How to install laminate flooring on a step

Written by cindy mikel
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Laminate flooring is less expensive that hardwood floors and requires less maintenance. Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between laminate and real hardwood. Laminate flooring can be damp-mopped to clean and requires no waxing, polishing or refinishing. It is also easier to install than hardwood floors, making it a good choice for the do-it-yourselfer. Laminate flooring performs well in high-traffic areas and can be installed on stairs.

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Things you need

  • Laminate flooring, including stair nosing
  • Table or mitre saw
  • 10-inch 60- or 80-tooth carbide-tipped ATB or triple chip saw blade
  • Power drill
  • Hammer
  • Finish nails (6d )
  • Square-notch trowel (1/16" x 1/16" x 1/16")
  • Construction adhesive
  • 5-minute epoxy

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  1. 1

    Examine the stair treads (the board you walk on) and risers (the vertical board in between steps). They should be structurally sound, clean and flat.

  2. 2

    Cut off any bullnose so it is flush with the stair tread.

  3. 3

    Remove foam or fabric from the back of the laminate flooring.

  4. 4

    Cut a piece of laminate to fit flush against the bottom riser.

  5. 5

    Apply a three-inch bead of construction adhesive to the back of the laminate. Press the board into position on the riser.

  6. 6

    Cut the stair nose to fit the length of the stair.

  7. 7

    Dry fit the stair nose on the edge of the first tread. The moulding nose should overlap the piece of laminate on the riser below. Do not use glue.

  8. 8

    Measure how far it is from the edge of the stair nose to the next riser. Measure the width. Cut another piece of laminate to the width and length for the stair tread. Cut off the tongue with a table saw.

  9. 9

    Affix the stair nose to the stair by using construction adhesive in a three-inch serpentine bead. If you are applying the laminate to a wood subfloor, drill holes into the stair nose and use 6d finish nail to secure the stair nose. Use a nail punch to set the nails. If you are installing over concrete, make sure you allow the adhesive to set.

  10. 10

    Spread construction adhesive on the stair tread. Use a 1/16" x 1/16" x 1/16" square-notch trowel.

  11. 11

    Put a bead of 5-minute epoxy on the lip of the stair nose.

  12. 12

    Put the tongue side of the laminate flush against the stair nose and push the pieces together until you have a joint that is tight and flush.

  13. 13

    Repeat the above steps until all the stairs are done.

Tips and warnings

  • Remove excess adhesive from the laminate surface immediately to avoid damage.
  • Keep traffic off the stairs for 24 hours.

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