Deciding on the carpet type to be used on the stairs is quite harder than choosing a carpet for other rooms of your house. The primary reason for this is to choose the appropriate carpet material and color that matches your stairs. Therewithal, the carpet should have enough thickness and strength to be laid on the stairs.
You may need to use carpet on stairs due to many reasons. Safety is the primary reason to use stair carpets. In order to eliminate undesirable accidents, you can use stair carpets as protection.
Aesthetics is another reason to buy carpet for your stairs. You don’t want them to look bad. Even there is no problem with the look of your stairs, over time there would be wearing and aging. And instead of getting a new staircase, using a stair carpet is a smarter solution for sure.
Stair carpets are also important to prevent noise. Noise coming when you step up or down on the stairs will be irritating even if you don’t notice it early on. You can prevent this noise to some extent by using a stair carpet.
Table of Contents
- Overall Look and Type of Stair Carpets
- Stain Resistance of Stair Carpets
- Thickness of Stair Carpets
- Safety of Stair Carpets
- Durability of Stair Carpets
- Quality of Stair Carpets
- Orientation of Stair Carpets
- Some Important Details About Stair Carpets
- How to Calculate the Carpet Area for Stairs
- Installation of Stair Carpets
- Cleaning of Stair Carpets
- Best Stair Carpet Types
- An Important Detail: Scope of Warranty
- Stair Carpet Suggestion
- Other Flooring Materials for Stairs
- Recommendations on Stair Treads
Overall Look and Type of Stair Carpets
All kinds of carpets can be used on the stairs. Many people are worried about how the carpet looks like where it hangs around the staircase or how it should be cut at the beginning of the railing. First of all, you never see the back of the carpet even if you have a step ladder. Even the finest carpets do not look bad after being properly fixed to the ladder.
The carpet has a certain direction and that direction must move from the top of the stairs to the bottom (not laterally). This not only improves the performance of the carpet but also ensures a smooth wear. It also prevents you from seeing the carpet behind the stairs when you twist it.
Stain Resistance of Stair Carpets
If you are just looking for a carpet that will make your stairs safer, stain resistance is not an important criterion for your shopping. Because no eating and drinking will take place on the stair carpet. A dirt or stain can only result from slippers or shoes. However, if you have pets, you may prefer a thin carpet to prevent hair from sticking to the carpet.
Thickness of Stair Carpets
You may think that the durability of a carpet increase with increasing thickness. However, it is not necessarily correct. To be honest, fine stair carpet models are often more durable than thicker ones. Conversely, air used to fill the thicker carpets generally.
However, if you approach the situation from another point of view, in terms of suitability, the thickness becomes an important determinant. Still, a very thick carpet can be dangerous, because it acts as a ramp against your foot as you move down or upstairs. Very thick stair carpets will most likely cause you to slide down and hurt yourself, which you don’t want to experience.
Safety of Stair Carpets
Even though you have surfaces like laminate and wood, which are actually quite hard, using a stair carpet is also beneficial beyond aesthetics. Especially in the case that hard flooring material is used for your stairs, stair carpets can make sure you are safe. Because hard surfaces are dangerous and you can slide down without even realizing it. If you fall in such a case, stair carpet will minimize the chances of an unwanted injury since it is way softer than a hard flooring material.
Durability of Stair Carpets
Since the staircase is the highest traffic area of a house, it is very important that the carpets covering the steps are durable enough to withstand heavy traffic and still look good. So the carpet model you use in other rooms or in the corridors may not be suitable for your stairs. When choosing a carpet for the stairs, you should search for the highest quality model you can afford without sacrificing your preferred style.
Quality of Stair Carpets
The staircase is one of the most frequently used places in any house, so the wear resistance of a stair carpet must be really high. That is not only because of the continuous use but because the effect of foot traffic is more than flat surfaces due to the force of gravity as it descends from the stairs. This means that you have to use the highest quality carpet you can get.
Although a high-quality carpet means more cost, they need to be changed rarely, so you can save money in the long term. For more information, you can search the carpet models or you can get help from the companies that are interested in textile coating business.
Orientation of Stair Carpets
If you bend a Berber carpet backward, you can most likely notice the backing between the rows. This is called “smiling” in the carpet industry. Yet, most of the people doing this bending the carpet in a wrong way.
Loop rows of a carpet are stitched longitudinally on the roll. If you notice the smiling on the carpet, this is because you bent it sideways and cause the rows to go from side to side on the carpet. On the other hand, if you turn the carpet around to arrange the rows sorted from top to bottom on the carpet, you won’t be able to see the smiling effect anymore because the loops fold over the bend in harmony.
