Staircase carpet takes a beating. When it’s time to replace it, many people wonder, “Do I have to carpet my stairs?”
The choice to carpet your staircase or leave it with the wood exposed depends on several factors: how the stairs have been constructed, the materials used and the condition of the wood. Don’t assume there is usable wood under your staircase carpet. Many times, plywood, pine or some other unattractive material is found under the carpet, leaving fully-carpeted stairs the only option.
Fully-carpeted stairs is the default for many homeowners. It can provide a practical, hard-wearing surface, comfort underfoot, and can offer an immediate impact and visual change for those seeking to update their home’s interior. Often, there is an option to do both − leaving some exposed wood with a decorative runner.
Carpet runners leave the edges of the stairs visible. Runners are ideal when you don’t want to fully cover your beautiful stairway. They will add some warmth without hiding the hardwoods. Most homeowners opt for boldly patterned runners to add detail and texture to an otherwise neutral space. Look for a unique pattern that blends in with the surrounding décor, but still draws the eyes toward the staircase. You can also opt for neutral subtly patterned carpeting, if you prefer a minimalist style, or add some interest with texture. There are many options.
Runners also can provide safety benefits, especially for those who are more susceptible to falls, such as the elderly and small children. Large dogs, too, are more comfortable on a staircase with a runner. Wood stairs can be more slippery underfoot, and the hard surface is likely to cause injury in the event of a fall, making it less desirable for those who are not as steady on their feet.
Runners also offer soundproofing advantages, which can be particularly useful for a large household where children and dogs are galloping up and down the stairs.
Bare wooden stairs are a beautiful option and super easy to clean.
Wood, carpet, or a combination — the choice is truly up to you!
By Elisabeth Stubbs, contributing writer and one of the owners of Enhance Floors & More.
Eileen Benson says
I like how you said that using a carpet runner on the stairway is a good way to add warmth while still having the beauty of the stairs visible. My husband and I want to work on remodeling our home next year, and we like the idea of using wood for the staircase and balusters. I think adding a carpet runner to the finished staircase would be a nice touch, so thanks for sharing that idea here!