The question of whether to carpet your staircase or leave it bare has long been a topic of debate in the world of interior design. Supporters highlight the added comfort and safety that carpeting can bring, while detractors argue that carpeting takes away from the staircase's natural charm, requires extra maintenance, and wears down more quickly. So, the dilemma remains: should you go for carpets or embrace the natural look?
Here at Stairway Joinery, we're passionate about getting you the most out of your staircase. In the sections below, we'll walk you through all the potential upsides and downsides of carpeting your stairs. We'll also share some insights to help you decide what's best for the staircase in your own home. Let's get started!
Pros of Carpeting Your Stairs
- Safety: Carpeted stairs tend to offer better traction and reduce the likelihood of slipping or falling, especially in comparison to laminate stairs.
- Comfort: Carpeting adds a soft and cushioned surface underfoot, making the stairs more comfortable to walk on, especially for bare feet or in colder months.
- Sound Absorption: Carpeting helps to absorb sound, reducing the noise generated when walking up and down the stairs. This can be particularly beneficial if you have a multi-storey home.
- Insulation: Carpet can provide a higher level of insulation in your home, helping keep it warmer in colder months and potentially reducing your energy bills.
- Aesthetics: Carpeting can enhance the overall look and feel of your interior space. It comes in a wide range of colours, patterns, and textures, allowing you to match it closely to your decor.
- Conceals Imperfections: Carpeting can hide minor imperfections and wear on the stairs, extending their lifespan and reducing the need for frequent refinishing.
Cons of Carpeting Your Stairs
- Maintenance: Carpeted stairs can be more challenging to clean and maintain. They're susceptible to stains, spills, and wear, and may require regular vacuuming and periodic professional cleaning to stay in good shape.
- Allergens: Carpets can trap allergens like dust, pet dander, and pollen, potentially causing respiratory issues for individuals with allergies or asthma.
- Durability: Over time, carpeting on stairs can show signs of wear and tear, especially in high-traffic areas. This may necessitate replacement sooner than other stair coverings.
- Moisture Absorption: In areas prone to moisture or spills, carpeting can absorb liquids, potentially leading to mould, mildew, or odours.
- Aesthetics: Carpeting can conceal the natural beauty of your staircase, especially if it's made from high-quality hardwood or similar aesthetically pleasing materials.
How to Decide if You Should Carpet Your Own Stairs
If you've gone through the pros and cons discussed above but you're still not sure whether carpeting is the right fit for your staircase, there are a few other factors you should consider. Here are three of the biggest ones:
Type of Staircase
If your staircase was designed with practicality rather than aesthetics in mind, carpeting can be a budget-friendly way to give it a fresh new look without having to replace it entirely. This allows you to match your staircase with your decor while adding a cosy and welcoming vibe to your home.
On the flipside, if your staircase boasts beautiful hardwood craftsmanship, you might want to think twice about adding carpet. Installing carpet could potentially cause damage to the treads due to tacks and nail holes, especially if you plan to refinish and stain the stairs down the line.
Noise Levels in Your Home
Carpet works wonders in softening or even silencing the sounds of people and pets walking on wooden stairs. The padding it provides is effective at absorbing sound and preventing it from travelling, making it a much quieter option than bare wood.
However, if your home is already fairly quiet or if your staircase is tucked away in a less frequented spot – or if you simply like hearing the comings and goings on your staircase – then going without carpeting may be a better option.
Carpets tend to be a safer option than bare wood, especially for those who are more susceptible to falls, like children and older people. The textured surface of carpets makes them less slippery and provides extra cushioning in case of accidents.
On the other hand, carpets might not be the best fit if you or a family member deal with allergies or asthma. They tend to trap dust and allergens, which could make these conditions worse. You should also keep in mind that cleaning carpets can be a bit more challenging, which might be less convenient if you have mobility issues.
Why not Mix and Match?
If you want the benefits of carpet without totally sacrificing the elegance of your wooden staircase, why not consider a carpet runner? A fitted carpet runner will gracefully adorn your stairs without entirely obscuring the natural beauty of the wood beneath. This approach is well-suited for both softwood stairs – whether they are painted, stained, or varnished – and hardwood stairs alike.
By opting for a carpet runner that doesn't consume the entire width of the tread, you can showcase the craftsmanship of your wooden stairs whilst enjoying the added touch of warmth and sophistication that carpet provides. It's a choice that marries aesthetics with practicality, so you can embrace the best of both worlds.
Talk to the Experts in Timber Staircase Designs
At Stairway Joinery, we believe that the right staircase can make a world of difference in your home. That's why we specialise in crafting stunning, one-of-a-kind timber staircases that elevate both the look and functionality of your home.
With years of experience under our belt, we've designed, manufactured, and fitted premium hardwood and softwood staircases of all shapes and sizes – carpeted and non-carpeted, traditional and open riser, and so much more.
We'll work closely with you to personalise every detail, from the railings to the under-step lighting, resulting in a staircase that's truly unique to your home. Just look through our gallery to see the magic we can create!
Not sure which staircase design would best fit your home? No worries. We'd love to chat with you about your preferences, needs, and your current home layout, then suggest the ideal option for you. Alternatively, if you're just looking to spruce up your current staircase, our full conversion service can breathe new life into it without having to replace it entirely.