Installing laminate on an open "end" staircase may be one of the most taxing projects installers are faced with in basic laminate installation. Unfortunately, it is impossible to address every scenario that could be encountered during the installation. The variables include the style, either round or square (photo 1), number (normally two, but sometimes three or more) and size of spindles per step, not to mention their location in relation to the step's finished edge. The finished edge of the open side of the step will present its own obstacles for installation.
This article focuses on an open-end staircase, with two square spindles per step (photo 2). The first step, previously detailed in the Jan/Feb issue of FCI, is the removal of the existing bullnose in preparation for laminate flooring installation with a conventional bullnose on the finished edges (front and the side with spindles).
As always, the manufacturer's installation instructions for step installation will always supersede these instructions. But when those instructions are unavailable, the step-by-step instructions for installing laminate on an open-end staircase serve as general guidelines.