Posted on: 29.09.2022 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0

When designing your home, there are many factors to consider. It can be easy to overlook something as simple as your stairs. But your stairs play an essential role in getting around your home, so you should choose the best flooring for them.

Stairs should be equipped with carpets to reduce the risk of falling. While carpet floors do not prevent falls, they can provide more traction for people and pets when going up and down. Carpet also offers more cushioning than wood, making it safer if someone falls. However, wooden stairs are easier to clean.

If you need to redo your stairs, consider whether you should use carpet or wood. Both flooring options have pros and cons, so you should reconsider your situation. Read on to learn more about both options and determine which one you should choose.

Advantages of Carpet Floors

One of the biggest advantages of carpet on stairs is that it is safe. Carpet provides some traction when going up and down, reducing the risk of slipping. It won’t eliminate your risk of falling, but it can also make the fall less painful by cushioning your impact.

Another advantage of carpeted stairs is that they can absorb sound. If your stairs are right next to a bedroom or office, you can likely hear anyone walking on the wood. But the right carpet can counteract that.

Carpet is also a good option if you have a tight budget. You can save a lot of money because you don’t have to worry about buying wood and preparing the stairs.

Disadvantages of Carpet

Some carpets are not as safe as others, so you can still slip on them. Depending on the fiber density and carpet length, you may slip as often as on wood stairs.

Carpet can also accumulate dirt, dust, as well as human and pet hair. When you and your family go up and down, the stairs can get dirty quite quickly. If you’re not willing to clean the stairs every day, you should opt for hardwood floors.

In addition, the carpet can come loose from the stairs over time. You may need to replace a new carpet, and that can take time and money. If the carpet becomes loose, it may not be as safe as before.

What You Can Do

If you want to use carpets on your stairs, you can overcome these disadvantages. Some people have carpeted stairs and they love it. After all, carpet provides many benefits for the whole family. And it can be an easy option if you don’t want to deal with wood.

The carpet may not look particularly nice and can be hard to clean, but for many homes, it is an economical option. Here are a few ways you can overcome the major disadvantages of carpeted stairs.

Carpet Selection

If you’re concerned about safety, look for the right type of carpet. Loop carpets have the fibers in loops, and this type can be durable and smooth. Within this category, there are several different subtypes, including Berber, level loop, and multi-level loop.

Berber is likely the best type for stairs, as the others tend to have patterns. However, each of them can look good and be a good choice for your stairs.

You can also find cut pile carpets, where the fibers do not use loops. Saxony, textured, and frieze carpets are among the most popular types in this category. The first two offer dense fibers, making them more durable and avoiding the problems of high pile carpets.

Frieze carpets resemble high pile carpets and are not the best for high-traffic areas like stairs. So, keep this type as a last resort.

Regular Cleaning

You can also keep your carpets clean if you’re willing to spend more time on it. Run a vacuum over your stairs a few times a week to prevent it from getting too dirty or accumulating hair.

This way, you can keep the stairs clean and safe for your family. You don’t have to spend a lot of time cleaning it every day, but the more often you do it, the more it can help.

Assuming you’re busy or don’t want to clean your stairs as often, you can hire a cleaning service. You can inquire if the company offers customized services, so you can have someone take care of your stairs easily when you don’t have the time.

Advantages of Hardwood Floors

The biggest advantage of hardwood flooring is that you can save a lot of money by refinishing existing stairs. All you need is a new finish and the work for it. You don’t have to spend money on carpets or carpet installation and can do the refinishing in a few days.

Wooden stairs can also be a more aesthetic choice if your floors are exclusively made of wood. Although carpet flooring can be safer, it doesn’t necessarily look very good if everything around it is not carpeted.

Choosing hardwood stairs will also look a lot nicer if your floors are made of wood. You can choose the same wood to make your home more cohesive. It’s a small detail you may not always notice, but it can make things smoother.

Hardwood floors are also much easier to clean than carpets. You can use a broom and dustpan and can go much longer between cleaning the stairs.

Disadvantages of Hardwood Floors

If you need to buy a new wooden staircase, unfortunately, it will cost about twice as much as a carpeted floor. You’ll need to save a lot of money before you can buy a new staircase, or you may have to finance the purchase.

Hardwood stairs can also be much louder than carpet floors because nothing can absorb the sound. This may not be an issue in some homes, but it can be disruptive to anyone sleeping or working right next to the stairs.

And of course, hardwood floors can be hazardous. If you’re not careful, you can slip and fall on the stairs, and the wood can lead to a hard impact. You have nothing to protect or cushion you.

What You Can Do

If you want to have hardwood stairs because the rest of your home is made of wood or you simply want to revamp what you have, you can. The things you do with your home will always have disadvantages. The good news is, you can find affordable and easy solutions.

Hardwood floors have more disadvantages than carpet floors but can be a good option for aesthetic reasons. If you’re concerned about the downsides, such as safety, here are a few things you can do when getting hardwood stairs.

Use a Carpet Runner

You can use a carpet runner to cover each of your steps with carpet, leaving the wood sides exposed. This can be a great compromise if you want to highlight the wood finish but desire the added safety and noise reduction of a carpeted floor.

You don’t have to pay for all-new carpets, but you can treat the stairs as if they were. A carpet runner is an excellent choice for longer staircases or when you want something more durable on your stairs.

Once you’ve installed the carpet runner, you can leave it there until you decide to redesign your stairs. Plus, it may be easier to fix if the carpet starts to come up and away from the stairs.

