Q: I’m removing the banister in the hall way to install laminate flooring. I understand that we have to leave a gap around the banister. What do we use to cover the gap? Quarter round?
A: If your banister / picket assembly also has a shoe plate that the pickets sit on, I would remove all that, install a proper stair nosing around the stairway opening, and then install the laminate up to it, except leave the required space. Then, when you put the shoe rail or plate back down, it will cover or sit on top of the gap.