You should install the carpet on your stairs lengthways in order to arrange the loop rows run from the top to the bottom of the stairs. By this, you can prevent the smiling effect on the front side of the stair steps.
If you have open stairs (doesn’t matter if it is open on one side or both sides), and if the stair carpet wraps around the outer edge of the stair, using a Berber cut carpet may cause some of the backings to show. Because by doing this, you actually bend the carpet in the opposite direction. Still, if you get a high-quality Berber, you will not face this kind of problems.
You should install the stair carpet in a proper way so that the seams that connect carpet to the posts should not be seen very clearly. The type of carpet is also important in this context. Long pile carpets such as Saxony and Frieze hide the seams better than shorter pile carpets.
Some Important Details About Stair Carpets
Longitudinal beams are the side supports of the stair. In the case of your stairs are closed in, the longitudinal beam will reach out the wall at the same angle as the stairs. Should you cover this area with carpet or you would prefer to paint it?
It depends solely on your choice. Carpet with the longitudinal beams is purely aesthetic. It does not have any other use. If your stairs or longitudinal beams are unlevel, as with an older home or a rough self-job, you better should cover the longitudinal beam with a carpet, to help veil the defects.
In the contrary case, the appearance of the carpet on the beam could be considered somewhat older or outmoded. If you want to capture a more modern style, you should leave the beams uncovered, and paint them with the same color as the stairs.
Carpet Selection for Open Stairs
In the case of your stairs are open just on the one side, you can bend the carpet in two directions: from side to side over the side and lengthways over the front of the stair. In both cases, the smiling effect may occur on the side of the stair.
If you want to prevent your carpet from side smiling, you should choose a high-quality Berber cut carpet with large loops. It helps to cover the gap between the rows when you bent the carpet sideways. If a Berber carpet is of higher quality, it will have less space between the rows.
How to Calculate the Carpet Area for Stairs
Before installing a carpet on your stairs, you have to first calculate the carpet area you need to cover all over the stairs. Stair carpets generally consist of multiple pieces, so you need to pay attention to every detail when making your calculations.
If your home is not a custom made housing built just for you, which is generally not the case, there are certain standards that can apply nearly all stairs. In order to determine the type and sizes of your stairs, you should search all of the stair models on the internet and compare them with your measurements.
Stairs generally have 13 steps if they lead from the ground floor to the upper floor, and 12 steps if they lead from the main floor to the basement. After making calculations, you should pay attention to buy a little bit more than you have calculated, in order to handle possible errors during your installation.
First, you need to calculate the area of one stair step in order to calculate the carpet area you need in total. That is simple, you just need to multiply the edges of the step with each other. Then you should multiply the long edge and height of the step and add the two results you have found together. After that, multiply the number of steps your stair have, with the final result you have and you will obtain the carpet area you need for your stairs.
Installation of Stair Carpets
You can install a carpet on your stair by using 2 methods named as the waterfall method and French cap method. To apply the waterfall method, you need to simply bend the carpet over the edge of the stair and bring it straight down to meet the tread of the next step. Most of the new home builders use this method because it is a quick and convenient way to install a stair carpet.
The other method, The French cap, involves wrapping the carpet around the edge of the stair and tuck it beneath the lip, creating a contour to the shape of the step. French cap method requires more time and skill but it offers a special view that you and your friends can’t take your eyes off.
How to Install Carpet on Stairs?
There are rod models for stair carpets for installing as well as fixing. These tools also help your stair carpets look better. No matter what type of decoration style you want, you can use these tools since they can adapt any style.
Another tool is called as stair carpet bottom bars. These are decorative elements which can add an elegant look to your stairs. However, you should be careful to prefer products which will match your stair carpet model before you choose a bottom bar for your stairs. Otherwise, without harmony, it may not look as you wish.
You may also need some apparatus when installing carpet on the stairs. With above-mentioned tools, you can do the installation yourself without too much effort. You can generally install a stair carpet using a screwdriver and some screws. Still, some models may require different apparatus for mounting, so you need to check the operating manual or ask professionals.
Do It Yourself or Professional Support?
Unless you have some experience of carpet installation, you should definitely ask for professional help. If you can’t perform the installation correctly, you may harm the appearance as well as the functionality of your carpet. Stair carpets should be mounted by using anti-slide carpet installation methods. Or else, you will probably have safety problems.
You can prefer self-adhesive stair carpets for a safer and easier installation. Nevertheless, you should always remember that you can not make these carpets to fit every place. There are different carpet models for different styles. Before buying a stair carpet, first, you have to make sure if it suits your decoration style.
