Robert Lamoureux | Stairs throwing a curve ball on Pergo install 

Robert Lamoureux
Robert Lamoureux

Question: Hello Robert, my name is Gary P. I live in Saugus in a two-story, larger home. Our stairs are curved, currently covered in carpet, and we are in the process of shopping for laminate flooring. We’d like to use this same product (Pergo) on our stairs, but they are telling us that they don’t install on curved stairs. 

The project is too big for me to do on my own, so we are in fact hiring (a big-box store) for this project. This is very disappointing, and I’m driven to figure out if I can do it myself on the stairs, as I have installed Pergo previously. Do you have any experience in this area, and any advice? Thank you for any help you can offer. 

Answer: Gary, I have run across this before. I’ve seen it done by a few homeowners. You’ll never get an authorized Pergo installer to do this, at least not until they change their policies. My first and most sound advice to you is, check each stair tread for soundness. If there is even the slightest give in the wood, I’d replace it with new. Any softness will transfer to the Pergo and not only ruin the install, but also create noise every time that step is used.  

Pergo makes stair treads but they only fit straight runs. This is where you’d need to be handy enough with measurements and cutting to get the pieces to fit. It’s a puzzle but it can be done. Once you’ve cut and dry-fit the pieces, you can then thoroughly glue them into place.  

My best advice is to use finish nails on the edges, ensuring these will not move under wear. The trim will cover these holes. The end cap/trim is used at the front where the riser and tread meet, also at any side edges that are exposed. Those sides that are against the wall will need flat trim. This, too, will all need to be glued into place, thoroughly. Don’t skimp — this needs to be strong because it will withstand a lot of wear.  

Be sure to dry-fit everything first, and before committing, do this dry fit to at least a few stairs, to be sure you will be happy with the look. Definitely worth this step, but I’ve seen it done and it looks spectacular. Best of luck. 

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected].           

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