How to Install Locking Hardwood Flooring Transitions to the Stairs

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Factory-made hardwood floors utilize a locking mechanism in their tongue and groove connections to hold floorboards in place. This locking facilitates the creation of floating floors, where the boards are not connected to the subfloor beneath them by nails or adhesive. When connecting these locking floorboards to the top of a staircase, though, a floor transition is necessary to create an edge to the floor that matches the edges along the rest of the floor treads. This transition locks into place against the last floorboard, although simply locking it into place isn’t sufficient. Before placement, the transition must be fitted properly, and it must be secured to the landing edge to prevent slippage.

Things You'll Need

  • Stair nose floor transition
  • Pencil
  • Circular saw
  • Hardwood floorboard
  • Construction adhesive
  • Paintbrush
  • Finish nails
  • Hammer
  • Nail set
  • Measure the length of the landing edge at the top of the staircase with a tape measure. Mark the length with a pencil onto a piece of the stair nose floor transition strip. Cut the strip to match that length with a circular saw.

  • Attach the hardwood plank that will run along the rear of the nosing on the landing to the cut transition piece. Lock the nosing in place as you would any other connecting piece of flooring, using the groove along the rear of the nosing to lock onto the tongue on the front of the hardwood floorboard. Lock the floorboard so that it’s centered along the rear of the nosing piece.

  • Brush a layer of construction adhesive along the base of the nosing piece, and set the nosing onto the edge of the landing. When placed onto the edge of the riser, the nosing has a small ledge on the front along its base. This ledge sits flush against the front of the edge of the landing so the nosing piece overlaps the landing edge to create a rounded front to the step. Set the overlapping ledge against the edge of the landing.

  • Nail the nosing piece onto place. Space the finish nails every 8 inches across the length of the piece. Place a nail set onto the finish nail, and strike the head of the set to drive the nail slightly beneath the surface of the nose. Cover the hole with a wood putty tinted the same color as the nosing.

  • Install the rest of the floorboards to the floor surface, extending from the rear and sides of the board locked to the rear of the transition piece.

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References

  • Photo Credit David Sacks/Lifesize/Getty Images
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