Laminate Flooring How To – Covering Concrete Stairs With Laminate

You have a beautiful laminate floor and you’re wondering if you should finish the concrete stairs in laminate to give the space a cohesive, designer feel. First of all, is it possible? Can you cover concrete with laminate? The answer is yes. In fact, if you’ve ever covered wooden stairs, the process is similar, except that the nosing installation is a little trickier.

What You’ll Need

To accomplish this task you’ll need:

  • PL200 or stronger construction glue
  • Skill saw for cutting laminate
  • Chop saw for cutting metal nosings
  • drill with a concrete bit
  • electric screwdriver
  • plastic plugs
  • broom

I recommend using metal nosings as these are stronger, and will hold better on concrete stairs. (Laminate nosings that come in a kit are also trickier as the tracks need to be in exactly the right spot, and there isn’t a lot of standardization–every manufacturer makes a slightly different size/style of laminate nosing).

What to Do

Start by sweeping the stairs and cleaning up any shavings or dust. You’ll need a clean surface for the glue to adhere properly to the concrete and laminate. Once the area is clean, start with the risers first.

Measure, mark and cut each laminate plank to fit the riser with the groove side facing downwards. Glue the riser and the back of the plank, and secure the plank in place, again, making sure that the groove is at the bottom of the riser. Once all the risers are glued, you’re ready to start on the nosings.

Begin by measuring and cutting the metal nosings to fit. Mark on the concrete where the screws will go, then using a drill with a concrete bit, drill the holes. Place a plastic plug in each hole. Number the nosings so that you match each one to the correct tread when you screwnail them in later.

Measure, mark and cut each laminate plank to fit the tread with the groove side facing inwards to meet the bottom of the riser. Arranging the planks so that the groove on the riser meets the groove on the tread makes for a clean, professional edge in the corner. Glue the tread and the back of the plank and secure the plank in place, making sure that groove faces inward.

Stair nosings are intended to finish the look by capping the lip of the stair. Unfortunately, with concrete stairs this can be a little tricky as the lip on the stairs is often thicker than the actual stair nosing. If this is the, cut a laminate plank so that it’s wide enough to cover the the concrete lip, and glue it to the face of the lip on each tread. Then secure the nosing over top by screwnailing it through the laminate tread into the pre-drilled holes in the concrete. (If you’ve already covered the lip-face with laminate, you can glue the nosing to the laminate for extra adherence, and then screwnail the top of the nosing into place.)