Laying Laminate Flooring On Stairs
Laminate flooring is one of the most versatile floor coverings to use around the home. Unlike other flooring systems it is relatively easy to lay, especially if the floor itself has been prepared in advance. Nevertheless, like all flooring systems, laminate presents its own installation problems - like stairs! But don’t be put off from fitting laminate flooring on your own. A good place to start learning is in a hallway. Once you have mastered this, it is time to move on to the stairwell. All you will need are the right tools, the right attitude and enough time on your hands to do a good job without rushing.
< Remove any carpet and debris from your stairs. The best way to do this is to pull up the carpet with a pair of pliers. Remember to also remove any protruding metal, such as staples. Alternatively, hammer them down out of the way.
Once prepared, the simplest method of installing laminate flooring is to start at the top of the stairs and to work downwards from there. This allows you to avoid standing on the freshly installed sections. Measure the width each stair tread accurately with a tape measure. Not all stairs are a uniform width, so it is worth noting any differences carfeully.
Cut the tread pieces by either laying the laminate plank across the step, making sure that it fits snugly from left to right and sawing off the end, or by doing it from the measurement you took earlier if this is not practical. Most tread widths are larger than a standard laminate size, so cut two sections into similarly sized pieces, so that their combined width covers the depth of the tread. Now, you should to cut the corresponding riser pieces to length. You must ensure that they will sit snugly on top of the tread sections below and that they are also level with the top of the riser so the section of laminate above can lay flat. If the edges any parts of the laminate are not perfectly aligned then trim or sand them down to fit.
Stick the first tread pieces of laminate in place on the top stair using a good blob of wood glue in each corner and some more spread over the middle. Make sure that tongue edge of each laminate section faces outwards so that it can meet some stair nosing, later. Should any glue squeeze out, simply wipe it off with a damp cloth.
Cover the riser above the tread you just fitted with the corresponding section of laminate. Again, apply glue liberally and hold it in place for a minute or two for it to fix in place. Alternatively, nail it in place.
Now that the first tread and riser pieces are in position, you will need to add a section of stair nosing. This is the piece that sits on top of each riser and overhangs the edge of each tread step somewhat. The sections have to be cut to length and are usually supplied by the laminate manufacturer to match. The protruding tongue of each tread section should be ready to have a section of stair nosing fitted to it. To be safe, the stair nosing should be screwed in place with a few wood screws. To make sure the laminate does not split, it is best to drill pilot holes for each screw.
Now move on to the next stair and repeat the process from step four. Continue until you reach the bottom step. Make sure the glue is thoroughly dried before walking up the stairs.