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How to Install Laminate Flooring on Stairs

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Laminate flooring has become popular for many homeowners looking to upgrade their homes. It's an affordable, durable, and aesthetically pleasing option that works great on stairs. However, the stairs are often considered the most difficult part of the installation process, especially for DIYers. The unique angles, cuts, and measurements can make the project seem daunting, and some people may feel defeated before they begin.

Don't be discouraged if you're considering installing laminate flooring on your stairs. This article will guide you through the step-by-step process, providing you with the knowledge and confidence to tackle the stairs successfully. We'll cover everything from the advantages of laminate flooring to the tools and materials you'll need for a successful installation. With a little patience, determination, and attention to detail, you can create a stunning and functional staircase that will elevate the appearance of your home.

Before we dive into the installation process, let's explore some of the benefits of choosing laminate flooring for your stairs.

Advantages of Laminate Flooring on Stairs


One of the main reasons homeowners opt for laminate flooring on stairs is its durability. Laminate is constructed from several layers, including a high-density fiberboard core, a decorative layer with the desired design, and a protective wear layer. This wear layer is resistant to scratches, dents, and wear, making it perfect for high-traffic areas like stairs. Additionally, laminate flooring is less prone to fading from sunlight and can withstand moisture and humidity better than other flooring materials. With proper care and maintenance, laminate flooring can maintain its beauty and functionality for years, even in busy households with children and pets.

Aesthetic Appeal

Laminate flooring comes in various styles, colours, and textures, allowing you to create the perfect look for your staircase. You can choose from realistic wood grain patterns that mimic the appearance of hardwoods like oak, maple, and walnut. With advancements in printing technology, these designs are becoming increasingly realistic, making it difficult to distinguish laminate from the real thing. The versatility of laminate flooring allows you to seamlessly integrate your staircase into your home's design, creating a cohesive and stylish appearance.


Laminate flooring is more budget-friendly than other options, such as hardwood or carpet. Hardwood flooring can be expensive, especially for exotic wood species or intricate installation patterns. While generally more affordable than hardwood, carpet may require more frequent replacement due to wear and staining. Laminate flooring offers the look of more expensive materials without breaking the bank, making it an excellent choice for homeowners looking for an affordable yet stylish flooring solution. Additionally, the relatively simple installation process can save on labour costs if you choose to tackle the project yourself. By opting for laminate flooring, you can achieve the appearance of luxury without straining your budget.

At FloorsPlus, we offer a wide range of laminate flooring options at competitive prices, ensuring you can find the perfect product to suit your budget and design preferences.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Laminate Flooring

Now that you're familiar with the advantages of laminate flooring and have gathered the necessary tools and materials, it's time to start the installation process.

Step 1: Measure and Prepare

Begin by measuring your stairs to determine how much laminate flooring you need. Measure the width, depth, and height of each step and the total number of steps. Calculate the total square footage of the staircase by multiplying the width by the depth for each step and then adding the results together. Don't forget to account for waste and extra material when ordering your flooring. Adding an extra 10% to your calculated square footage is generally recommended to account for cutting errors and future repairs.

Next, remove any existing carpet, padding, or flooring from the stairs. Be sure to remove any nails, staples, or adhesive residue that may be left behind. Make sure the stairs are clean, dry, and level. Use a level to check for any uneven surfaces or protrusions. Repair any damaged areas or uneven surfaces by filling gaps with wood filler or sanding down high spots. Ensuring a smooth, level surface is crucial for a successful laminate installation, as uneven stairs can lead to premature wear or even cause the laminate to come loose.

Step 2: Choose the Right Laminate Flooring

Select a laminate that is suitable for stair installations. Look for a product with a high wear rating to ensure durability. Laminate has a rating system, known as the Abrasion Class (AC), which measures a laminate's resistance to wear and tear. A higher AC rating indicates a more durable product, making it better suited for areas with heavy foot traffic, like stairs.

Consider choosing a laminate with a textured or slip-resistant surface to improve safety on the stairs. Stairs can be a potential hazard, especially in homes with children, elderly residents, or individuals with mobility issues. A slip-resistant surface can help reduce the risk of accidents by providing additional traction underfoot.

