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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! I accidentially stumbled onto your forum the other day. It is outstanding. Excellent advice. Folks seem to have fun too.

My favorite customer has decided to have me intall laminate "wood" flooring. I have never tried this material before. She wants to remove existing carpet on the stairs and install the laminate. The stairnose and trim appears to be rather expensive at around $50 to $70 for a 7 foot stick.

The living room and hallway appears to be straightforward, and a good place to learn on.

She has 13 steps, and they are enclosed. I estimated about 6 to 8 hours, knowing full well that it will take much longer than this as it is my first time.

Are there any tips that might be helpful? Does anyone have any alternatives to laminate on the stairs that would be of similar cost? She insists that she does not want carpet anymore.
 

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I hate the idea of a hard surface on stairs. Recipe for disaster IMO. I always at least suggest a carpet runner for safety. Using quality stair rods would make the staircase look awesome. And not break a leg. If this is your first laminate job and she insists on laminating the stairs, I would suggest subbing at least that portionof the job out to a pro.


Don
 

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Ben really said it all right there. I too would recommend you hire a pro out for the stairs. I have seen the difference between a confident DIY'er and a master craftsman, and I am sure you want your fav client to have some real nice looking steps.

If I were to recommend a DIY laminate for stairs, it would be Wilsonart's ONESTEP. It comes already assembled, ready for cutting to the width of the stair. Very simple to install. But remember that not every step is the exact same width or squareness. So don't attempt to template.

Usually the stair will need work before you would begin install. the stair would most likely have a bullnose that would need to be cut off (creating a smaller step, bad idea), or the riser would be built up to be flush with the end of the stairnose.

And a runner with stair rods will add the perfect touch. Recommend a Wool to your client.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Outstanding advice. I like the idea of a sub. I do not like the idea of smaller steps if the existing steps need to be modified.

I bet the sub would not like the idea of me spying on him or her while they were laying the stairs.

Thank you
 

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jgriffin22 said:
I bet the sub would not like the idea of me spying on him or her while they were laying the stairs.
Thank you
If you respect his skills and pay his price, not what you think you can get the enduser to pay, I'm sure you'll be able to hang around and watch him. Don't expect him to hold a class for you, but most real pros don't have a problem being watched.

Definately have the pro look at the job and give you his price then add whatever profit you want and give that number to your client. Often people will decide not to do the stairs as the cost can be high. If they bat an eye at the cost explain how labor intensive that portion of the job is and how no competent and self-respecting pro could do it for less. It's helpful if the installer has pictures of steps he has done in the past.

Good luck,
Don
 

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Hey Floorcraft, wouldnt the step end up the same size ,weather you cut off the nose or filled in the riser?

I build out the top of the riser ,just under the nose,down and inch and a half -flush with the nose so the riser would be on an angle,fastened by construction adhesive in the throat of the step-riser and glued under the step nosing.
 

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I grew up on boats where all of the ladders were wood, what's the problem?
It would be nice to know the dimensions of the tread/riser. Larger treads would provide less concern as far as slippage goes, the're also clear non-skids as well.
As nosepieces go, I always custom manufacture my own and the rabbit is always at least the thickness of the overlay and set in thixogend epoxy
 

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Hey Floorcraft, wouldnt the step end up the same size ,weather you cut off the nose or filled in the riser?

not really. If you cut off the nose, you will lose some step. If you build up the riser, you will keep the step.
 

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You know what you may be right.
let's say your step is 1 foot. If you cut off the nose, it can be 11 inches.
if you build up the riser, you will keep the nose, but lose behind the riser, so your back to 11 inches....

well well well
 

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So what you are saying is don't cut cut off your nose to spite your riser

Doh! :Thumbs:

Yeah thats what Im sayin ,lol.

Now ,on stairs Muscle memory comes into play as well. If a family has been walking up a flight of stairs for years ,and you alter the size of them, they are gonna be tripping "up" the stairs .

Plus you need to know what the loal code is for tread size.(Been there ,done that.)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I took customer to flooring store today. We did not get her talked out of laminate stairs. The owner of the store will help me lay the stairs. With his experience, It should go well.

It really paid off developing a relationship with the vendor. The customer did not like the idea of me subbing out the stair installation at all. I even explained that a sub would do a much better and much faster job. I am so glad that the owner volunteered to help.

Again, thank all of you for your excellent suggestions and advice. Your are the best. Jay
 

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You can get the stair nosing for $14 per 8ft stick at http://www.laminatemoldings.com/. Quality is very good I use and sell there stuff for 2 years. The also match to the flooring you bought for free.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Mike Costello said:
We want pictures when your done!
Sorry, you will have to form a mental picture as I do not own a camera. (with a face like this it would not last very long anyhow
;) )

I have a bit over half of the stairs done. It has taken quite awile to build as each piece has to be custom fit. As usual nothing is square in the house.

The appearance is quite striking after seeing the 12 year old grey carpet.

Thank you folks for all of your tips. They certainly have made this job easier.
 

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Sorry to bring this post back to life, but I have a customer that wants me to install laminate floor on his steps. I have not installed it on stairs before, obviously, but have done many rooms. Doesn't look to bad to me. Customer wants me to use the overlap stair nosing. I figure I can cut pieces to fit the tread and riser and glue them down.
Has any body done this since this post? What are the major problems with putting laminate on stairs?
Stairs are currently carpeted. I guess you have to cut the nosing off the tread which might be difficult and the finished stairs will probably be slippery.
Thanks for any input.
 

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Paul, on boats we wear deck shoes that tend to stick, wet or dry.
The point of the thread at that time was in fitting and trim, all of which I do custom.
There was also a mention of nonskid for your wool socks. If need be, I can create a non-skid that will penetrate your wool socks and give you a really firm grip on the tread.
 

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GMW - Here is how I do laminates on steps ... seems to work well for me and my customers ....
1 - box the steps ... with furring strips and plywood to where the plywood comes straight up to the existing stairnose and is square. don't worry about losing some of the stair as you will get it back later from the new stair nosing.

2 - Measure, cut and number all your risers and using a finish nailer attach them with arround the edges and in the center of the step with some kind of pattern all the way up the case.

3 - Now for the fun part Don't use that junk stair nose that laminate companies make ... USE REAL WOOD Stair nosing that closely matches or unfinished and finish it yourself. Find the measurement for the lip that covers the products edge *should be about 1/2" to 1"* cut all your treads with that in mind.

4 Install them the same way you did the risers and then cut your stairnose individually for each step .... and install with Brad nails

5 And finally take the filler that the laminate company normally makes for each type of laminate and fill your nail holes

Viola ... nice neat clean stairs and no need for quarter round in the back of them.
 
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