Manufacturers’ laminate coverings for stairs are usually a combination of standard floor planks and coordinating stair parts. Installing floor coverings on stairs isn't complicated, but precise cutting is important to achieve a professional finish. The durability of laminate coverings can be problematic, because staircases are usually high-traffic areas.
Laminate floor planks resemble real wood, tile or stone. DuPont and other flooring manufacturers provide instructions for installing their laminate planks on stairs. The installation involves gluing planks to each step without the foam underlayment that's required for many floor installations. Laminate flooring isn't the best option for curved or spiral staircases, because it's difficult to fit the planks and the coordinating stair parts around curves.
Repair damaged or loose steps, and remove any dirt or old adhesives from them before applying a laminate covering so that the glue adheres well. Laminate flooring with a high-gloss finish can be hazardous for stair installations, because it tends to be slippery if a carpet runner isn’t secured on top of it. Some laminates have low-gloss, textured finishes that make them less slippery.
Laminate stair installations commonly begin with cutting and gluing floorboards that fit the tread of each step, which is the part where your feet land on the stairs. A space is left at the front of the tread to fit a piece of nosing, which is the trim piece that covers a step's front edge. A groove running lengthwise down the nosing locks it to the tread. Another floorboard covers each step's riser, which runs perpendicular to the tread and nosing. A thin piece of molding is usually glued over the seam created at the edges opposite the nosing, where the bottom of the riser meets the back of the tread.
Stairs usually need to stand up to a lot of wear and tear, especially if several people live in a home. Laminate floor planks may not last long in such situations due to the way planks are constructed. The flooring usually consists of wood chips, or high-density fiberboard, covered by a photographic image of wood, stone or tile that's topped with a protective coating. The coating and image may wear off if your stairs get a lot of use. Furthermore, it won’t be easy to remove the glued-down planks when they wear out.
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