On the first - The home was a million dollar home with property in the Fredericksburg area. It is a new build and they had a simple closed stair. They related they had a quote for the flooring company to put the stair in. We told them solid wood treads would be more expensive. Like anything - you get what you pay for. After we quoted them they opted to let the flooring people do it because it was cheaper. Here is a list of what seems obvious reasons not to let flooring companies put flooring on your stair:
1. The laminate is slippery
2. If they are "solid treads" all we have found are solid particle wood on the inside with a veneer on the outside. Those can breakdown over time.
3. Most flooring company's do not put the treads and risers in tight to the wall and cover their gaps with putty or trim. NOT PROFESSIONAL
4. The nosing always looks weird when attached instead of just part of the tread. Those can loosen over time.
5. An obvious reason is color; Their colors are created at the manufacturer - after about 5-7 years they update colors and if there is damage and replacement needed good luck finding it.
The second custom home the homeowners are remodeling and let the flooring company start the stair - They got up 5-6 steps and the homeowner stopped them. Saw the gaps noted above, saw how they cover with trim pieces, and did not like to look at all. I have shared a picture below:
The builder did this. We also run into stairs with the rise to high or not even close to uniform. These are all issues that can be resolved. When you take carpet off your stair the majority of the time the rise is off and needs adjusting. A solid wood tread is 1 1/8 thick. Flooring is not as thick and hence often times adds to the rise. I have never heard of a flooring company that will re-frame as needed to accommodate a uniform rise. They just slap it on as is.