6: Fitting the Riser
After that, glue your riser piece of laminate to the vertical front of the step and hold it in place while the glue dries completely.
Additionally, because your nosing will cover this area, you can nail the very top of the riser in place if it is necessary to do so.
Step 7: Incorporate the Nosing
After you’ve completed the installation of your riser and tread, the next step is to attach your nosing, which serves as an edge trim on each of the steps.
It’s best to glue the nosing edge in place with the tapered end over the thread unless you’re using a self-adhesive nosing edge.
Step 8: Depart for a period of 12 hours
Finally, once you’ve finished installing your laminate on the entire staircase, allow it to cure overnight and avoid walking on it for approximately 12 hours.
Knowing how to put laminate flooring on stairs like a specialist, you can be certain that yours is installed perfectly and enjoy the total change of your new staircase.
Please keep in mind that, if you are not sure in your capacity to self-install, it is always advisable to seek the assistance of a professional.
Our Final Thoughts
When it comes to laminate flooring, you can do most of the work yourself, but if you aren’t confident in your carpentry abilities, you may want to consider hiring a professional to perform the job.
When something is installed incorrectly, it might create a risky condition that has the potential to end in a major accident.
Another consideration is the quality of work, as stairs are more visible than other parts of a building’s structure.
Frequently Ask Questions
Is it possible to place laminate flooring on stairwells?
It is possible to lay laminate flooring on stairwells.
This is a fantastic method to extend your gorgeous floor onto your stairs without breaking the bank.
You will not be able to utilize laminate flooring on stairs as a floating floor system, thus do not use underlayment when installing laminate flooring on stairs.
Is it a good idea to put laminate on the stairs?
Laminate flooring has become a popular choice for stair flooring in recent years.
The flooring is robust, though not as durable as a hardwood floor, which is understandable.
However, it is significantly less expensive than hardwood.
When you take into consideration the installation method, you will find that it is also simple to set up.
What is the best way to install laminate flooring on open stairways?
If you are using laminate, you should avoid nailing through it because this can cause the finish on the surface to be damaged.
Alternatively, you might use construction adhesive to attach the boards to the risers and then install corner molding on the open sides of the risers, and then nail the molding to the stair stringer to hold the riser coverings in place while the glue cures.