Flooring for Stairs

If you’ve recently moved into an older house with plans for renovations, or are building a new one from the ground up, you might be faced with finding the right flooring for different spaces in your home.  And, spots that often get overlooked until the last minute are the stairs.  This isn’t surprising, as choosing the right flooring option for a stairwell can be quite tricky.  So, whether you’re tearing up dingy old carpet or installing a fresh floor, there are many things to consider before you make your decision:

  • Are the stairs indoor or outdoor?
  • Is this a permanent or temporary (3-5 years) decision?
  • Are the stairs hidden or exposed?
  • Who will be using the stairs the most?

Outdoor stairs and indoor stairs vary greatly, for obvious reasons.  When considering outdoors, it’s best to stick to stones, pavers, molded cement and other patio-like options that can withstand the elements.  When indoors, comfort and warmth-under-foot quickly move to the top of the priority list. For this reason, high-quality carpeting and finished hardwood are both popular choices.

Another factor to consider is the longevity of the stairwell.  If you have plans to tear your house down and rebuild in five years, then it might not be wise to spend thousands of dollars on a durable flooring that’s guaranteed to last (that would be a better option for permanent flooring). However, most homeowners are looking for permanent solutions, making it a little easier to spend more for a better product. Engineered hardwood, and stain-resistant Berber carpet are both great choices.  

Homeowners should also consider where their stairs are located in the home.  Some homes feature a grand staircase that opens up into a living space or foyer.  In this case, aesthetic also carries weight, along with dependability and comfort.  Typically, these stairs will use traditional or engineered hardwood flooring, stained to be consistent with the features in the rest of the home.  It’s not uncommon, however, to see two different floorings that have been paired to create contrast and additional design element.

Lastly, comfort and safety are both concerns when finding the right flooring to use on steps of any sort.  High-quality carpet options are popular with families, as it’s much softer when walking or climbing up the stairs.  But, if your heart is set on hardwood, installing carpet stair treads or roll runners could be the perfect middle ground.

It’s not always easy to find the perfect flooring for all the nooks and crannies in your home.  Luckily, your local flooring professional can help!  Our trusted flooring professionals carry some of the best brands on the market and are well versed in all things flooring.  Use our search tool to find a carpet or hardwood flooring dealer near you!