Installing carpet on stairs is one of the simplest ways to improve the look and accessibility of your home or business. If you’re considering a renovation, you might already have that perfect plush carpeting picked out for your stairs. However, not every staircase will be ideal for carpeting and, likewise, some carpets are better suited for staircases than others. Find out what to consider when choosing a carpet for your stairs, along with other potential alternatives, to make the right choice for your home or business.
Is Installing Carpet on Your Stairs a Good Idea?
Carpeting can muffle the clacking, creaking, and bumps in the night from your staircase. As it absorbs the impact of traffic that would otherwise wear away the bare wood, a carpet can also improve the lifespan of your stairs. Carpeting can also make traversing your stairs more comfortable and can lighten the blow of any fall. In addition, a layer of carpet can improve the aesthetics of your stairs.
What Types of Staircases Should or Should Not Have Carpet?
Simple, wooden, builder-grade stairs are the best candidate for carpet installation, especially if you have pets or children in your home. Avoid installing carpet on hardwood, stone, or concrete stairs, as the carpet can ruin them or detract from their aesthetic value. Stairs with narrow treads or the actual platform you would stand on also make poor candidates for carpeting. The additional carpet can further reduce the area you have to step and removes grip from the edges, which can make them more dangerous to use.
6 Excellent Types of Carpet for Stairs
Generally speaking, dense, low-pile carpets are best suited for the high-impact conditions found on stairs. Carpets with piles under three quarters of an inch and a 35 to 40 oz face weight, a measure of density, offer padding and traction, while looped styles can be too slippery. Industrial-grade carpeting is a popular option for staircases in homes, due to its greater resilience.
Bulked continuous filament (BCF) carpeting, made from a single continuous thread, also offers greater durability than staple carpets, which are made of numerous smaller fibers bound together. While synthetic carpet materials are a popular option for stairs, natural fibers can also be suitable in some instances.
If you’re thinking of installing carpet on stairs, check out the following types to choose the right one for your home or business. Many carpets are made of combinations of these fibers and can take advantage of their combined strengths while reducing the cost of using natural fibers. No matter what your lifestyle or business needs are, there’s a carpet out there that’s perfect for you.
Nylon is the go-to material for anyone installing carpet on stairs, thanks to its numerous advantages. Carpet made of nylon is renowned for its strength and durability and can resist becoming deformed from heavy foot traffic. Nylon is also resistant to staining and is easy to spot-clean, which are important features to have in carpeting that may easily attract stains from dirt, spills, shoes, or other sources. Those looking to save money on carpeting will also be attracted to nylon’s affordability.
Polyester is highly affordable and resists stains better than many other fibers, including nylon and wool. Polyester is also soft and very inexpensive, making it a popular carpeting choice for new homeowners. However, it can deform faster than other fibers, meaning it will likely need to be replaced after a few years of use on a staircase.
Polypropylene, also known as olefin, is a synthetic, water-resistant material that’s often used in outdoor environments. Polypropylene is also noted for its durability and its ease of cleaning, making it a great option if you’re looking for a low-maintenance carpet. It can be used to mimic some types of natural fibers, making it an affordable alternative to them. However, it may flatten faster than other synthetics or natural options.
Wool is a popular staircase carpeting option for those looking for the warmth and textures of natural fibers. It’s also tough, durable, easy to clean, and maintains its texture even in high-traffic conditions. Wool is a good choice when you want to add some natural elegance to your home or business. However, wool alone is expensive, so it’s typically blended with synthetic fibers, often in an 80/20 mix, with wool making up the smaller part.
Sisal is a tough natural fiber made from the spiky agave plant and is an increasingly popular material for stair carpeting. Sisal is highly durable and can hold up to large amounts of foot traffic but performs best when placed on top of a soft underlayment. It offers great traction and has a rough texture that could offer the look you’ve been searching for. However, it doesn’t offer any cushion, which is something to consider before you buy it.
Renowned for its softness, cotton is a natural fiber that is popular for carpeting staircases. Cotton is easy to clean and affords a high level of comfort, but it can fade easily and is easy to stain. While it’s fairly uncommon to see cotton on its own in carpet, it’s a popular material for rugs. Cotton can be fairly expensive, making it a common practice to blend it with other more affordable fibers.
A stair runner is a strip of carpet that runs the entire length of a staircase but only covers a portion of it. These can add a dramatic accent to a staircase and are a popular carpeting option for stone, hardwood, and concrete stairs. Stair runners can be installed in the waterfall style, a relaxed look that secures the carpet at the base of each stair but leaves some material loose. In the more form-fitting Hollywood style, the stair runner is “shrink-wrapped” along the surfaces and corners of each riser and tread.
The Next Best Thing
If you can’t install carpet on your stairs but still want it in some capacity, you could add an area rug if there’s a landing on your staircase. If you’re looking to achieve a more consistent look through your home, you could use the same carpet for each level. You may also lay down individual rugs for each tread on your staircase. Since this option may be more affordable overall, it may enable you to afford a more expensive type of material.
Interested in Installing Carpet on Your Home’s Stairs?
If you’re interested in installing carpet on the stairs in your home or business, contact Elite Flooring today . We can help you identify the right carpet for your needs and can guide you to stair runners if they’re a more appropriate option. With over 30 years of combined experience in serving home and business owners from our Las Vegas, NV and St. George, UT locations, we can help you find the carpet that offers the durability, comfort, and beauty you’re looking for.