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Laminate is a very wise choice for steps cause you never have to worry about your steps again. But having said that, a wool carpet runner would be the only correct choice after the laminate, to help with slip resistance and add the perfect finishing touch.
weather or not it is possible, I would have to see a picture if that is possible.
1,000 or about 75 bucks a step is VERY reasonable. But, get another quote from a full service flooring ONLY store first, just to make sure the Depot didnt pad the job too much.
I recently had an extremely difficult set of stairs done for a client, and the installer unscrewed the banister and reinstalled it when it was done. I will be taking pics in a couple weeks. They simply love it.
The reasoon the price is reasonable even for a much more simpler set of stairs, is because most of the time, stairs need more work done to em before install can start, and it could take a couple hours a step before its all through. Not a bad rate when you put it in perspective.
It is true, that is some cases, you need to use an over the top stairnose which has a small lip, but alot of the times, you can get a flush stairnose too.
If you are interested is an easier DIY product go to www.wilsonart.com.
They have a product called one-step which has a stairnose already connected to the laminate. trim the sides, trim the back, badda boom badda bing, laminate step!
good luck, and get back to me if you can get a pic of the steps.