In this guide we will go through step by step, how to install a laminate floor covering on stairs. We have included a full set of pictures showing the different stages of the process.
If you’re considering having a stair makeover or tackling the job yourself, it’s always handy to know the process. Using Quick-Step laminate flooring with the Quick-Step integrated stair nose (incizo profile), is a great way to completely transform your stair case. If you’d prefer, we have also included a short official Quick-Step video on how to install stairs at the end of this guide. However, there are some real world practical techniques in our guide that will be of huge benefit..
- Clear the stairs of any original floor covering, underlay and staples.
- Clean each tread and riser ready for the glue that will be used to adhere correctly to the treads.
- Assess the structural condition of the stairs and make good any moving steps where possible. This will help prevent creaks and excessive movement.
- You will be fitting the laminate from top to bottom with this system.
- You will often find that the treads of each step hang over the riser by around 15 mm or so. For best results, the riser must be brought out to make the tread and riser square. This isn’t always a must but really does give the makeover a better finish. In this guide, we will be packing out each riser.
- An appropriate material should be used to pack out the riser. In this case we are using 25 x 15 mm planed softwood timber battens. You could also use mdf sheets cut to the full width and depth of the risers if preferred.
- Each batten should be cut to length and spaced proportionately across the riser. Here we have fitted the battens vertically. This can also be done horizontally across the bottom and across just under the lip of the treads.
- The battens can then be fitted using both adhesive and appropriate fixing screws. We won’t be going into to much depth regards size of fixings as anyone tackling such an installation should be at least a competent diy’er and be familiar with tools and fixings.
- Using Quick-Steps Incizo aluminium base plates, cut, using a large hacksaw, to the size of each step and fit using both adhesive on the underside of the plates and appropriate screws. Full fitting instructions including screw sizes come with each Incizo if you can stuck.
- Before applying any adhesive, cut the laminate boards for the treads and risers. There is a raised locator channel cast into the aluminium base plate that is used for the bottom of the male locking system to sit into. Make yourself familiar with this as it governs where you will be starting each tread from. You may find that the treads and/or risers require more than a single row. An additional board should be cut to get full coverage on each tread and riser (This will make more sense when looking at the pictures further down). Remember to leave a slight gap of around 1 to 2 mm either side of the laminate boards where they meet the strings as this will allow the boards to expand (Important!). This expansion gap can have a flexible caulk applied later (The caulk may highlight each step but can be touched up with paint to match with your original painted woodwork).
- It’s sometimes easier to cut five or six steps at a time rather than have pieces of laminate everywhere. Regardless of how many you cut in advance, it’s good practice to number each cut laminate board with a pencil to correspond with the relevant tread or riser. For instance all treads can be marked with ‘T’ plus a step number. All risers can be marked with an ‘R’ plus a step number. At the same time, the Incizo’s should also be cut and numbered ready. When cutting each board, it’s worth noting that laminate chips easily if not cut in the right way or with the right blade. We find using a jigsaw with a downward cutting blade best. A chop saw can also be used but if your stringers aren’t even all the way along and you need to cut a slightly irregular cut, a chop saw isn’t best as it will only cut a straight line. Knowing how to do a butt and scribe is key to installing stairs as well as taking accurate measurements and transposing them measurements onto the laminate boards. A very steady hand is also of great benefit.
- Now when you’ve mastered getting the laminate boards cut neatly, place them on the treads and against the risers without applying the adhesive and when you’re happy with the way they look, it’s time to dismantle them remembering to number them as above so you know where they’ll be installed.
- At this point, it’s good practice to give each tread and riser a final wipe and/or vacuum to remove any dirt that may have been created. Dust/dirt will prevent the adhesive from bonding correctly with the surface.
- Apply a flexible wood floor grade adhesive (Not PVA) to the first tread using a notched trowel or use Quick-Steps own adhesive with a caulk gun. A 6 mm ‘V’ notched trowel is recommended to apply the adhesive. At the front edge, on top of the aluminium base plate, apply adhesive then scrape off leaving a thin film (Important!).
- When you’re happy with the application and coverage of the adhesive, bed the first laminate board in place (this will be the board that corresponds to the locator channel on the base plate) giving a firm press and twisting motion and settle the board till it locates with the base plate channel.
- Now the next tread must be adhered and installed in the same way (Not the adjoining riser!).
- Next fit the pre cut riser board by applying adhesive to the riser battens and pressing the board home till it has a firm grab and press down so it sits snug on top of the installed tread below. At this point, before fully pressing the riser on to the battens, it is worth having an off cut piece of Incizo to hand. With this you can place the off cut on to the front of aluminium base plate to gauge and line everything up. Press the off cut on to the base plate and riser till the Incizo fits in position. You will now know the riser is set perfectly to suit the Incizo. You may find a technique that suits you better and I always encourage people to work on there chosen technique prior to applying any adhesive. This is not the sort of thing you should be learning as adhesive is curing. When fitting stairs, you may find you’re going three steps forward, then two steps back, excuse the pun.
- When you’re happy with the positioning and bedding of the tread and adjoining riser, you can now fit the Incizo profile. Adhesive and a separate insert is required, fitted in a way that depends on the thickness of laminate you have purchased. You should consult the installation instruction on where to apply this adhesive and insert. This sounds technical but is a very straight forward process.
- You now have the repeatable format for installing a laminate stair covering. You may find at some point you wish to stop the installation. This isn’t a problem but you must apply several un-glued Incizo off cuts, with inserts in place, to the front of the final tread and do not glue the next riser. This will ensure when you come back to the installation after the adhesive has cured, that you will be able commence from where you left off.
- As a final note, after the installation or part installation, do not use the stairs! If the stairs are used as the adhesive is curing, you will add additional load to the treads and it will sink, leaving a gap between the tread and riser. this can also effect the adhesive bond. Allow each section to cure overnight before standing on them. If the property is cold allow a longer curing time. A temperature of at least 10 degrees should be kept for best results and adequate curing.
This is the process we recommend and have had much success with. We hope you’ve gained some insight from this step by step guide and should you have questions, please contact us here. There is a gallery of the full installation at the bottom of this page.
Should you require an alternative technique, you can watch the official Quick-Step stair installation video below.
Finished..Wes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Fitmywoodfloor