Apparently, the staircase had not been built on site and was designed without a center support or stringer. This left the hardwood guy scratching his head, struggling to find a way to install the new treads. He eventually figured it out, but a job that was estimated to take 3 days, actually took two very long weeks. Fortunately, our home has a back staircase or we would have been sleeping in the living room and taking sponge baths in the half bath. |
Fast forward to the present and Iâ€™m itching to replace the carpet on the back staircase, now. That staircase leads to an upstairs family room/bonus room thatâ€™s casually furnished with antique pine. Over the years, Iâ€™ve been gradually replacing the carpeting in my home with hardwood flooring. This prompted a discussion with my current flooring contractor over whether I should add hardwood treads to the back stairway. The answer I got? No Way! Apparently, they have encountered the sneaky stringer-less stairway before.
When we choose carpet for stairs, our quest will become a sort of elimination process. The question, when carpeting stairs, is not so much what's the best style of carpet for stairs. Rather, the question is which styles to avoid. At that point, we can choose from the styles that remain.
Let's begin our carpet-for-stairs decision with a basic factor: Are the stairs a high traffic area, or not? If not, we can widen our options and place virtually any sort of carpet for stairs in a low traffic area. (Or for that matter, we can do without carpet in the first place.) But for the purpose of this article, we will assume that we're discussing carpet for stairs that are frequently used in our home.
The first style we will want to scratch from our carpet for stairs list, in our process of elimination, is saxony or plush. Ah, yes, the soft and deep and velvet feel of saxony is just wonderful for a master bedroom, a little-used formal living room, or maybe even a dining room. But saxony carpet for stairs? Not only will we see footprints and vacuum marks, but saxony on stairs simply is tacky in the first place.
If we don't want saxony, then we probably don't want want cable either when we carpet our stairs. Cable doesn't look as gaudy as saxony, but still it can crush and matte, even though cable doesn't show footprints as readily. If you want cable on your stairs but you want your stairs to look good, be prepared for frequent vacuuming.
A looped style of carpet, often advertised as a berber, may seem like an ideal choice when we carpet our stairs. The loops are highly durable because the yarn tips are not exposed, and they are visually pretty because each loop stands out. A solid color is attractive in a berber style, and so are flecks and patterns. But beware: A berber on stairs may make the seams stand out in an undesirable manner, and the berber's backing may become more visible.
Our remaining options are textured, frieze and cut and loop. We likely would do best with one of these three when we choose carpet for stairs. Textured offers a cut pile with yarn twists that alternate to show two tones, and provides a casual look. Frieze, also with cut pile, is the most durable. Cut and loop is the best if we're looking for patterns rather than plain colors. Any of the three would make an excellent choice.
Also keep in mind that regardless of the carpet style, the carpet pile should go up the stairs to help prevent the chances of slips and falls.
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