When selecting your laminate flooring, also consider the overall aesthetic of your home and the desired appearance of your staircase. As mentioned earlier, laminate flooring comes in various styles, colours, and textures, making it easy to find the perfect match for your home's design. FloorsPlus offers an extensive selection of laminate flooring products suitable for stair installations. Our knowledgeable staff can help you make the right choice based on your specific needs and preferences.

Step 3: Cut and Fit the Laminate Planks

Start by cutting the laminate planks to the appropriate width and length for each step. Use a table saw or circular saw with a fine-toothed blade for straight cuts and a jigsaw for any notches or irregular shapes. It's a good idea to make a template for each step, using cardboard or paper, to ensure accurate cuts. This will help you avoid mistakes and ensure the planks fit snugly on each stair tread.

When cutting the laminate planks, remember to account for the expansion gap along the edges of each plank. This gap allows for natural expansion and contraction of the laminate due to changes in temperature and humidity. The recommended expansion gap is typically around 1/4 inch (6 mm) but may vary depending on the manufacturer's guidelines.

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Step 4: Install the Laminate Planks

Apply construction adhesive to the back of each laminate plank, focusing on the edges and center to ensure a strong bond. Place the plank on the stair tread, starting from the bottom step and working your way up. Position the plank so that it's properly aligned with the edge of the step and the expansion gap is maintained along the edges. Use spacers or small pieces of wood to maintain a consistent gap for expansion.

Press the planks firmly into place, ensuring they adhere to the stair surface. Use

a tapping block and rubber mallet to secure the connections between planks if your laminate flooring has a tongue-and-groove locking system. Work your way up the staircase, carefully aligning and securing each plank as you go. Wipe away any excess adhesive immediately with a damp cloth to avoid damaging the laminate's surface.

As you complete each step, double-check the alignment and fit of the laminate planks to ensure a professional and seamless appearance. Make any necessary adjustments or trim the planks as needed to achieve the desired result.

Step 5: Install the Stair Nosing

Stair nosing is a moulding that covers the front edge of each step, providing a finished look and improving safety by reducing the risk of slipping. Nosing also protects the edges of the laminate planks from damage due to foot traffic. Measure and cut the nosing to fit each step, taking care to maintain the expansion gap where necessary.

To install the stair nosing, apply construction adhesive to the back of the moulding, focusing on the edges and center to ensure a strong bond. Position the nosing on the front edge of the step, ensuring its level and flush with the laminate planks. Secure the nosing with screws, as recommended by the manufacturer, and apply adhesive for added strength. Use a countersink bit to create a recess for the screw heads, then drive the screws into place. Fill the holes with matching wood filler to create a seamless appearance. Ensure the stair nosing is firmly attached and properly aligned with the rest of the laminate flooring.

Step 6: Finish with Stair Risers

Stair risers are vertical pieces that connect each step. They can be made of laminate, wood, or painted material, depending on your preference and the overall design of your staircase. To install stair risers, first, measure the height and width of each step, ensuring you have accurate dimensions for cutting.

Cut the risers to fit the height of each step using a table saw or circular saw with a fine-toothed blade for straight cuts. As with the laminate planks, make a template for each riser to ensure accurate cuts and a proper fit. If you're using laminate for the risers, make sure the pattern and colour match the rest of your staircase.

To secure the risers, apply construction adhesive to the back of each piece, focusing on the edges and center for a strong bond. Position the riser so it's flush with the stair nosing and laminate planks on the tread above. Attach the riser using nails or screws, as recommended by the manufacturer. Use a nail set to countersink any nails and fill the holes with matching wood filler.

Once all the risers are installed, double-check the alignment and fit, making any necessary adjustments or trimmings to achieve a professional and seamless appearance. With the risers in place, your laminate staircase is complete, providing a durable and stylish addition to your home.

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10 Tips to Successfully Install Laminate on Stairs


Acclimate the laminate flooring to your home's temperature and humidity for at least 48 hours before installation. This will help prevent warping or buckling after installation due to environmental changes.


