How to put laminate flooring on stairs

Updated February 21, 2017

Laminate flooring on stairs is installed differently than on a level floor. The laminate flooring glues to the stair tread and the risers. It can be slippery, so consider who will be using the stairs before you install it. Small children in footed pyjamas or socks could slip and fall. The shiny surface also could make an elderly person nervous about using the stairs.

Remove carpeting or runners from the stairs. Clean all nails, staples and glue residue from the stair treads. If the front edge of the stair tread is rounded, use a circular saw to trim off the rounded edge. Vacuum thoroughly to remove any dust or dirt from the treads.

Install stair nosing to the squared front edge of the stair tread. Use glue on the inner section of the stair nosing. Tap the nosing with a rubber mallet to ensure full contact with the stair riser. Secure the nosing to the stair tread with screws and a screwdriver for additional safety.

Measure from the stair nosing to the point the riser intersects with the tread, using a tape measure. The stair nosing has an opening the laminate flooring will slide into; include this in your measurement. The laminate plank that will install against the riser likely will need trimming. Slide a full piece of laminate under the stair nosing tongue side out, the remaining distance is the width the second piece will be trimmed.

Lift the pieces of laminate when you are satisfied with the fit and apply glue to the stair tread. Slide the full-width piece under the nosing and then the trimmed piece will butt up to the stair riser. Glue laminate to the riser, using a full piece nearest the stair tread and the trimmed piece up to the nosing. Continue working downward on the stairs until all treads and risers are covered with the glued laminate.

Install quarter-round to the intersection point of the riser and stair tread to cover the gap. Install shoe moulding to the first riser at the bottom of the stairs at the point the riser meets the landing. Avoid walking on the glued laminate for 24 hours if possible.


Begin at the top of the stairs and work downward to avoid walking on the freshly glued laminate.


Laminate on stairs can be slippery.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum
  • Circular saw
  • Stair nosing
  • Glue
  • Rubber mallet
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Quarter-round trim
  • Shoe moulding
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About the Author

Myra Smith has retired from the business world after successfully working as a manager in the accounting field over twenty years. Smith received her education in Texas (high school) and Missouri (University of Missouri) business courses offered by employer. Smith has now embarked on an exciting second career as a writer for Demand Studios. Smith writes articles in the Home and Garden section.