I want to install laminate on the stairs. At the bottom of the stairs
there is a railing with palings that are, for decorative purposes I
imagine, floating just inside the edge of the stairs. The carpet is
installed around all four sides.
See these pictures:
The palings are apparently toenailed into the stair. There is no access
from below. There doesn't appear to be an easy way to change the
location of the railing to make it easier to lay the laminate. I can
certainly remove the railing and lay the laminate, but then how to
reinstall it to "hide" the toenailed palings?
I could "wrap" the laminate around the paling but that would involve
cutting and gluing a second piece to close the 4th side which is a degree
of precision I don't know I have.
I could completely remove the railing and be done with it.
I could hire an installer to do these stairs and see if he/she has any
Some of you could contribute your views. I'm very much interested.
While you say decorative purposes, they may be required by the building
When I had laminate installed, the "trained' installer could not figure out
what to do on the upper stairs. I have a split entry and the lower stairs
are closed on both sides so it was simple. The upper looked like yours. He
sent a second "expert" who was going to do the job, but he never came back
after agreeing to do the job. So, I did it myself.
In my case, I wanted to change the balusters anyway so I just cut out the
old ones. They were just a tapered spindle. I then put a 1 x 10 on the
side of the stairs to enclose it. On top of that, I put a 1 x 2 to make an
ledge and then installed the proper trim for the new balusters. Looks
pretty good and made the stairs much easier to do.
If you plan to wrap the laminate and install the same parts back, you'd
probably want to drill a 3/4" hole in the laminate and put a 3/4" protrusion
on the bottom of the spindles to rest in the hole. You may have to make some
adjustments on the length of course.Thee is a bottom runner made to hold the
bottoms (I forget the actual name of it) that could be put on the step and
the laminate just comes up to it. I did that where my carpet is in the
living room. Used to wrap around but looks better now, IMO.
Snoop around the railing section of the lumber yard and you will see all the
parts you need. Some web sites also have them if you search for "railings"
One other possibility (or maybe a variation of what you suggest) - remove
the railing, lay the laminate over the entire stair surface, then lay a
1x10 of Oak at the edge of the step and reinstall the railing on top of
Not sure if I would get away with toenailing the balusters. Maybe
install them on the 1x10 first with a screw from the bottom, then install
the 1x10 on top of the step.
Then copiously cover every exposed edge with trim of some sort.
Still not something I've done before, but definitely more in line with my
capabilities, compared to trying to precision fit everything around the
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