How to Lay Hardwood Flooring on Stair Landings


Hardwood flooring remains a top choice for several reasons including its lasting style, durability and character that it lends to each building in which it's laid. When doing the job yourself, you're likely to run into a few obstacles -- including stairs. Stairs aren't an impossible obstacle, however, and you should be able to finish them as simply as you've installed the rest of the floor. The key piece for installing hardwood on a landing is the stair nose or a landing tread -- a piece of molding that lies over the top stair or top of the landing, respectively. You can also apply it to every stair for a finished, rounded look.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Saw -- table, circular or miter
  • Construction adhesive
  • Flooring nailer
  • Measure the length of the stair tread's edge where the stair nosing will go.

  • Measure and cut the stair nosing to fit on the top tread(s).

  • Install the stair nosing so that the curved part fits snug against the stair riser stepping down from the landing. Apply a thin, serpentine bead of construction adhesive to the stair nosing and press it into place. Finish with finishing nails.

  • Install the first piece of hardwood flooring (using whichever method you used for the rest of the floor such as nail-down, glue-down or tongue-in-groove) so that it butts against the back of the stair nose -- your stair nose is the "first piece" of flooring on your landing.

  • Stagger the boards as you have done on the rest of the floor, cutting the boards as needed for the last row or for the first board in a row. Follow the instructions for staggering the seams. For example, if you are supposed to stagger the seams on your floor by having the second board be one-half the length of the first board and so on, continue this in the landing.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the landing is small, you may be able to get away with not staggering the boards. For a larger landing, you should always stagger the seams for a more natural and solid look.

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