Carpet & wood on stairs - what can be done here?

tammywApril 20, 2014

We are in escrow with a house and will immediately need to redo all the floors. We originally wanted to do hardwood throughout the house, but the floor guy came and said that to put new wood on the stairs, we'd have to hire a guy to come and remove the railing and put it all back, and that it can be incredibly expensive.

So now we are trying to figure out our options. It seems that to keep the project at a reasonable cost, we should just replace the carpet with another carpet. I thought I'd post to ask for advice.

Picture should be included here.

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lazy_gardens

Live with it a while, then put a new "runner" on the stairs.

If that's the house, I wouldn't mess with the floors. They look GREAT!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 10:34AM
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tammyw

lazygardens - thanks for your reponse! You're right, in the pictures the floors do look great (realtor photos are like that, lol!) In person, they are a mess though and have a lot of places in the kitchen that have buckled with water damage. They definitely need to come out. The carpets are also in awful shape with stains and bleach spots all over. We want to redo them before we move in because they are such a mess.

On the stairs currently, the wood is only on the left side, not on the right, so it's not really a runner we'd need to use, but actual carpet. Well actually, the bottom couple stairs have the wood on the right side, but that's it.

This post was edited by tammyw on Sun, Apr 20, 14 at 10:40

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 10:37AM
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palimpsest

You could refinish the existing stairs to match the new floors.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 11:26AM
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weedyacres

Making the stairs all wood will definitely be much more expensive than just replacing the carpet. If you're budget constrained, then you should just recarpet.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 7:51PM
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tammyw

Thanks for all the advice! We really wanted to do wood, which would have been affordable for sure, except that our wood guy said he thought it would cost an Additional $15K to hire a stair guy (not including the cost of redoing the stairs in wood), and that's just way too much for me to justify!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 11:48PM
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snoonyb

" that our wood guy said he thought it would cost an Additional $15K to hire a stair guy "

If you are retaining the same architecture.

However, why not shorten the balusters and install a bottom rail, solving the problem for you, and the next owner.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 12:20AM
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tammyw

snoonyb - Thank you for the response. Would you happen to have any pictures that would help illustrate what you are suggesting? I don't understand what you are proposing, but it sounds promising!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 12:28AM
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snoonyb

Here is a link to the code adaptation, photo no. 38 illustrates;

http://www.jself.com/stair/StairCodes.pdf

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 10:44AM
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Trebruchet

tammyw:

Who says you must put wood on the stairs and that the wood must be seamless?

You could probably come up with a solid surface, stone, or wood insert that could be easily installed without removing the railings.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 8:02PM
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rantontoo

Have you pulled up the carpet...what is under it? How are the balusters attached to the wood stair tread now?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 9:30PM
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tammyw

Thanks for all the advice so far. What's under the carpet is what's typically under carpet on stairs (I wish they had done all hardwood stairs and just put carpet over top!)

I think we might just stick with carpet to keep the price on track. We are also redoing the kitchen completely, so this is going to get expensive. Adding a bunch more money into the stairs probably isn't wise.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 2:47PM
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annkh_nd

I agree with Treb - I don't think it would be inappropriate to replace the treads that are under the carpet (I assume particle board - that's what mine are) with solid wood tread that fit between the wall and the wood ends. If you use a distinctly lighter colored wood for the treads, it will look intentional. I'm afraid trying to match the existing wood would be really hard, without refinishing the ends (and that would be expensive).

Carpet on stairs is going to get dirty, is hard to clean, and gets a lot of wear. Eventually it needs to be replaced Solid wood stair treads will last the life of the house. Wood may be more expensive up front, but I think it would be a good investment, especially if you plant to stay in the house a long time.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 1:32PM
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