Vinyl Plank on Stairs
Now let’s discuss using Vinyl Plank, also known as Luxury Vinyl Plank – on stairs!
So first of all, why would we want to use vinyl plank on stairs? Well, there are quite a few reasons – it’s very durable, easy to clean, and when done properly – it looks great! I’ve spoken in the past about floating vinyl and glue down vinyl, and the ease and looks of how it goes on stairs is one of the best reasons for glue down. Again – I’m talking the 5mm loose lay, with pressure sensitive adhesive to help hold it in place. Not the extremely cheap 2mm or 3, which doesn’t have any fiberglass for stability – and to help keep it so cheap, the manufacturers usually use recycled and not virgin vinyl. Normally you’d hear recycled and think that it’s better – but unfortunately for vinyl flooring it’s not. The fillers and additives that they use when recycling the vinyl add all sorts of bad things to the air as well as instabilities to the floor. So, when I’m talking glue down vinyl plank – think 5mm Loose Lay, glued down! Ok? So, let’s go forward here.
The glued down LVP is, in our opinion, much better for stairs than the click or floating floors. The reason that I say this is that of course with floating floors, the floor is not attached to the subfloor. It has to float. Therefore, the stair nosings (or the finished end) actually has to sit on top of the floor with an expansion space that will allow it to expand and contract. This overlapping stair nose is not only not really nice to look at, they can actually hurt your foot when you walk on it! Doesn't look as large as a laminate flooring nosing - but believe me, sure feels like it!
Now here is a stair done with 5mm loose lay vinyl plank. See this stair nosing and how it’s flush with the floor? Such a nicer look and doesn’t stick into your foot when you walk on it!
Here is the stair nosing itself, and a little bit of a trick that works with the 5mm (and only the 5mm). The manufacturers make these nosings based on the thickness of the vinyl plank being used. So, this one is marked 3mm, and they suggest it be used with a 3mm plank. Of course, we don’t sell it – but this is how they suggest the floor to be installed into the nosing. See how it sticks on top of the floor – I can tell you by personal experience that this is not a pleasant thing to step on when wearing socks! It actually hurts your foot! Of course, why we don’t use the thinner products is because of the lack of emulsified fiberglass and their recycled vinyl content, they also require an expansion/contraction space similar to a floating floor.
Now the 5mm loose lay is different, while it still does move a bit, it’s emulsified fiberglass and virgin vinyl will actually move much much less than the others. This allows us to but it up to the nosing without any issues! See how it goes together? So much nicer and doesn’t stick up. Also, another benefit of the metal nosing is that it’s even more durable than the vinyl. Normally the main wear area of a stair is the middle 18” on the front. Since with this system, the front is metal – the floor will last for many many years to come without any issues!
For exposed ends, the idea is the same, only of course you’d miter or return the edges as so. Here we are showing it done by hand, and not the specialized saw that we have setup to do them on site (as we say at GR, under promise and over-deliver!). But the effect is the same. It’s simple, clean and easy to do – as long as you’re using the right products! The correct nosing to use with the 5mm loose lay vinyl plank is a 3-3.5mm metal LVP nosing. This allows it to but up and be flush with your floor!
So, use the right products and your floor will look like a million bucks!
Thank you and have a great day.