We’ve told you how to find the best carpet for your bathroom and talked about installing flooring in various parts of your home. Regardless of whether you prefer wood, luxury vinyl or carpet, stairs are by far the trickiest part of flooring to deal with in homes.
When choosing carpet for a home with stairs, there are a lot of factors to consider outside of the style itself. We’re going to cover those in our guide to the best carpet for stairs and tell you how different types of fabrics will hold up on your treads over time.
Covering your stairs with carpeting instead of using a runner or carpet treads can be a bold decision. While not the cheapest option, fully carpeted stairs look amazing when properly done, and you’ll no longer have to worry about slick stairs and socks. What you will have to worry about is durability, however, as the stairs in your home can take a lot of abuse.
The first stair in your home will take the biggest beating, but all of the stairs will suffer wear and tear if the staircase is used on a daily basis. There’s no perfect carpet for stairs, but nylon is pretty close as this resilient synthetic is engineered for high-traffic areas. With the right pile height and style, nylon carpet could outlast other styles by decades on your stairs. Wool is a great option as well, but expensive if there are a lot of treads that need to be covered.
Where are your stairs located? Depending on the layout of your home, they could be in an area that’s easily accessible to all or could lead to a rarely used space. Think about how often the stairs are used, and what type of foot traffic it sees on a weekly basis. Stairs leading to a finished attic used for storage may not see much action until the holidays roll around.
A cheaper fabric or style would work well for those areas, but if it leads to your child’s room and is close to the front door – it’s a different story. When you walk up those stairs with shoes or socks, you’re going to leave some things behind, and it won’t always be easy to remove.
Stain resistance is the most important area behind durability when shopping for the best carpet for stairs Unlike hardwood, carpet acts like a sponge when it comes into contact with dirt and debris. A dried leaf may pop off your foot on the first few steps and leave a few crumbles behind. Mud or other wet substances will continue to spread, however, and cleaning stairs is not as simple as spot cleaning flat floors.
Thankfully, it’s not hard to find stain-resistant carpet from manufacturers big and small. Whether you want polyester, olefin or nylon on your stairs, you’ll be able to find fibers that have been treated for stain resistance. StainMaster is an obvious option and great choice, but Shaw, Armstrong, and others have plenty of lines available as well. With that in mind, polyester is ideal for liquids due to its hydrophobic nature whereas nylon and other synthetics are treated to increase their stain resistance.
This is a tricky area as every style and brand of carpet we cover or recommend at Flooring Clarity has a warranty, and it’s something you should always keep in mind. Obviously, carpet with a strong warranty will last longer than cheap carpet, but with stairs things are not quite so simple. You may not have any coverage at all. That’s something to think about if you’re considering high-end wool for the stairs in your home.
They don’t really market or sell carpet that’s built for stairs, so you’ll need to dig into the warranty information for the carpet you have your eye on. Some styles do not offer any type of coverage for installation on stairs, while others may offer a degree of protection. Due to the abuse they take and factors involved in the installation process, carpet stair warranties are hit or miss depending on the brand.
Carpet Installation on Stairs
Unless you are experienced with carpet installation, carpeting your stairs isn’t something we recommend as a DIY project. The installation needs to be handled by a professional who can ensure the carpet stays tight, and you won’t take tumble down those newly carpeted stairs. Hiring a pro to handle the job may not be simple either if they are just doing stairs, not your entire home or other rooms. On average, you can expect to pay around $4.00 to $15.00 per stair for professional installation.
While that’s a wide range, the size of each stair matters along with the design of the staircase itself. Many installers will simply charge you buy the stair, but if you use a general contractor, it’s something they will likely sub out to another contractor that specializes in carpet installation on stairways.
If it’s a staircase that doesn’t get a lot of use, you can don’t have to break the bank to carpet your stairs, but you’ll want a top option if the treads see a lot of traffic. Nylon carpet with a short pile height is the best option for stairs that get heavy usage, and you can find some of the best carpeting for bedrooms by simply browsing the brand reviews on our site.