How to Install Linoleum Flooring on Stairs

What You'll Need
Linoleum sheets
Tape measure
Meter stick
Utility knife
Stair trims
Lauan plywood
Putty knife or trowel

It is not that hard to install linoleum flooring on stairs as compared to that on floors. The only difference is the additional installation of the flooring material onto the rise or the vertical portion of the stairs. Here are some basic steps on how to install linoleum flooring on stairs.

Step 1 – Prep the Subfloor

The linoleum needs to be installed in a level subfloor that is structurally sound. Its subfloor can either be made of concrete, OSB or plywood. If the concrete subfloor has cracks or damages, make sure to fix them first. Afterwards, clean the surface with water and allow it to dry. The subfloor can also be prepped using cut plywood. The plywood will provide a flat surface that will bond to the linoleum flooring material effectively. Cut pieces of plywood to provide the subfloor foundation and install them on the staircase. Clean the surfaces to get rid of dust and debris.

Step 2 – Measuring and Cutting the Required Linoleum

Measure the horizontal and vertical areas on the stairs separately and transfer the measurements onto the linoleum sheets. Make sure to keep the measurements as accurate as possible to ensure a good fit. After transferring the measurements, proceed with the cutting. Make sure to create straight cuts as much as possible. Use a meter stick or any other sturdy material with a straight edge as a guide when cutting. Always add space allowance in the measurement to give way for adjustments.

Step 3 – Fitting the Linoleum Sheets

Position the cut sheets on the stair surfaces in order to determine if they fit or not. Do not apply adhesive yet on this point. Make adjustments to the cuts if necessary. Remove the sheets and begin the installation proper.

Step 4 – Installing the Sheets

Apply linoleum sheet adhesive on the first stair rise beginning on the topmost portion of the stairs. Use a trowel or a putty knife for this procedure. Afterwards, press the cut linoleum sheet firmly. Proceed with the horizontal part of the stair following the same procedure. The trick is to work on the stairs step by step until every surface is covered with linoleum.

While installing each linoleum piece, press the surface of the sheet using a J-roller. This procedure is important because it removes any trapped air that may affect the levelness of the stairs. When all pieces are installed, allow the adhesive to dry for about an hour before installing the stair trim on the edges of the stairs to cover the flooring material.


Linoleum is a type of flooring material that provides natural water-proofing qualities and other benefits. When deciding to install linoleum flooring on stairs, be aware that is not recommended for long stairways due to its slippery nature when damp. Therefore, install it only on short stairs or on staircases with handrails.