What are the highest traffic areas in your home? Doorways, stairs and landings top the list. Many folks who prefer hardwood floors still choose carpet for stairs and landings.
Hardwood is beautiful and durable– but also noisy. Adding carpet to your stairs can bring peace and quiet. But choosing carpet for your stairs differs from other areas in your home. Looks and style are essential, as are safety and durability.
Do I Need Carpet on My Stairs?
Carpeting your stairs makes sense for several reasons:
- Stairs are one of the noisiest spots in your home–especially if you have kids. Carpet softens the sound of all those footfalls on hardwood.
- It protects your hardwood in a high-traffic area.
- It’s easy to replace or repair if damaged.
- It offers softness and warmth on the feet.
- It can cushion minor falls, boosting safety on the stairs.
- Stylish carpet adds aesthetic appeal to your stairways.
If you love the look of hardwood, you can choose a carpet runner that leaves exposed wood on either side.
Carpeting your hardwood stairs does have a few downsides:
- It can make stairs slippery, rounding the edge of the tread (the walking surface of the stair) and making it harder for your foot to grip. But, wood stairs are also quite slippery!
- Thicker carpet reduces tread depth, leaving less room for your steps to fall safely.
- Carpet attracts dirt in high-traffic areas and needs regular cleaning with a handheld vacuum.
What Kind of Carpet is Best for Stairs?
Quality and durability are at the top of the list when choosing carpet for your stairs. Other considerations include:
- Soil resistance to prevent ground-in dirt from all those footfalls.
- Thick carpet can be a safety hazard because it reduces tread depth. Remember, thickness isn’t always an indication of durability. Low-pile carpet is the best choice.
- Invest in a carpet pad to protect your hardwood and extend the life of your carpet.
Excellent choices for stairs include:
- Berber is tight-looped, durable and easy to clean.
- Wool carpet is soft on your feet, resistant to crushing and luxurious. Wool has a higher price tag but is worth the investment for many homeowners.
- Mohawk SmartStrand is another excellent option for stairs. It’s durable and easy to clean and is a favorite in high-traffic and frequently used areas. Made from plant-based polymers using state-of-the-art technology, SmartStrand offers permanent stain and soil protection, resists crushing and wear and is the perfect thickness for safety and comfort.
What Color Carpet Is Best for Stairs?
When choosing carpet for stairs, you generally want a color that hides dirt and stains. Of course, you also want the right shade for your hardwood. Neutral colors often work best, with popular options including gray, dark blue and shades of beige and brown. Understated patterns can add flair and help hide dirt.
Should I Hire a Pro To Install Carpet on My Stairs?
When installing carpet on your stairs, you need to consider safety and aesthetics. You want clean lines, a perfect fit and no loose spots. There are two main methods:
- The elegant French Cap (or Hollywood) method involves wrapping the carpet around the edge of each tread and stapling underneath.
- The simpler, more casual waterfall method uses a single strip of carpet running down the stairs without tucking under the tread.
High-quality installation involves skill and specialized tools for:
- Cutting carpet to fit the stairs and around railings.
- Wrapping the tread in French Cap installations.
- Stapling to the risers.
- Pushing carpet into the seam where the tread meets the riser for a smooth and polished look.
The experts at Loudoun Valley Floors can help you choose the best carpet for every area of your home. We know that covering stairways presents unique challenges and requirements. We also love helping our hardwood floor fans choose options for stairways that will protect your investment and bring a cozy, quiet vibe to your home.