Laminate flooring is designed as a floating floor system.
There are times we glue them down solid. Most often we would glue down a laminate floor on stairs, stair landings or at a step at top of a loft type area. We glue laminate flooring down at times for safety reasons. We want steps and stairs to be solid and not have flex or movement in these areas.
Along with floating or gluing areas of laminate we may have trim options at the stairs as well.
The first photo here shows a flush type laminate trim (we used different color floor and trim to help with the photo). The flush stairnose option is not available with all laminate floor options. However it gives you a smooth transition from floor to stairnose and is a bit more effort to install in some cases. The look however is preferred by many. These pieces are required to be glued down and may cost a bit more for both materials and labor.
The second photo shows an overlap stairnose. These raise up a bit over the laminate flooring and ease down to a smooth transition to the floor. With the overlap stairnose we can still float the flooring if needed and only fasten the trim. The overlap stairnose gives the installer more flexible in ways off the flooring. The finished flooring does not need to be cut so evenly and flush because the trim covers the edging. This method of finishing off the stair edging is a bit less expensive in some cases due to the cost of the trim and labor.
It is a good idea to discuss the stairnose options before the time of order and installation. For most flooring manufacturers will not return trim and we want to be sure everyone is happy with the completed project.
Example of a flush type stairnose installed.