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Laminating concrete steps

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I have a job installing an engineered product in two different rooms in a split level home. One room at the top and one room at the bottom of 4 steps. These four steps are painted concrete.

I've never done something like this. My thought is to glue and screw some plywood to the steps, or maybe just screw because of the paint, and glue the laminate to the plywood.

The walls at each side of the steps are painted concrete block.

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How flat, level, and square are the steps? The paint can be mechanically removed and an engineered product glued directly to the concrete. I personally don't like the idea of attaching plywood to the concrete first, but it would depend on the situation. This is one of those jobs that could end up taking you a lot longer than you think. Got any pics?
I'll be back there tomorrow to get some pics.

I haven't taken a level to them, but I think they are pretty flat and level. The front edge of each step is kind of round, not squared off.

I really didn't want to get involved in peeling paint which is why I thought of putting down the plywood. Why don't you like that idea of plywood? I know height would be and issue, which is why I might even consider some underlayment. (I wanted to say luan, but I know that's not the product I want.) Basically want to put down the thinnest product beneath the flooring that I can, something that can tie the engineered floor together.
Every concrete step I have ever done, needed a lot of prep work to get them squared up.

Do Not Attach Plywood!!!!!

You may have to form and pour to get the step faces/risers perfect.

Glue them. Since you don't have anything to pop a brad nail into to hold everything together while the glue dries, you will only be doing 2-3 steps in a day, as you will be working from the bottom to the top of the stairs. Blue tape, weights, and a prayer.
Putting laminate flooring on the steps will make the top step smaller than the middle and the bottom step taller. Make sure you are still within code, steps in CT have to be within a 1/4" of height to each other.
Thanks for the replies, everyone. I've had a lot of different stuff going on and haven't had the time to check in.

I'm kinda dense. I can't figure out what is wrong with screwing plywood onto the steps and gluing the engineered on top. It's not that I don't believe anyone, but my favorite question is "Why?".

I do understand the top step will be a little short. But it is actually a little bit tall right now, so that's not a big deal.
Every concrete step I have ever done, needed a lot of prep work to get them squared up.

Do Not Attach Plywood!!!!!

You may have to form and pour to get the step faces/risers perfect.
Stairs are built to code without floor coverings. When carpet is put down, it makes the first step lower than the rest.

There is a lot of cheating when building a staircase, and still stay in code when they are built. Here you can have ¾" variance between each step.
Once built, no codes are checked, for the rest of the homes life, after flooring is installed unless a building permit is issued for an addition.
laminate steps

I've installed laminate flooring many times on steps with no problem. 1st thing to do is take an angle grinder & grind the paint off and cut off any extra clumps of concrete . Don't worry about the paint in the corners that you can't reach.If the steps are humped , use a rapid setting leveler like Mapai tri-patch or ultra skimcoat to level them.
If the flooring comes with the padding , remove it. You should have stairnose to match the flooring , cut it carefully , its expensive. Only use the Liquid nails with the blue label , it will glue wood to concrete , others won't.
Use 2" blue painter tape to hold everything & bring losts of wieght . Allow at least 48hrs for the glue to dry.Only use a little mineral spirits to clean excess glue .Use as much glue as you can without making a mess.

You can look at pictures of my steps at
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