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Next Generation Flooring

How To Install Vinyl Plank Flooring on Stairs

Views:329     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-09-25      Origin:Site

Installing luxury vinyl flooring is straightforward as long as you take your time and measure twice! It is essential that, before you install, you measure and cut your pieces to rough fit them before gluing. This will help ensure the right fit for each step.

 

Step 1 – Prepare the Sub-floor

Vinyl is known to reveal the subfloor’s imperfections beneath, even slight dips and rises like screw holes or other debris.

 

Cleaning, sanding, and filling holes is a critical part of prepping your stairs for vinyl planks. It is also a great opportunity to fix any creaks that you notice with screws. Use a filling compound to adjust steps for level and fill holes. Sand smooth for a flat surface.

 

Don’t forget to sand your risers, too! Even though you won’t walk on the risers, you’ll look at them and any imperfection beneath the vinyl riser will be visible every time you walk up the stairs.

 

Step 2 – Adjust Existing Stair Nosing

Depending on your subfloor, you may have a subfloor with a tread that overlaps the riser. If not, you can skip this step. If you do have a nosing, you’ll make your life way easier if you remove the overlap, so you have a nice right angle between your tread and riser on the stair subfloor.

 

You can add lumber of the thickness of the overlap over the existing riser to eliminate the nosing on the subfloor. Any lumber you add to your stair riser subfloor will have to cover the entirety so that the vinyl plank has a complete surface to adhere to.

 

If you leave the subfloor nosing on your stairs, you will not be able to use the nosing that goes with your LVP flooring. Some DIYers have found ways to “bend” their planks over the subfloor nosing, but there is no evidence that those solutions will stand up over time to the punishment a set of stairs takes.

 

Step 3 – Measure Top Tread and Riser

Measure the top riser and tread, working your way down the flight of steps. You must work from the top step since you must let the adhesive set for several hours before using the stairs. Thus, once you glue it on, you can’t stand on it and glue the next stair down.

 

If you are using your stair gauge, adjust it, so either edge sits flush against the edges of the wall. Then remove it, set it atop your first vinyl plank, make a mark, and cut it.

 

When measuring your tread, you’ll need to account for the width of the flush stair nosing. Measure the width of the nosing, and place it on the subfloor tread. Make a mark along the tread where the nosing ends. Then measure from the back edge of the tread to the mark you just made. This will be the width of your LVP tread.

 

Risers should be measured from the top edge, flush to the edge, to the bottom where they will sit on top of the tread. Use a spare piece and place it on the tread. Then sit your measuring tape on top of it and measure to the top of the riser. This is how wide your tread will be.

 

Step 4 – Cut First Riser, Tread, and Nosing

 

Use the flooring cutter or a utility knife to cut your first tread, riser, and stair nosing piece. If your stair tread requires more than one piece of plank, then you’ll need to use a spare piece as a guide for cutting the length of the other piece. You could also use a level or any other tool with a long, straight edge.

 

Using a flooring cutter for lengthwise cuts is not an option as most cutters only cut from 12” to 20”, so even if you have one, you’ll still need your utility knife. A table saw works too, if you have a fine-toothed blade.

 

If using a utility knife, a speed square works best for crosscuts. Put the “T” end at the top of your plank and cut downwards against the other side of the square. Adequate pressure will do, as you only need to score the top. After scoring, bend the piece of vinyl at the point where you used your knife and it should snap nicely on your cut.

 

Remove the exposed tongue from the edge of the riser and tread pieces. This ensures it won’t be visible and that the finished part of the planks sits flush against the edges of each riser and tread. Use your blade and the visible part of the vinyl as a guide. You may need to take two passes to get the entire tongue removed.

 

Finally, when cutting the nosing, use a hacksaw or other fine-toothed saw. Clamp your nosing to a table and cut slowly to ensure a straight cut. Cutter will bend the nosing out of shape and a blade won’t work. Alternatively, you can use a saw box to help you achieve a 90-degree cut.

 

Step 5 – Rough Fit Pieces

Fit your first riser, tread, and nosing pieces. The nosing will go over the top of the riser, so you’ll lay the tread down, put the riser over the tread, and the nosing up over the riser.

 

Check for gaps on the sides and make sure your nosing piece is snug against the angle of the tread and riser. If the nosing sticks out too far, then your tread’s width needs to be trimmed slightly.

 

If the stair nose is not snug against the riser and tread, you risk it failing if it won’t adhere properly to the step. A loose nosing piece is also a safety hazard, so take care to install it properly.

 

Follow this pattern down your steps: tread, nosing, and riser. You can cut all your pieces first and rough-fit them, or do one step at a time, gluing as you go.

 

Step 6 – Glue Tread, Riser, and Nosing

Now it’s time to glue your pieces into place. You’ll use vinyl glue, which comes in a bucket or a tube that you’ll use a caulking gun to apply. Some glue you apply to the subfloor’s surface and another glue applies to the back of the vinyl – follow the manufacturer instructions.

 

Keep in mind that some vinyl plank flooring is self-adhesive. When using this type for stairs, you must also use vinyl or construction adhesive in addition due to the high-traffic nature of steps.

 

When applying glue to the back of the plank, make an s-pattern and fill in the gaps with more glue. Apply the plank to the surface and use a roller or your hand to make it smooth and wipe away excess glue, if necessary.

 

Glue your riser in the same way – make sure the riser is flush to the top of the tread. Lastly, glue the nosing piece into place. Depending on the manufacturer, your vinyl stair nose may install differently, so pay attention to the instructions.

 

Step 7 – Repeat Tread, Riser, and Nosing Installation

Repeat steps 3 through 6 on the rest of the stairs. Remember to let the vinyl planks sit at least 4 hours before walking on them. The directions on the vinyl adhesive will state clearly how long it needs to cure.


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