What to do with stairs?

krycek1984September 16, 2010

Hey all. I wasn't quite sure where to put this, but I figured I'd ask here since my house was built in 1910!!!

The stairs to the outside are stumping me. As is typical of most older homes up here, the house is actually about 3-4 feet off the ground. So, there are stairs going from the main floor to the ground level, and then the ground level to the basement. The ones going from the first floor to the second are carpeted.

What do you all think? I could put carpet going down the stairs, and then the stairs to the basement, but is it silly having the part of the staircase that goes outside be carpet?

I can put laminate slate down...love real slate but it won't work on those stairs (we would need to put mortar on the stairs then apply the tile).

I can't put hardwood down because it would not match the rest of the house.

What do you all think? Any ideas?

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A plan or photo would help a lot.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 7:57AM
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Hi Krycek, I am assuming that in your house, like mine, the stair case is L-shaped with the longer part going down to the basement? Mine are right under my main staircase, which is the same L, with the shorter leg finishing the run to the second floor.
My main stairs have a runner all the way up--I didn't want to cover up my dust corners. :) For the other staircase, I did the same runner down the short leg and stopped it on the landing going to the outer side door...the long leg going down to the basement is just painted since carpet would be hard to keep clean coming up from there.
From the pics you posted in another thread, my woodwork is the same shade as yours! I need to do some porch work, but it's complicated by the fact that my columns aren't round--they're square and fluted!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 2:15PM
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What a beautiful house columbusguy!!!! Our porch columns are square, too.

Unfortunately I can't do carpet runners because the stairs going upstairs are full carpet not runners so it would look odd. My main choices are to paint the stairs, us vinyl tile that looks like slate, or carpet it.

I'm hesitant to use the slate vinyl because 1.althrough the main floor is natural material...hardwood, granite floor in kitchen, and ceramic in powder room. would it be odd to use vinyl tiles then on the stairs? and 2. the treads are not completely level...the pic below will show.

Here are the pics! Don't mind the kitty, he wanted in on the fun! From 2010-09-16

The stairs going to the outside, slightly different view: From 2010-09-16

Stairs to the basement. These are just original wood, no tiles (not hardwood though):
From 2010-09-16

Here's the edge of one of the treads, it's a little rough:
From 2010-09-16

This is the part going to the basement. You can see there's been some wear and tear over the years:
From 2010-09-16

So whatch ya'all think?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 2:45PM
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Thanks Krycek, I'll try to post a few pics soon.
When I moved in, my main stairs had rubber squares down the centers which were just nailed...the rest of the treads are very dark original varnish. I took those off and did an oriental runner, mitering it at the landing where the stairs turned 90 degrees to continue their run.
The stairs to the side door had similar rubber mats, but the continuation to the basement has always had paint. My treads are very like yours, but the front edge is rounded over. The runner I did on the top section to the side door has an equal size exposure of wood on the sides and at the base of the side door--I terminated it with a piece of the side border and it looks okay after 20 years.
I have used vinyl squares in my kitchen and pantry, and it is now time to take them up. They are peeling off at the edges, and some have indentations where the stove sits on them. Also, no matter what it says, they do not maintain a sheen after 15 years. Removing them will be a pain as the flooring underneath must come up too--I figure at least two layers of linoleum before I get to the original wood.
In your case, I'd recommend carpet for the upper part, and paint for the lower section.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 4:05PM
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Thanks for the advice columbusguy. I think that is what we'll do - carpet the stairs leading to the outside, and then just paint the stairs to the basement. I think on the landing to the outside we will spring for the slate tile (I want it so bad!!!!!!!!!!!!! somewhere!). Like I said, there is no "fake" material in the house so I would feel odd about just putting vinyl tiles.

We do have wood laminate upstairs but I don't consider that "fake" really, it looks almost real!

Thanks for taking the time to read my post! And do make sure you post more pictures!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 9:44PM
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Krycek, I just wanted to mention about those vinyl tiles..they look identical to the ones we used in our old house...from Home Depot..made by Traffic Master...Beige Slate color? I loved them, AT FIRST. They wore HORRIBLY and they didn't stay put either.. I know you are veering away from the vinyl tile idea, but..... if you are tempted to use them anywhere in your house, I would NOT at all recommend them...for anywhere.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 10:45PM
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