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Is Hardwood or Carpeting Best for Stairs?

carpet flooring

Both carpeting and hardwood flooring are popular choices for stairs, but you may want to spend a little extra time considering the advantages and disadvantages of each in this area of your home. A Las Vegas flooring company can help you sort through the pros and cons.

Choosing Hardwood

Hardwood is a beautiful flooring choice for a home. It has a clean, classic, modern feel and can be long-lasting and durable with proper care. Here are some of the key pros and cons for this choice of flooring for stairs:


  1. Fewer allergens: Hardwood stairs do not collect as much dust or pet hair and are relatively easy to clean.
  2. Appearance: Hardwood provides a rich, high-quality appearance to a home, especially if the rest of your home is hardwood.
  3. Consistency: Hardwood stairs may be a good selection if the rest of your home has hardwood flooring because it provides a more cohesive look.


  1. Safety: Hardwood stairs can be slippery and uncomfortable to fall on, which is an important consideration, especially if you have small children, elderly family members or pets in your home. If you insist on hardwood stairs, you may want to add stair treads to provide a non-slip surface.
  2. Damage: If you own pets that scratch, you may find more damage to hardwood stairs than to carpeted stairs.
  3. Noise: Hardwood stairs can creak and fail to absorb noise.
  4. Cost: Hardwood generally costs twice as much as carpet; however, this cost can be mitigated if you have original hardwoods under carpet that can simply be refinished.

In Choosing Carpet

Carpeting is a popular, inexpensive floor choice that comes in a wide variety of colors, textures and piles. It’s often soft and comfortable, providing a homey feel throughout. Here are some pros and cons of carpeted stairs:


  1. Safety: Although it’s never fun to fall down stairs, carpeted steps provide traction and a softer surface to land on. Select a low-pile carpet to minimize tripping on stairs.
  2. Noise: Carpet typically absorbs 10 times the amount of sound compared to hardwood floors. If you have sound-sensitive family members, this could be an important consideration.
  3. Cost: Carpet is much less expensive than hardwood to install, even with the fees of a professional installer.


  1. Allergens: Carpets can hold a great deal of dust, pet dander or other debris, causing indoor air issues. By selecting a low-pile carpet and high-quality vacuum, you will have an easier time cleaning them.
  2. Wear: If you have heavy traffic on your staircase, you may want to consider a densely woven carpet fiber to reduce matting and make it easier to clean.

Consider your priorities before making a final flooring decision for your stairs. By taking these considerations into account from the beginning, you’ll be happier with the end result.