Check the condition of your staircase before installation, and repair or level any damaged or uneven areas. A smooth, even surface is crucial for a successful laminate installation.


Take accurate measurements and plan your layout before starting the installation process. This will help you determine the amount of material needed and ensure a consistent, aesthetically pleasing pattern throughout the staircase. Additionally, it can help minimize waste and save time by reducing the need for adjustments during installation.

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Be patient and take your time when cutting and fitting the laminate planks to ensure a professional-looking result. Rushing the process can lead to mistakes and an uneven appearance.


Use a high-quality construction adhesive specifically designed for laminate flooring installations to ensure a strong bond. This will help prevent the planks from lifting or shifting over time.


Use a rubber mallet and tapping block when installing laminate planks to avoid damaging the edges and locking mechanism. This will ensure a snug fit and prevent gaps between the planks.


When cutting and installing laminate flooring, wear safety equipment, such as gloves, safety goggles, and ear protection. This will help protect you from potential injuries.

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Keep some extra laminate planks on hand for future repairs or replacements. Accidents happen, and having matching planks available will make repairs much easier.


Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for cleaning and maintenance to prolong the life of your laminate flooring. Regular care will help keep your staircase looking its best for decades. If you need guidance on caring for your new laminate staircase, our FloorsPlus team is always available to provide you with the best tips and tricks for maintaining your investment.


Consider hiring a professional installer if you're not confident in your ability to complete the project. While laminate flooring installation is a popular DIY project, a professional can help ensure a flawless result, especially on more complex staircases.

Final Thoughts

Installing laminate flooring on stairs can be a rewarding DIY project that adds beauty and value to your home. By following this step-by-step guide and using the proper tools and materials, you can successfully install laminate flooring on your stairs, creating a durable and visually appealing staircase that will last for years to come.

If you're interested in browsing new laminate floors for your project, we invite you to visit a FloorPlus location to explore our extensive showroom and get professional advice from our knowledgeable team. Our experts can help you find the perfect laminate flooring to match your home's style and your project's needs, ensuring a successful and satisfying outcome.

Don't wait any longer to transform your staircase with stunning laminate flooring. Visit a FloorPlus showroom today and let us help you make your dream staircase a reality. Together, we can create a beautiful, functional, and long-lasting addition to your home that you'll be proud to show off.

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Can I install laminate flooring on stairs by myself?

Yes, installing laminate flooring on stairs can be a DIY project if you have the necessary tools and follow the proper installation steps. However, if you're not confident in your skills or the project seems too complex, it's recommended to hire a professional installer.

How long does it take to install laminate flooring on stairs?

The time it takes to install laminate flooring on stairs depends on the number of steps, your skill level, and the complexity of the project. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days to complete the installation.

Can I install laminate flooring on curved or spiral stairs?

Yes, you can install laminate flooring on curved or spiral stairs, but it will require more precise cutting and fitting of the laminate planks. It's essential to create templates for each step to ensure accurate cuts.

Can I use laminate flooring on open-sided stairs?

Yes, you can use laminate flooring on open-sided stairs, but you will need to install stair nosing and edging to cover the exposed edges of the laminate planks. This not only provides a finished appearance but also enhances safety by reducing the risk of slipping.

How do I clean and maintain laminate flooring on stairs?

Use a damp cloth or mop to clean the laminate flooring, avoiding excessive moisture. Sweep or vacuum regularly to remove dirt and debris. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for any specific cleaning products or methods.

How long does laminate flooring last on stairs?

The lifespan of laminate flooring on stairs can vary depending on the quality of the product and how well it's maintained. On average, laminate flooring can last between 10-20 years with proper care.

Can I install laminate flooring on stairs with an existing handrail?

Yes, you can install laminate flooring on stairs with an existing handrail. You may need to temporarily remove the handrail during installation and reinstall it afterward, ensuring it's securely fastened to the wall or newel posts. Make sure to leave enough space between the handrail and the laminate flooring for a safe and comfortable grip.

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