Laminate is a great floor cover solution, not only for private homes but also for commercial buildings and offices. With the available variety of laminate grade ratings that can serve even the highest amount of foot traffic, it’s no wonder that it’s such a popular choice these days. Some problems may arise when there are steps and stairs that connect to laminated floor though. It’s often desirable to maintain the continuity of the design by laminating the stairs so they blend nicely with the floor and the surroundings without creating sudden gaps that are visible to the eye.
Be warned though, laminating steps and especially larger staircases can be very dangerous. Laminate finishes are often quite slippery, especially those of low grade rating that are meant for more private use with less foot traffic stress. It is essential to consider who is going to walk on it and avoid putting any home members or potential guests under the threat of falling down. Elder people or little kids are often the ones who are most exposed to this danger.
Of course a solution is to put a runner cover in the form of carpet or a rug over the steps, even though the reason for laminating the stairs might have been getting rid of using fabrics in the first place! But the thing is, most suppliers and manufacturers would never advise you to laminate your stairs and leave them uncovered. The risk is just not worth it and only someone who doesn’t care would let people take such risks.
That said, there are a few ways to go around the slip and fall problem. One is to use a more abrasive laminate (higher grade) that has the same or similar finish as the floors leading to the staircase. Another is to install additional elements to the thread and riser of the stairs that would keep feet in place, but that leads to another potential hazard – tripping!
If, despite all, you go ahead with a laminate flooring on stairs in your home, bear in mind that most suppliers offer specially made staircase floor planks that fit to most standard steps and are specially made to combat with the problems that arise as best as possible.
If you attend to install laminate yourself, always glue the cover and never use nails, as the risk for having an unstable piece (which happens sooner or later) is not worth taking. Another thing to have in mind is that laminating stairs is always a specifically individual tasks. The requirements and factors differ from home to home, so while it’s OK to follow some general tips and measurements, make sure to observe and plan carefully for your own specific case.