Cleaning of Stair Carpets
You can get a classic, an alternative or a modern decoration style thanks to the stair carpet models that will turn your imagined decoration style into reality. You should also pay attention to the cleanliness of the stair carpets that you will use for long years to maintain their stylish appearance of the first day.
You don’t need to remove and reassemble your stair carpets every time you clean them. However, the cleaning products of your choice should be compatible with the materials from which your carpet is produced. You may permanently damage your carpet if you use unsuitable and heavy chemical-containing cleaning products.
In addition, wiping carpets with excessively damp or wet cloths can shorten the life of your carpet or cause it to become unusable in a short time. When you use suitable cleaning products according to the model of your carpet, you can ensure your stair carpets to maintain their functional properties and to have high reliability.
Best Stair Carpet Types
Stair carpets help to prevent sliding and falling as well as protect stairs from wear and tear. Pets, children or even yourself (by moving heavy objects on them) can cause harm on the stairs and its covering. Due to the heavy foot traffic and high usage frequency, you have to choose the best stair carpet type that can resist everyday abuse.
Stair Carpet Type and Material Selection
Stair carpets labeled heavy domestic or extra-heavy domestic are more watchfully tested than other carpet types and would better handle the damages arising from the stair use.
You should prefer a carpet having good quality as well as an underpad which can protect the stairs and create a softer feeling for your feet. If your budget is limited, you should choose a high-quality underpad and an intermediate quality carpet, since underlay will help to protect your carpet a lot.
Wool is naturally flame repellent, and it has innate insulation properties. Besides, it is stain resistant so it requires less care and maintenance than synthetic fibers. In commercial spaces like conference halls and hotels where the foot traffic is dense, wool carpets are often used due to their advantages.
You may choose among the alternative sustainable, environment-friendly options like jute, coir, sisal or seagrass. But note that jute is less durable than the other alternatives, therefore is not a smart choice to use on stairs.
Synthetic fiber carpets are cheaper than natural fiber ones. In terms of durability, strength and stain resistance, nylon fiber carpets are generally advantageous, therefore most preferred. If we compare polyester with nylon, it is not that durable, but still has moth resistant, stain resistant and anti-allergenic properties.
On the other hand, olefin (also known as polypropylene) fiber carpets are also highly preferred for outdoor areas and basements thanks to their moisture resistant properties, but they are not durable as nylon fiber carpets.
Blended fibers, which are made from 20 percent synthetic fiber (mostly nylon) and 80 percent wool, have both the elasticity and warmth of wool, and durability of synthetic fibers. So, they can also be used on stairs.
Stair Carpet Piles
You should prefer a stair carpet having a low, dense since it can hide footprints as well as vacuum marks and not get flatten easily. Carpets containing looped fibers are woven, loop-pile and Berber cut carpets. High-quality carpets having heavier yarns and fibers as well as a tight weave can better handle the harms and damages caused by external factors. But, if you have pets in your home, you should better choose a twist pile carpet, which can withstand the claw strikes.
Deciding on the Stair Carpet Colors
Even stain resistant and very durable carpets can show stains and dirt as well as wear and tear in time. Dark colored carpets will show dust and fluff, where light colored ones tend to show stains and dirt. So, choosing a mid-toned carpet would be a smarter choice.
You can always prefer a single colored carpet but designed or multi-colored carpets also add your stairs excitement, life, and color as well as help disguise long-term use. You should consider the shape of your stairs before deciding on a carpet pattern as some patterns and colors will be hard to match stairs that are curled or have interesting designs. For more complex designs, you may better prefer a weave that involves many colors, as do most of the Berber cut carpets.
An Important Detail: Scope of Warranty
You should note that most of the stair carpets don’t provide warranty coverage. It may seem odd as most houses and apartments have stairs, but manufacturers often exclude stairs from the carpet’s scope of warranty.
However, nowadays much more carpets provide warranty coverage for stairs. If you are worried about the protection a warranty can provide, then you should ensure that the stair carpet you choose actually cover stairs as well.
Stair Carpet Suggestion
The best option for a stair carpet is the one which meets all of the criterion mentioned above as appropriate thickness, stain resistance, durability and warranty coverage. So how can you decide which carpet is this?
I cannot say that this carpet is best for the stairs but I can recommend you the Mohawk SmartStrand collection. As far as I know, all of these carpets have excellent stain resistance properties as well as warranty coverage for stairs. Furthermore, there are many styles available which are high-quality in terms of durability and thickness. With a good selection and proper installation, a carpet can create a great look on the stairs.
