Have you ever considered having a laminate flooring for stairs? Most homeowners make a common mistake by neglecting the seemingly unimportant places, rooms, or sections in the house – while in reality, they should have paid attention to even the smallest details. The stairs, for instance, are often overlooked and neglected. It is often considered unimportant for the home decor projects.
If you want to be completely honest to yourself, ask yourself how you (and the family) will stay functional without the stairs? What will your life be without those stairs? And how can the smallest home improvement bring such a huge impact to the entire room?
Believe me, if you are able to choose the right laminate flooring on stairs, not only it will improve the functionality, but it will also improve the look and also vibe of the entire place. But before you get started, there are several things that you need to understand about the laminate flooring – and its impact on your stairs.
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Understanding Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring may not be the same as the real stone, wood, or tiles, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t create a visually appealing outcome. After all, the modern laminate floor technology and designs are completely from the one we had a decade ago; let alone several decades ago. So, in terms of quality and design, you can rest assured that the floor would deliver quality performance without affecting your finance.
Laminate floor is made from various different materials, such as insulating fibers, melamine, and concrete. It shares similar benefits like vinyl flooring in terms of affordability and flexibility. However, laminate’s main nemesis is water because of the materials.
Laminate Floor for the Staircases
Most homeowners may choose carpet for the stairs, but the laminate flooring for stairscan also be a good alternative than the costly carpet. When compared to the carpet, laminate floor is inexpensive. Not only it is easy to maintain and clean, but the installation process is also relatively easy and simple.
And you won’t have to worry about the quality or the look of the stairs. Today’s laminate floor, especially those designed for stairs, has attractive designs and looks. You can choose laminate wood flooring on stairs to bring out the natural appeal of the wood – bringing homey vibe and cozy atmosphere to the house.
The Best Laminate Flooring on Stairs
Having the laminate flooring on your stairs can improve the look and functionality. However, there are several important things to consider before you have this kind of installation. Although the installation is relatively easy and inexpensive, make sure that you pay attention to the proper preparation and cleaning. Otherwise, you won’t be able to do it right and the outcome would be downright ugly.
Keep in mind that each laminate product has its own recommended adhesives and tools. Some of them may have their own DIY installation kit, but often times, those kits are proven to be not enough. You will have to cut the laminate in precise size and design so there won’t be no overhanging panel.
If the sub floor has a finished concrete or tiles, you need to buy chemical cleaners. And even after you have fixed the laminate on the sub-floor, you need to uniformly press it. If you fail in doing so properly, you will create air bubbles that will seep into the adhesive – resulting in layering among the (laminated) surfaces.
Contemporary laminate flooring is generally sturdy. Today’s laminate flooring doesn’t need excessive glue or nails. You won’t need to deal with too many chemicals either. So, ditch the idea of using chemical finish or whatsoever as you won’t need them.
Despite all the good traits, the floor can be slippery – due to the natural texture and surface. This can be a horrible option for laminate flooring for stairs, especially if you opt for the cheap ones. However, you can always choose the high-quality laminate – and it is a must that you choose ones with certified ratings.
Another good idea is to use a textured flooring, especially if the stairs are located within the busy foot traffic areas. The floor may be rough but it is less slippery, promoting a safer environment. Go with high-quality textured laminate floor for the less slippery and rougher surface. They are generally sold as abrasive laminates.
How to Install Laminate Flooring on Stairs
In general, installing the laminate floor is basically simple and straightforward. However, the stairs can be a tricky area. You need to know the correct ways and handy tips on how to put laminate flooring on stairs to minimize the possibility of errors and mistakes. So, how do you do it?
- Underlay and Existing Flooring Removal
One of the best ways to properly install the laminate floor on the stairs is to prep it. First of all, you need to remove all the existing flooring, including the underlay. Even after the staircase are bare, you need to remove the adhesive and paint. If there is protruding nail, you need to hammer it down. Afterwards, you need to brush down the surface to create even and clean surface.
- Remove the Overhang
Check whether your stairs have the overhang from the nosing (which is the stairs’ protruding edge). If your stairs do have the overhang, you need to remove it, simply by cutting it with a jigsaw. You can also nail a plywood (to the riser) so you can fill in the space underneath it.
- Lay the Underlay
The underlay is important because it can help in a lot of ways. It can improve the acoustic, create a comfier underfoot feel, and muffle the sound. It is crucial that you choose the right and proper underlay for your laminate flooring for stairs.
- Cut the Laminate
Each step requires 3 laminate pieces:
Tread piece would be on the top side of the step
Riser piece is for the vertical front side of the step
Stair trim or nosing that will hang over the front side of the step
For the tread piece, you need to lay the plank across the top side of the step. Make sure that it fits snuggly on either side. It is possible that you will have to trim the board down so the piece can fit nicely.
In case one plank isn’t thick to cover the entire step, you can use a second plank. Cut it to the right size and then use the glue for the tongue-to-groove piece to the first one. Make sure that you have some room so the nosing can be accommodated.
Installing the riser pieces is similar to the tread pieces. Make sure that the risers are level with your stairs’ risers. The riser pieces should snugly sit on the top side of the tread pieces. You may have to cut them down when necessary.
What about the nosing? You need to make sure that it has the same length as the riser and tread.
- Lay Your Tread
Keep in mind that laminate floor needs to dry properly. That’s why you should start the installation from the top and then move downwards. In this way, you won’t have to get stuck upstairs. Simply use the wood adhesive to glue the tread to the step. The tread should tightly lie against the (back side of the) step and the tongue faces outwards.
- Fit the Riser
Put the glue on the riser piece on the vertical front side of the step. Hold it for a while until it sets. If you find it necessary, nail the top side of the riser. No need to worry about the exposure because the nosing will cover it up.
- Add the Nosing
Adding the nosing would be the next method in the installation. The nosing would act as the step’s edge trim. You can use the self-adhesive (nosing) edge or the glue with the tapered end covering on the thread.
- Proper Drying
When you have completed the installation all over the place to the downstairs, just leave it overnight for at least 12 hours. Never walk on it before 12 hours. If you can leave the stairs for more than 12 hours, it would be even better.
In the end, the decision about which flooring for the house should be taken carefully – you need to fit it to your preference and requirements. If you want an inexpensive floor that isn’t hard to care or maintain, then laminate flooring for stairs can be an ideal pick.