Should I Carpet My Stairs? Pros & Cons

Carpet can be used not only on the floors, but also on the stairs in your home. It can create a cozy atmosphere, decorate your house and absorb unnecessary noise. But carpets also have their disadvantages, like dust-collecting, so you have to weigh all the pros and cons of having a carpet on your stairs before making a decision. Let’s find out.

Should I carpet my stairs? You should carpet your stairs because carpeted stairs are safe, non-slippery, quiet and warm. Carpeted stairs are easy to care for and affordable. Carpet will create a cozy atmosphere at home and decorate any interior. However, carpet on the stairs is not the most durable material, so you will have to replace it every couple of years. The carpet also collects dust, requiring frequent vacuuming.

These are the main points to consider when choosing a coating for your stairs, but let’s dive into more details.

Pros & Cons Of Having Carpet on Stairs

Pros of Carpeting Stairs:

  • Stairs are safer with carpet. Carpets make the stairs non-slippery which prevents your chances of falling. Carpets make the surface of the stairs smoother. You can walk barefoot or in wet slippers on carpeted stairs and you are a lot less likely to twist your ankle or fall. This is especially important if there are children or elderly people in the house.
  • Carpet absorbs noise. Whether you are wearing heels or walking barefoot, no one will hear the noise. Carpets have excellent sound insulating properties.
  • Carpeted stairs are easy to care for. All you need is a vacuum cleaner or a broom.
  • Carpeted stairs are warm. Even if the stairs are made of concrete or stone, carpet will give the warmth because it has good thermal insulation properties.
  • It is easy to carpet the stairs. You do not need to call the specialists to carpet your stairs.
  • Carpets for stairs are fairly durable. Such carpets have a dense structure where he pile is attached to the primary base, followed by the fixing layer and the secondary base. These carpets are characterized by increased wear resistance, making it ideal for covering any surface, including stairs. Of course, no carpet will ever last as long as ceramic tiles do, but they can last up to 10 years, if you choose a good-quality dense carpet.
  • Carpets will protect the stairs from scratches and other mechanical stress.

Cons of Carpeting Stairs:

  • Carpets get dirty quickly. The material, although breathable, collects dust very quickly and will have to be vacuumed often.
  • Fragility. With high traffic, the coating wears out quickly.
  • Allergies. If you choose a natural carpet, you can be allergic to it. Natural carpets can also get insects.
  • Prices. The range is very wide depending on the composition and manufacturer. Cheap polyester and acrylic options won’t last more than 5-6 years.

So, is it better to have carpet on stairs? Yes, it is better to have carpet on stairs because it will protects the stairs from the mechanical stress, create a cozy atmosphere and give you pleasant tactile feelings. Good-quality dense carpets will last long and reduce your chance of falling thanks to their non-slippery surface. But do not forget to vacuum the carpet once a week to keep it clean. 

Choosing Carpet For Stairs

What carpet is best for stairs? Polyamide or polypropylene carpets are best for stairs because they are durable, easy to maintain and hypoallergenic. They will not collect dust as much and they will not get insects and fungi. The side adjacent to the staircase must be made of rubber or other refractory material. At the same time, it should be non-slippery and smooth. Carpet with a high pile is not very suitable for steps. It stretches poorly and is hard to install. 

Natural or Synthetic Carpet For Stairs?

Modern carpet manufacturers offer a wide range of carpets and rugs, which are made from natural or synthetic materials. But a carpet for a staircase differs in a number of characteristics from a carpet for a living room or bedroom. The main difference is that it must be stronger, since it experiences heavy loads every day.

A natural wool carpet makes the interior luxurious, elegant, but it is expensive and does not last long. Coatings made of synthetic materials, in contrast, are more durable, less accumulate dust and are easier to clean from dirt. An alternative can be a carpet made from a mixture of woolen and synthetic fibers.

Carpet Materials For Stairs

Wool. It can be partially or completely natural (in this case it will be more expensive). It is highly durable, easily dyed in different colors, lasts a very long time, especially if it contains artificial components (for example, 20% nylon). The disadvantage is the rather high price.

Nylon is a synthetic fiber based on polyamide. It does not stain, is durable and affordable.

Polypropylene is another man-made polymer that costs even less. However, do not buy the cheapest carpet because they are likely to be thin and not durable. Good-quality polypropylene carpets are durable, affordable and hypoallergenic. They are easy to maintain and to clean from any dirt.

Light or Dark Carpet For Stairs?

Many people prefer to buy a dark carpet for their stairs. And their choice is clear: a dark canvas is more practical, the spots on it are less noticeable, and it seems that it stays clean longer. You rarely see a white carpet or beige on the stairs. Usually they are chosen if the floor is dark. The striking contrast of floor and carpet helps to “refresh” the interior. Yet, light gray shades are more common.

What is the best color carpet for stairs? Dark grey, beige and brown colors are considered to be the best and the most practical for stairs. These colors will fit perfectly into any interior and create a cozy atmosphere. They will also make the room look more spacios and they do not get dirty as much. Do not choose white or very light carpets for the stairs since it is the area with high traffic. 

However, when buying, it is worth considering the peculiarities of your home, in particular the width of the stairs. A light carpet will make it visually wider. Cold shades can not only make the staircase visually narrower, but the staircase space itself more gloomy.

With or Without Patterns?

When choosing a carpet for a staircase, you should also consider the way it is attached. If rods are used, then the carpet runner does not need to be cut into separate parts, which means that the need to “adjust” the pattern disappears by itself. In this case, you can buy a carpet with a geometric print (stripes, rhombuses, squares).

If the canvas is attached with glue or double-sided tape, if the carpet needs to be laid on a turning or spiral staircase (its steps are usually different in width), then the canvas will have to be cut into pieces corresponding to the length and width of the steps. The desire to maintain the integrity of the drawing can lead to additional costs. In this case, it is better to give preference to an abstract pattern or a plain carpet.

When choosing the carpet material for the stairs, it is worth looking for products labeled “for stairs”. This material is stronger and more durable. Appearance is also important. Carpet finishing of steps should correspond to the general style of the room and be combined with the interior.

It is better if there is no wool in the composition. This is because such material, for all its environmental friendliness and naturalness, gets very dirty, attracts dust to itself and is difficult to clean. In addition, such a coating will not be durable. It will quickly begin to rub off, lose its elasticity and appearance.

The side adjacent to the ladder must be made of rubber or other refractory material. At the same time, it should be non-slippery and smooth. Carpet with high pile is not very suitable for steps. It stretches poorly and is difficult to install in the stairs.

What Size Carpet Do I Need for Stairs?

The width of the carpet you need for stairs should be the same as the width of a step. If your staircase is wooden and you do not qant a carpet to hide its appearance, choose a narrow carpet. If you like it better when the entire step is hidden under the carpet, measure its width in advance.

Is it hard to install carpet on stairs? Installing carpet on stairs is not hard at all. Pre-cut the carpet in accordance with the size of the tread and riser. Dissolve the glue, stir and apply to the concrete surface with a spatula. Carefully lay the carpet, aligning all edges precisely, and press down.


I am passionate about making my home a better place and I want to share all my knowledge with you.

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