Vinyl Flooring on Stairs

Q: I am elderly and due to age – the carpet’s and mine, I need to replace carpet on the stairs and upstairs. I want something other than carpet for ease of cleaning and am on a limited budget as well. Is it possible to use vinyl on the stairs? I have two labs so cork does not seem like a viable option for the stairs.
Also, what is your opinion of recycled rubber underlay below vinyl floor V.S. MLV for soundproofing under vinyl upstairs?
Thanks so much.
Daleen

A: Depending on the vinyl you choose to install, you can install it over stairs. As far as the actual nose of the stair is concerned, you will need to use a rubber or metal molding, such as those made by Johnsonite. Your best bet here would be to use something like Konecto and honestly that would be my suggested product in your case. Konecto is very easy to install, maintenance is very easy, plus you get all the benefits of vinyl.
With vinyl, I would not suggest using a mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) underlay, as these underlays are built for carpet, and nearly all vinyl floors are not built to go over an underlay. One benefit of flooring like Konecto, is that you get a good vinyl lower layer, which absorbs a great amount of sound making it far quieter than a typical vinyl tile or roll-out product. In the case of some vinyl floors which can go over an underlay, I would make sure you are using something which is fairly dense, cork being a great example, as this will reduce the amount of spring you would feel in the floor when walking over it.
If you use an underlayment under vinyl, first you must make sure that floor is approved to go over the underlayment. Typically this means the underlayment you are looking at must be approved for being glued down to the subfloor, which eliminates any cost effectiveness you are shooting for. This also means you are likely to be looking into a floor which floats, rather than being adhered down to the subfloor, which leaves very few vinyls to look at.
In the end here, I think you best bet would be Konecto, you can get everything you need for well under $4 per sf, and have a nice, durable floor that requires little work to get in place when compared to adhesive vinyls.

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