How To Finish Laminate Flooring At Top Of Stairs

How To Finish Laminate Flooring At Top Of Stairs
  • Author: Amanda Arnold
  • Posted On: July 18, 2022
  • Updated On: August 21, 2023

Because of its remarkable longevity, laminate flooring is a popular option for high-traffic areas. The variety of styles available on the market is also extremely wide because it can mirror other flooring types.

You can install the flooring with the time and the necessary tools. However, it does have a few peculiarities unique to flooring when it comes to installation. Use this step-by-step instruction manual if you’re reluctant to find a fitter and prefer to do it yourself.

Why Do You Need To Finish Laminate Flooring At The Top Of Stairs?

It is possible to install laminate over the carpet on the upper stair. There may be carpeting on the stairs. Therefore, you must lay the laminate up to the top stair, where the carpet terminates. Alternatively, you could have a laminate on the stairs and complete the carpeting up to the top laminate stair.

Installing a stair nose is typically required for the top stair. Overhangs on the majority of the staircases might need to be removed. Or wood might be used to line the area under the hang. An overhang prevents the new stair nose from being placed.

Steps To Install Laminate Flooring At Top Of Stairs

Choose Laminate Flooring

Choose Laminate Flooring

Choosing the right style for your laminate flooring is the first installation step. Consider the usability as well as the aesthetics. Laminate is infamous for being slick. Not the best option if you frequently ascend or descend stairs or if you live with young children.

It would be best to go for a rougher and more textured laminate to reduce the chance of slipping. Additionally, you need to buy nose stripping in the color of your preference.

Allow Laminate To Adapt to Room Temperature

Allow Laminate To Adapt to Room Temperature

Acclimating your flooring is the next step after choosing the perfect look and feel. To do this, unwrap the laminate boxes and arrange the pieces in a lattice pattern. This enables air to pass through, allowing the laminate to adapt to the humidity and temperature of your home.

Before laying it, you should let the flooring in this condition for at least three days. Your laminate won’t warp, expand, or shrink in the future if you give it time to acclimate.

Remove Old Adhesive

Remove any flooring and underlay from the stairs if there is any. If there isn’t any flooring, but there is paint or old glue from the prior flooring, remove it to provide a smooth surface for installing laminate. You can pull this up with a set of pliers and some carpet.

Before installing your flooring, ensure your subfloor is as flat as possible. To make the ideal level surface for the laminate, chip away any extra dirt and sand down wood staircases.

Cut The Laminate According To Your Stair Measurement


The tread, risers, and stair nosing are the three laminate pieces that must be cut, and it is ideal to have them ready before you begin the installation. Accurate dimensions are essential if you want the tread pieces to fit as tightly as possible from left to right.

A majority of laminate boards won’t completely cover the step. As a result, you might need to cut from a different board. Glue the tongue and groove together to keep them in place for fitting. However, it doesn’t need to extend to the step’s front edge.

Install Tread Pieces

 Install Tread Pieces

Installing the tread component is the first step in assembling the stair. Apply three beads of premium wood glue to the underside of the tread boards you previously adhered to. The tongue edge of the laminate should be facing outwards when you snugly install it to the back step.

It would help if you descended the stairs starting at the top. To give the laminate’s adhesive time to dry, it is best to avoid stepping on freshly installed laminate.

Cap Stair’s Treads

Medium-density fiberboard, or MDF as it is frequently known, is used to make prefabricated stair treads. Wood that has been shredded into fiber is used to create MDF, an engineered wood product. To stop moisture damage, wax is added in.

After being mixed with glue and resin, the ingredients are compressed into boards by running through a hot press machine, which melts the resin.

Place Risers

Place Risers

The vertical portion of the step should be covered with wood glue and applied similarly to how you did with the laminate tread sections. Hold the riser firmly in place for a few minutes to ensure the glue has time to set.

You might also nail the plank’s top to the wall as an additional security means. As the nail will be hidden by the nose peeling, there is no need to worry about this being unpleasant.

Install Nosing

 Install Nosing.

Apply adhesive to the subfloor, not the nosing piece, to install it. With the tapered end overhanging at the top of the tread, firmly press it into place. Install the top nosing after that by screwing it.

The laminate flooring will be shielded if the nosing is first covered with clear plastic tape. The center of the nosing has spaces marked along it. Insert wood screws after drilling a countersink hole. At this time, leave the plastic tape on the nosing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to install laminate flooring on stairs?

Like the rest of your laminate flooring, the flooring on your stairs will be slick. While some laminate is smooth and slick, higher-quality laminate is textured and offers greater traction. No matter the laminate floor you choose, laminate stair nosing will lower any fall risk.

Which material is best to install on stairs?

Carpet flooring is ideal for stairs if comfort and safety are your top priorities. If your home doesn’t already have carpeting throughout, you will need to decide whether the carpet is a flooring option that complements the other flooring options in your house from a design standpoint.

Do you need to nail the laminate flooring on the stairs?

Don’t use underlayment when installing laminate flooring on stairs because this is one instance where a floating-floor system is inappropriate. To attach the laminate to the steps themselves, use glue and screws. The glue should be from a glue gun, either liquid nails or construction-type glue.

Bottom Line

Use flooring filler or putty to hide the screw holes on the stair nosing. Apply the putty and cover the screws with caution using a plastic scraper. The steps must be cleaned immediately after finishing to remove any extra dust and putty/filler.

Once the filler has been set, removing it may be nearly impossible, so act soon. You should at least wait a day without utilizing your steps. The laminate has time to settle, and the adhesive has time to set. Additionally, that is the reason we advise descending the steps in a downward motion.

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Author: Amanda Arnold

Amanda has been working with ConstructionHow since 2021. Her experience spans over 5 years in the creative niche such as home decor and trends, landscaping, renovations, and custom architectural values. As a home designer expert, she has a keen eye for the latest home improvement trends with accurate facts that readers find impossible to ignore. Being invested in home-building trends is how she has gained her lucrative expertise exploring more to bring a positive ambiance for all homeowners (and even tenants!). Currently, she lives in a beautiful beach home, a source of fascination for her.