planks on stairs, glue and expansion?

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patrad

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I have some cork planks that I'm putting on some stairs. I've read some conflicting things in various places.
1) Glue down or float? I've read that if planks are on stairs, they need to be glued down. However some molding mfgs have instructions for installing stair nosing on glued or "floating" treads. Glued down makes sense to me but. . .expansion
2) I saw a video where someone claimed, since the plank was glued down, you don't have to worry about expansion gaps. The mfg of this particular plank gives specs for expansion and there are no glue down instructions, nor do they indicate that glue down is an option.

So I'm all for gluing these things down on and cutting them tight to the skirt board, I'd just like to make sure I'm not screwing myself here. The other option I was thinking would be to allow for expansion by undercutting them into the skirt. Or leave a 1/8 - 1/16 gap on each end of the tread and caulk it, but I think that would look poor.
 
I would install them as floating, because things wear out, and as for the ends, dress it up with a thin decorative molding, instead of caulk.
 
It's been a while since your post, but I'd like to add some information. When it comes to gluing planks on stairs, you want to think about how the wood will expand and contract over time. Wood naturally changes with the weather, so it’s important to give it some space to do that. If you glue the planks down completely, you might end up with issues like warping or gaps.
 
It's been a while since your post, but I'd like to add some information. When it comes to gluing planks on stairs, you want to think about how the wood will expand and contract over time. Wood naturally changes with the weather, so it’s important to give it some space to do that. If you glue the planks down completely, you might end up with issues like warping or gaps.
Instead, consider using a flexible adhesive that allows for some movement. Now, about the skirting board. It can help cover any gaps that might appear as the wood expands and contracts. Plus, it gives the whole staircase a nice, finished look. When you install the skirting board, make sure to leave a tiny gap between it and the planks.
 

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