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Should You Have Carpet Installed On Your Stairs?

When you get new carpet put in your home, you might get an offer to have carpet installed on your stairs as well. By square footage, carpeting a flight of stairs is quite a bit trickier than carpeting a room, due to all the tucking and tacking that needs to be done. So is it worth it?

What Types Of Stairs Benefit From Carpeting?

If your home has basic, functional, builder-grade stairs, you should probably carpet them. Such stairs are usually not very good-looking and don’t lend themselves to painting. Quality carpet will make them look much more appealing.

Carpeting stairs is also a great idea if you have particularly noisy stairs. Old stairs, squeaky stairs, stairs built of thin materials, and stairs that have a closet or another staircase under them tend to be louder when people are walking up and down them.

If you have finished hardwood stairs, think long and hard about whether you want to carpet them. In these cases, a carpeted runner can be a beautiful complement to the stairs, especially if the finished hardwood is still visible on the sides. It also protects the stairs, makes them quieter, and keeps stockinged feet from slipping.

On the other hand, adding carpet to stairs can involve hardware installation to keep the runner from slipping, in which case we can help you explain some of your options for complimenting your stairs. The decision is ultimately yours.

Different Styles Of Carpet Runner

The waterfall technique is the fastest way to carpet stairs, since it only uses one strip of carpeting. The strip of carpet starts at the bottom and runs up the risers and along the tread, fixed at the back of each riser, until it gets to the top. If your stairs have nosing (a section of tread that sticks out past the riser), the waterfall technique won’t work very well.

The other option is the cap-and-band method. In this method, each individual tread has its own piece of carpet that wraps around the stair nose and butts up against the rise behind it. Some people prefer to leave the risers bare if they’re nicely painted or finished wood. This method takes longer but often looks nicer, since it hugs the contours of the stairs more closely.

Some Things To Consider

Carpeted stairs actually contribute to more falls than uncarpeted stairs, but the paradox is that if you fall, your blow will be cushioned. The material of the carpet is a big factor here — some materials are more slippery than others. Carpet also rounds off the edge of the stairs, making it more difficult to grip.

Carpeted stairs are also harder to clean — you may wish for a handheld vacuum. Wooden stairs can be cleaned with a brush and dustpan, but carpeted stairs are going to present more of a challenge.

In the end, the decision is up to you! Choose an option that works best for your home, its occupants, and your personal style.


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