How To Install Laminate Flooring on Stairs?

Can laminate flooring be installed on steps?

Yes, Kronotex laminate flooring can be installed on stairs. Even though we speak of our laminate as a floating floor, when installed on steps the planks should be glued down with good quality wood glue. You may need to trim the planks to make room for the nosing. The stair nosing has to be nailed down or screwed in place. Allow for a 1/4-inch gap between the flooring and the base of the nosing for flooring expansion. Shim up the nosing to match floor height if needed.

  • Work from the top step down.
  • Remove any stair flooring that isn't a suitable base for laminate.
  • Saw the overhanging edge of the nosing off flat, fix loose treads, and clean the stairs.
  • Use leftover pieces where you can. Let stairs dry overnight before using them.
how to install laminate flooring on stairs 1
Installing the tread edge piece Measure the exposed edge of the tread and cut a piece of laminate to fit. Apply a bead of construction adhesive to the back of the piece, then press it into place and hold it for a few minutes to let it bond.
  how to install laminate flooring on stairs 2
Installing the top nosing
Measure and cut the nosing to fit the space. Apply a bead of adhesive to the subfloor, not the nosing. Position the nosing—the tapered end overlaps the flooring—and hold it until the adhesive sets.
  how to install laminate flooring on stairs 3
Marking for nosing screws
Starting from the edge of the nosing, measure and mark for one screw every 9 inches. Space holes evenly and center them on the part of the nosing that is glued to the subfloor.
how to install laminate flooring on stairs 4
Drilling pilot holes
Put a wide strip of clear plastic tape over the nosing. With a combination bit, drill countersink holes for 11/4-inch No. 6 wood screws. Screw down the nosing. Leave the tape in place until after you've hidden the screws with putty (Step 10).
  how to install laminate flooring on stairs 5
Gluing tread pieces together
Measure the stair depth and subtract the nosing depth. If the result is wider than a single plank, rip a second plank to make up the difference. Make the cut on the groove side of the board. Glue the planks together tongue-to-groove.
  how to install laminate flooring on stairs 6
Applying construction adhesive
Lay three beads of adhesive on the tread. Don't put any on the space that will be covered by the nosing.
how to install laminate flooring on stairs 7
Positioning the tread assembly
Press the glued tread assembly into place on the tread, with the tongue of the full plank facing out. Wipe off any glue that squeezes onto the top of the plank with a damp rag.
  how to install laminate flooring on stairs 8
Covering the riser
Measure the height and width of the riser space. Cut a plank to fit, cutting off the tongue in the process. Apply adhesive to the back of the cut plank. Angle the plank into place, fitting the cut side under the tread overhang of the step above. Press the riser into place.
  how to install laminate flooring on stairs 9
Completing the stairs
Cut a tread edge piece and fit it onto the exposed tread edge, as in Step 1. Press it in place for a few minutes to let the adhesive bond. Repeat Steps 1 to 9 until all the stairs are done.
how to install laminate flooring on stairs 10 Filling the screw holes
Prepare the putty according to the manufacturer's directions. A scrap of plank makes a smooth mixing surface. With a plastic putty knife, smoothly fill the screw holes in each nosing. Then carefully remove the tape. After about 20 minutes, even out the putty with a cloth dampened with water or acetone. Putty is usually impossible to remove once it's dry, so work carefully and clean up right away.

On some staircases, the underside of the nosing on the upper stairs is visible from the bottom of the staircase. Check your stairs. If you can see the bottom of the nosing, you can still install laminate, but you should make a little adjustment to your stairs first. You need to pad the risers with plywood. Measure and cut a piece of plywood to fit against each riser and screw it in place. Then just install the laminate as described here.

 

Would you like to explore other topics related to laminate floors in our Frequently Asked Questions Reference?