Manufacturers make vinyl flooring in squares, one-piece sheets and planks. Planks mimic the grain and size of wood floors, making distinguishing them from wood or laminate coverings very difficult. Homeowners install vinyl planks on floors and stair risers throughout a home as an economical and visually pleasing floor and stair riser covering. Vinyl planks are easy to care for and maintain. Many vinyl planks are easy to cut and have a self-adhesive backing to make self-installation a snap.

Ornate stairwell
credit: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images
Vinyl planks enhance the beauty of the staircase.

Step 1

Spray a rag, sponge or paper towel with an all-purpose cleaner and wipe the stair risers, which is the section of the stairs the toes kick when climbing the stairs, to remove dirt and oils. Scrape peeling paint off the risers with a paint scraper. Vacuum the stairs to remove remnants of paint and dust.

Step 2

Hold a large piece of heavyweight paper over the stair riser. Trace the size and shape of the stair riser with a pencil. Cut the stair riser shape out with scissors. Label the pattern to correspond to the stair riser. Not all stair risers are of the same size. Repeat this process for each riser.

Step 3

Lay enough vinyl planking, tightly abutted to each other, on a worktable with the unfinished side facing up to mimic the length and width of the stair riser. If you do not have a worktable, lay a sheet of plywood on the floor and set the planks on top of the plywood. Stagger the planks, so the end lines do not match up.

Step 4

Set the paper pattern over the vinyl planks. Trace around the pattern with a grease pencil.

Step 5

Remove the pattern and align a metal straightedge to the grease pencil lines.

Step 6

Hold a vinyl knife on the grease pencil line with the blade against the straightedge. Pull the knife along the line while exerting pressure to score a line in the planking. Put the vinyl knife on the scored line, press down and drag it along the scored line to cut through the plank.

Step 7

Peel the protective backing off the plank and put it on the riser, beginning along the edge where the tread meets the riser. Continue to peel the backing off the plank and set each piece on the riser until the planking covers the riser.

Step 8

Roll a hard roller over the riser to gain good adhesion.

Step 9

Repeat for each stair riser.