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Installing Underlayment With Laminate Flooring on Stairs

Installing Underlayment With Laminate Flooring on Stairs

Dear Bob and Betsy,
I’m installing laminate flooring on my stairs. One thing that has me unsure is the underlayment. Do you need underlayment with laminate flooring on stairs?
– Elaine K.

Dear Elaine,

Great question! Underlayment is usually such a crucial part of laminate flooring installations, but when it comes to your staircase, you can leave your underlayment behind.

When you install laminate flooring on your stairs, you must glue the planks to the thread and riser. You cannot use the click and lock installation method for this type of install. If your flooring has underlayment attached, you will need to remove it before installing on stairs.

What About Moisture?

One common concern is moisture. Underlayment is used to prevent moisture damage, such as warping or buckling. On stairs, this usually does not pose a big risk.

Stairs are most often wood based. That means that moisture has already proven to not be a threat. If for any reason you’re concerned about moisture, such as stairs above a crawl space, you might want to reconsider using laminate flooring all together for the stairs. Choose another type of flooring that is more moisture resistant.

What About Temperature?

Temperature fluctuations are another important considerations. Since laminate flooring is made of wood, it expands and contrasts depending on the temperature. When using a stair nose, the laminate is able to expand on stairs.

If your staircase is located in a spot where temperature changes are pronounced, you might want to consider using a different flooring material. This will prevent them from damage during expanding and contracting

Most laminate flooring installations are simple because of the modern click to lock method. However, when it comes to stairs, you need to use a different approach to accommodate the unique installation style.

If you have any other questions while installing the flooring on your staircase, we’re here to help. Contact one of our flooring experts with your question and get help fast.

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