Safe and stylish covering options for stair treads and risers
Staircases come in many shapes and sizes – straight, curved, narrow, wide – and are often made from different base materials like wood, stone, or cement. So, naturally there are many options and considerations for covering your stairs for safety, longevity, and stylishness. This article includes common stair covering ideas and tips, including:
- Safety of stair coverings
- Stair covering comfort and durability
- Stair covering material options
You can get more insights from flooring expert Donna Teagle in her article: Hardwood Stairs You can LIVE With.
Safety considerations for stair coverings
When deciding on stair coverings, you should first consider safety issues that can occur with stairs. Wood, tile, or laminate covered stair treads can be very slippery when wet or polished, and carpeted stairs can have uneven surfaces, slippery spots, or loose areas that can lead to tripping.
And consider factors such as traffic on the stairs, location of stairs, and who will be going up and down. For example, if you have carpeted stairs going down to your basement and the basement floods, you’ll most likely need to replace the carpet to avoid mold. Wood stairs may be a better choice for basements but would need to be durable and non-skid if wet.
Choosing a safe stair covering material that is right for the job is important. But keep in mind that safety features such a non-skid surfaces, special finishes, and proper installation can be built directly into your stair coverings while still preserving the beauty and style you desire.
Stair covering comfort and durability
After considering safety, think about the comfort and durability of your stair coverings. While carpeting on stairs is quiet and soft underfoot, it can wear down and become stained over time. On the other hand, if you have solid wood stairs, they can be very durable, but may be noisier and more slippery.
Before deciding on a stair covering material, ask yourself a few questions:
- Are the stairs near bedrooms or quiet areas?
- Are the stairs in a high-traffic area?
- Will the stairs be exposed to the elements, excessive dirt, or possible flooding?
- Will young children, pets, or seniors be using the stairs?
Discuss your answers to these questions with your flooring consultant so that you can plan your stair coverings to meet your needs.
Stair covering material options
- Carpeted stairs – From fully carpeted stairs to stair runners, there are many options for carpeting your stairs. With carpeting, your stairs can match or accent your décor.
- Wood stairs – Solid wood stairs are a popular option that add long, lasting beauty to the staircases in your home. Wood is a low maintenance stair covering option that can use decorative safety options when needed.
- Laminate – Use of laminate floor coverings on stairs can provide an exact match to your surrounding floors. However, not all staircases are suited for laminate coverings. Discuss options with your flooring consultant.
- Tile – Using tile on stairs, whether ceramic, marble, or stone, can make a visual statement and provide a durable, waterproof stair covering solution. Special grouting can seal out water and you can choose from a huge variety of decorative tile flooring options.
- Cork – If you’re looking for a greener alternative to wood stairs, consider using cork flooring on stairs for a unique look and feel. Due to the softness of cork flooring, it is often combined with other materials to improve durability on staircases.
Want to learn more about stair covering ideas and options?
If you have any questions about selecting the right stair coverings for your home or office, contact Donna Teagle from Floor Coverings International Wheaton & Naperville. She’ll help find a solution that’s just right for you. Contact Donna at (630) 653-6100 today to schedule your free in-home flooring estimate.
We have a full range of flooring solutions for your home or office.