Other Flooring Materials for Stairs
We often see stairs in our homes, workplaces, hospitals, schools or shopping centers. The staircases we see can sometimes be concrete, wooden or PVC. Stair flooring materials should be selected according to the structure, cycle, and shape of the stairs. Metal paint for scissor roof stairs, PVC pavement or glass for modular staircases and wooden flooring for U shaped stairs should be preferred.
The prices of stair flooring materials may vary according to the type of stair. While carpeting or plastic coating is affordable, the special design of wood can be much more expensive accordingly. In hospitals and schools (where silence is required), mostly PVC coating and plastic coating is used and sound insulation is ensured.
Since the stair flooring materials are different from each other, we should take care when we buy cleaning materials as well. For example, while we should wipe the plastic coating with a surface cleaner, we need to clean the wood or parquet with parquet cleaner. Plastic coating, concrete overlay and similar materials are more affordable than others, as well as they are more useful. Although it is the most expensive, wood is the most vulnerable flooring type against impact.
Recommendations on Stair Treads
As with every coating, the stair tread materials also vary according to the type of the stair. Therefore, the type of stairs must be known first. For the stairs, if the carpet coating is considered the cost would be relatively low. At the same time, colors and patterns should be selected in accordance with the decoration, so that integrity can be provided.
Plastic coatings are the ideal choice among stair treads. They are hygienic thanks to their easy cleaning. In addition, practical cleaning methods can be applied to them easily.
Wooden stair coating is a bit more costly than other coatings. Yet, wooden treads are durable and long lasting. Over time, wear, scratches or deformations on the wooden floor can be renewed by polishing. If the wear on the wooden floor is excessive, it can be dyed with professional help.
PVC Stair Treads
PVC flooring is an ideal floor covering for floors with heavy traffic. It is highly resistant to pitting, abrasion and, above all, tearing after laying on the floor. Thanks to its closed cell foam base which is one of the most important features of PVC flooring, it reduces the effect of noise, softens every step and provides quiet environments. In addition to the sound reduction feature, it also has electricity absorption properties.
Pvc stair coating application takes a long time and should be done very carefully. The stairs and steps to be covered must be smooth. A little more attention should be paid to the stair covering compared to the floor covering, so there should be no labor-related errors. The PVC stairs can be used immediately after the coating application. PVC coatings don’t require polishing or maintenance.
Their cleaning and maintenance are very easy, effortless and at the same time, they are quite cheap. It can be wiped with a damp cloth. It is stain resistant and does not contain germs. The prices of the stair coverings vary according to the PVC you choose. Many color options are available. PVC floors are also very resistant to scratching and heavy foot traffic.
Wooden Treads on Concrete Stairs
Cold concrete stairs can be covered with wood to look warm and aesthetic. Stairs covered with wood have a more attractive and natural look, giving you and your surroundings peace of mind. The staircase coated with wood increases the value of your space. Thanks to the solidness of the concrete and the wood, you will have a staircase that is durable and can be used for many years without requiring any repair.
Before you have your wooden flooring over the concrete stairs, the screed must be smooth and flat, because it must be on the balance when coating, so that you can get an efficient result. For this reason, the company to cover your stairs should consist of experienced masters and use high-quality materials. Stair construction is a work that requires labor and diligence, not for one-time use, but for many years. Your staircase is not just a building but also a part of your house’s decoration.
You can make your stair coated with wood in the desired color and tree, and you can use it as matt or polished. If you prefer to use light shades in a dark place where your staircase is not getting so much light, you will get a more spacious and bright look.
If you wish, you can make stair railings from wood, stainless steel or wrought iron. You can decide which materials are suitable for your home or workplace, each with its own unique beauty and character. For example, lovers of modern style have their railings made of stainless steel, while classical lovers prefer to use wood or wrought iron.
Laminate Flooring on Stairs
Of course, everyone knows now that laminate coating is more robust and healthy in every respect. Laminate coatings can be seen in all kinds of structures. They are now used not only in the bedrooms and living rooms but also in the most humid places like kitchens and bathrooms. Laminate is moisture resistant and does not contain microorganisms.
If the flooring of your home or workplace is made up of laminate flooring, you can complete it by coating the steps of your staircase so that you can achieve color compatibility and a better view. The resulting color harmony will provide a stylish and elegant appearance and peace of mind. Have you just made your house stair built and the cold concrete look uncomfortable? You can have laminate flooring with special wood glue on top of this concrete staircase.