More & more homeowners have begun fitting laminate stairs in replace of their carpet counterparts. Not only do laminate floors look stylish & sophisticated, but they are also much easier to clean in comparison to carpet.
Fitting laminate flooring on a staircase is an intimidating prospect, which tends to be the reason why so many hire a trained professional to do the job for them. However with the help of this guide & a little bit of elbow grease, you will have more than enough to go about laying the floor on your stairs by yourself.
Before going about laying any laminate flooring on your own staircase, you will obviously first need to remove any old flooring or carpet. With the majority of carpets you will need to begin by removing the tack strip.
If you have an overhang, you have the option to either remove it or fill in the space beneath. Once removed you can begin lifting the carpet & use a belt sander to begin cleaning each of the steps.
Tip #1: Be thorough when cleaning the steps, to ensure all dirt & debris is entirely removed. If this isn’t done, it can cause steps to squeak once the flooring has been fitted.
Next up you will need to measure three pieces that you will have to cut before installing your staircase. These include
• Tread Pieces – This is the top of the step, where people will be placing their feet
• Stair Nosing – This is the edge of the step, the piece that will overhang on each individual step
• Riser Pieces – This is face of the step that runs along the vertical side of each step.
The majority of laminate flooring is unlikely to cover the entire step, so feel free to cut from another board and glue them together tongue to groove to ensure that the fitting is secured.
However ensure that enough room is left for the nosing & that the nosing is aligned with its connecting tread piece. Trim the edges as required to accommodate for awkward fits.
Next we can look at the installation process. The first of the three pieces that you need to lay is the tread. Ensure you are using a high quality wood glue and apply three small dollops to the tread boards you had glued together during the measurement phase.
Ensure that you lay it tight against the back step with the tongue facing out towards the ledge of the step.
Start From The Top
Tip #2: It’s recommended that you start from the top of the steps & work your way down.
This will help avoid any issues with people standing on fresh laminate, which needs time to allow the glue to dry. From here you will need to install the risers.
Apply glue just as you had done with your tread pieces. Then place & hold it against the vertical part of the step. Some people opt to nail in the plank in place for extra reinforcement. “Surely that will ruin the look of the stairs?” I hear you ask. “No” is the answer.
If the nail is placed near the top of the board, the stair nosing strip will hide the nail from ever being visible. The final element that you need to fit is the stair nosing itself. Apply glue to the subfloor rather than the stair nosing itself & press firmly. Ensure that the tapered end is overlapping the thread piece.
It is essential that you screw the stair nosing into place in order to ensure that it’s secured. To go about this, take a strip of clear plastic tape & cover the nosing.
Then mark out around 9 inches apart from the middle of the nosing, to highlight where the screws should be placed. Next drill a countersink hole for both of the screws with a combination bit & insert the wood screws. Following this, cover the screws with putty & then finish by removing the plastic tape.
After 25 minutes even out the putty with a damp cloth just before it sets fully. From here begin to immediately clean the stairs in order to remove any debris, including putty, as it can be nigh on impossible to remove once it has set. From here you should avoid using stairs for the next while, ideally 24 hours if possible.
This will ensure that your glue has set as well as giving you time for your flooring to set into place. Now that you have the information, you can go about laying your own laminate flooring on your stairs.
Here at Floor Monster we also offer a variety of laminate staircase sets that you may be interested in. Alternatively if you would like some additional information or to speak with one of our professionals, simply fill out a contact information form & one of our team will be in touch very shortly.