An attractive set of stairs can be a great addition to a home. A stylish staircase can be a focal point especially if they’re well-maintained. Hardwood stairs with an inviting banister make for a fabulous and appealing feature. Yet even with the charm of an elegant staircase, many folks still wonder whether or not a rug will make a fashion-forward addition to the stairwell. Even with a rug pad that is meant to prevent slips, a staircase rug isn’t always the best choice, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on the idea of an area rug accentuating the lure of a chic staircase.
Options for Stair Rugs
Accent rugs bring warmth and coziness to a space. If you want to inject the comfy appeal of an area rug into your stairwell, think about placing an accent rug at the foot of the stairs or utilizing a runner in the hallway leading up to the staircase. A runner can also work well in the foyer.
An accent rug in either of those places will add to the effect a staircase offers. Be sure to choose an accent rug or runner that complements the look and feel of the staircase as well as the surrounding hues. For example, for a traditional hardwood staircase stick with a classic accent rug or go vintage.
Benefits of Stair Carpeting
Believe it or not, carpeted stairs have more accidents than wooden ones. It may seem as though hardwood is more prone to slips and falls, but most falls happen on carpeted stairs. This is not to say that stair carpeting doesn’t have its advantages. Putting carpeting on a staircase can cover a multitude of sins. A carpeted runner on a staircase is an alluring option if the staircase is unattractive or noisy. Some stairs are not constructed from hardy materials that are thick enough to absorb sounds.
Homes with children may want to consider carpeting the stairs to numb the noise of excited feet running up and down. Carpeting the stairs may also end up being a more cost-effective option than replacing an entire staircase. Stair carpeting ramps up the comfort level of a staircase too by giving feet a toasty stop for the toes to walk on and it does make for a softer landing spot than hardwood if a fall does happen.
Stair Carpeting Cons
Coziness, style, and noise reduction are most definitely pros for carpeting a staircase while the dangers of falling remain a drawback. It may seem as though a hardwood staircase encourages slips and spills, but as previously stated the opposite is actually true. More falls occur on carpeted stairs because a carpet on the step reduces depth perception as people make their way down the stairs.
The altered state definitely seems to encourage more falls, but carpeting does provide a cushion when tumbles occur. Understandably, the risk of falling is more prevalent on the way down than when walking up a set of stairs. Certain carpeting materials while attractive are also not well suited for steps. Thicker carpets, shag, and those fashioned from natural materials like jute or sisal do not make for ideal stair carpeting.
Stair Carpeting Choices
Installing carpeting on stairs is often more expensive than putting wall-to-wall carpeting in a room because of the labor involved. Many carpet installers charge by the step or have a block price for a set of steps. Since steps are almost always a high traffic area in the house it is important to choose a higher quality material for stair carpeting as well as for the rug pad. Like with any accent rug or carpeting, invest in a rug pad for stair carpeting. Rug pads help to prolong the life of any area rug or carpet.
Pretty much any style carpet will look fabulous on a staircase provided it fits in with the overall decor of the home. Form choices typically involve a waterfall technique where a continuous runner is installed and runs from top to bottom. The waterfall design works on stairs that do not have noising or a section of a tread that sticks out past the riser. Another stair carpeting option is the cap-and-band. Here two pieces of carpet are cut and placed on the tread and on the riser instead of one long piece that runs the length of the staircase like with a waterfall.