Use Carpet Treads

Carpet treads are an even easier option than a carpet runner. You can buy the tread pieces at any home improvement store and install them yourself in a matter of minutes. The carpet treads fit on individual stairs, so they don’t have to follow the entire staircase up and down.

Carpet treads can be a good choice for shorter stairs. The treads work similarly to a carpet floor or a carpet runner but cover even less space on each step. This makes them easy to clean, and you can even remove the treads if they get too dirty.

You can replace one tread with a new tread, and that can be much easier and cost-effective than replacing the entire carpet or carpet runner. While carpet treads may not feel like carpet all the time, they are still good at adding traction and making your steps quieter.


Before deciding on whether your stairs should have carpet or hardwood floors, consider various factors. Of course, you may already have a preference. In that case, go with the option you desire as it will make you more comfortable.

However, if you’re still unsure which option to choose, you should research more. Think about everything from your current home to your budget to your family’s schedule. This way, you can make the best choice for your stairs.

What You Currently Have

Consider whether you currently have carpet or wood stairs. It is much easier to keep the same flooring than switching to the other option, especially if you currently have carpet. Chances are, the wood underneath is not in the best shape, so you would need to invest a lot in new stairs.

If you currently have a hardwood floor, refinishing is also cheaper than switching to a carpet floor. You can always add carpet treads or a runner to enjoy some of the benefits of carpeted floors without spending much money.

But if you want to switch, you should switch. You can consider some other factors to decide whether it’s better to keep the same flooring.

The Rest of Your Home

Most likely, you want your home to look good and cohesive in all public areas. And if there are stairs in these areas, the stairs should match the surrounding floors. So, if your main floor is made of wood, you may want to use wood for your main staircase.

But if you have a staircase that leads to a carpeted room or floor, you should use carpeting on those stairs. That can be a good option if you have a door that leads to the stairs going down to the basement. However, if the door is at the foot of the stairs, you can match the stairs to the floor above.

You can mix and match and have some stairs with wood flooring and others with carpeted floors. Consider how each looks in that part of the house to decide which is best there.

Overall Cost

Another thing to consider is how much the installation and maintenance of the stairs will cost. Carpet flooring is cheaper than wood but requires much more ongoing care. You need to spend more time vacuuming a carpet on the stairs, or you need to deal with more dirt.

On the other hand, wood can be a more upfront expensive investment. However, it doesn’t collect as much dirt, so you can go longer between sweeping. That can be nice if you have a full schedule and can’t afford someone else cleaning the stairs.

But hardwood floors can get scratched, so you may need to refinish or repair them more often. It will likely balance out eventually, so think about whether you can spend more money now to decide which flooring to get.

Maintenance and Cleaning

No one likes to spend time cleaning, and the stairs can be more challenging than many other spots in your home. Thankfully, you can run a broom and dustpan over your stairs and collect all the dirt and hair at the bottom. Cleaning hardwood is quite straightforward.

But if you’ll have to clean your carpeted stairs, you’ll need a vacuum. You’ll need to have an outlet nearby to use a corded vacuum or make sure you charge your cordless vacuum before deciding to clean.

Both options can require some planning, and it can be challenging to maneuver a bulky vacuum up and down the stairs. If you’re not ready for that, you may find that hair and dust accumulate on your stairs.

Tendency to Slip

Consider whether you or someone in your family has a tendency to slip on stairs. Maybe your spouse doesn’t have the best hips, or your kids like to run up and down, leading them to fall. Or perhaps you have dogs, and they’re not very careful on the stairs.

In that case, having a carpet floor or adding a carpet runner can be helpful. You may still fall, but you probably won’t fall as often as on wood alone.

If you never slip, you might prefer the benefits of wood. Hardwood floors can look elegant, so they can be a good alternative as long as you’re careful.

Sound Absorption

Consider where your stairs are in relation to other rooms. Are they right next to your home office or someone’s bedroom? If so, go to that room and close the door. Have someone walk up and down the stairs to see how much you can hear now.

Carpet flooring absorbs sound much better than wood. So if you can clearly hear someone’s steps, you should use carpet on those stairs. That way, you can focus on your work during the day or get a good night’s sleep.

But if your stairs are not right next to those rooms, you can use hardwood floors. You won’t have to worry about disturbing others when you go up and down.

Stair Traffic

Consider the foot traffic on a particular set of stairs when deciding on carpet flooring. You should look for more durable, shorter carpets that you can use on the more frequently used stairs in your home. This way, the stairs can withstand more traffic.

For example, high pile carpets don’t last as long as tightly woven carpets, although they can hide footprints. If you have a staircase leading to a bedroom or down to the basement, you can use high pile carpets there since you won’t be using those stairs as often.

But for the staircase between the main levels, you should choose hardwood or a more durable carpet. That way, the stairs will last longer and withstand more pedestrian traffic.

Who Should Choose Carpet Flooring?

You should choose carpet flooring for your stairs if you are prone to slipping easily. Carpet flooring is also a good option if the stairs are next to a bedroom or an office to muffle sound. You should also use carpets on stairs leading to a carpeted room or floor so that the two can match and flow well together.

Who Should Opt for Hardwood Floors?

If you’re not concerned about slipping on the stairs, hardwood can be a good option. It’s the better choice for homes with hardwood floors because it can tie everything together. Wood is also an excellent option if you don’t want to deal with the extra cleaning and maintenance of carpet floors.

Final Thoughts

Carpet flooring is the better choice for more stairs. However, wood can look much better and is easier to clean than carpet flooring. Consider whether your home has more wood or carpet floors and whether you tend to fall on your stairs. Then you can choose the right option for your home.

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