Carpeted Stairs with Hardwood Floors??

kfagan113August 30, 2011

Help! We are putting in hardwood floors throughout our house, but because of the set-up and structure, we have to leave the stairs carpeted. Any tips on how I can make this look nice, instead of having it look like I cut a corner? Any pictures would be greatly appreciated! Oh, and my house is a Cape and we are going for a cottage/beachy look. TIA!

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mitri89

Almost all of the houses around here that have wood floors have the stairs carpeted, even new construction. Here's ours...

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 6:25PM
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sidney4

I also have hardwood floors and carpeted stairs. I opted for carpet on the stairs because we have small grandchildren and I thought it would be a softer landing in case they fell. I never even thought about it looking like we cut corners ...it just seemed more practical. It seems to look OK, though.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 6:35PM
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joyce_6333

Same here. Alot of people told me that it was outdated, but I'm not much of a trend setter. Like Sidney, I have lots of grandchildren, and didn't want anyone slipping in their stocking feet. And its ALOT quieter!! Not a great picture, but you get the idea.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 6:45PM
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chocolatebunny

Same out here - even new construction has carpeted stairs with hardwood floors. Most of the homes by me are less than 15 years old. Here's ours:

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 6:58PM
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amj0517

chocolatebunny - can you tell me what color is on your walls? It is very nice.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 9:09PM
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kfagan113

These all look great!! Thanks so much for your feedback. I feel much better now!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 9:26PM
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avesmor

We built our house last year, and have carpeted stairs with hardwood floors & landing. Actually, we have a carpeted/tile top floor (bedrooms, laundry) and hardwood middle floor.

We could have done hardwood stairs, but at the time our DD was not quite 2 so we knew we had years & years of at least one little one going up & down and felt carpet would be safer.

I don't think we'll ever put in hardwood there, but I would eventually like to replace the regular carpet with a heavy wear one.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 9:43AM
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chocolatebunny

amj0517 - the wall color is Sherwin Williams Ivoire (or is that spelled Ivorie?). I really like it.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 4:33PM
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blfenton

We just did a whole house reno, without cutting corners, and our stairs are carpeted with hardwood flooring everywhere else. Our 100% Australian wool carpeting cost more than our hardwood per square foot. It never dawned on me that some would consider it cost-cutting.
We put carpeting on the stairs because both of our mothers are in their 80's and we felt it was safer for them than hardwood.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 4:51PM
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work_in_progress_08

Our entire first floor is hardwood. We tried to live with the steps without carpet, but found that it was difficult for the dogs, particularly my older guy to make it up and down the stairs without slipping. It was loud as well which didn't please me either. Also, installing carpet on the stairs helped quiet down the sound of trips up and down on the hardwood stairway.

We have carpet (berber - wheat color) on the second floor, bedrooms and hall. After trying to live with the hardwood stairway, we decided to just continued that carpet down the steps. Thankfully, we had enough carpet left from the new carpet installation of the upstairs bedrooms and hallway to do the steps. I only had to pay for the labor!

Although I like the look of hardwood stairway, it was not at all practical in our home.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 4:54PM
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gail618

Don't know if this would appeal to you but since you're going for a beachy look, you can get natural fiber runners for stairs - sisal, coir, etc. You can order them online and it is supposedly quite easy to install them yourself.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 6:45PM
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cooperbailey

we also have an old home with the original hardwoods throughout -including the stairs. we had a runner made from karastan beige berber carpet- easy to clean, wears like iron, and it has a casual feel to it. With kids and dogs we knew we would always want carpeted stairs.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 8:42PM
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Samantha111

Some carpets can be slippery too. I've taken a tumble that way. Maybe it's the synthetic ones. Does anyone have fully carpeted stairs or are they all runners with exposed wood to the sides? I thought that was what was being asked. Runners seem to be popular around here. I've always loved the look. I have known some people who have switched from the fully carpeted stairs to oriental runners. Maybe a traditional solid color plush pile carpet would be thought of as the more dated way of carpeting stairs?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 10:23PM
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kfagan113

I sincerely hope I didn't offend anyone by using the term "cut a corner". Our original plan was to pull up all of the carpet and put down hardwood everywhere, including the stairs. We have since learned that the way our stairs were built, we cannot put hardwood over them at all and rebuilding a staircase and finishing it just isn't in our budget. While I had planned to have a runner on the stairs anyway (I have a 20 month old and I think it would be safer), I just was wondering what the full carpeted stair would look like. Thanks to all of your suggestions I have found some beautiful pictures of "stair carpet" that I know would look great. But if anyone has experience with a type or brand, I'd love to hear about it! Thanks again.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 10:52PM
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Samantha111

If the pictures are online could you post them or the link? I know full carpet was done in some very nice homes around here in the past but am not sure what the new builds are doing.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 10:59PM
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Samantha111

I'm also curious how your stairs were built that they can't have hardwood put on them.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 11:01PM
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blfenton

Our stairs are fully carpeted with no exposed hardwood.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 12:09AM
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kimiko232

We have carpeting on the stairs too. The rest of the floors are all wood. What I was thinking of doing was running all the carpeting down it and let a little of the wood show. I don't know if that will work for you. We can't put wood all the way across, so I thought that we might be able to fudge in some wood with carpet or seagrass covering up a little of the wood. Not sure if will work in real life either. :)

Another thought of mine is that we have a black banister and hand rail... We could paint the stairs black (with white) to match and then run the carpet down it. That way you can't see the nasty pathetic wood that is down. And, I can keep the runner which we need with two kids.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 12:12AM
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kimiko232

Whoops, forgot the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: stairs with wood

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 12:23AM
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leahcate

Cooperbaily, may I ask about berber with dogs? ( sorry to intrude here, but no e-mail for CB). When my dog is happy she often rolls around and scratches at the carpet. I'd love a tight weave berber-like carpet, especially on stairs, but fear I'd have torn loops here and there, and so I'm forced into having a cut-loop pile. Hope this isn't a total hijack? Thanks all.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 1:35AM
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sable_ca

Safety first and to heck with trends. Personal story: On July 1 I tripped on the concrete stairs of the out-of-state motel where we were staying and broke my leg. The bone itself has healed decently, cast is off, but am in my sixties (no osteoporosis) and am in a wheelchair now due to severe pain in my leg and back when I walk (which I do try to do, for exercise). Looks like the chair will be in my life for quite awhile. Meanwhile, my orthopedist has forbidden me to use stairs at all for the next several months (we have eight stairs going up to our front door!). I will never look at stairs the same way.

I would put the safest material on the stairs; if that would be a certain type of carpet or runner, then go with that.

Please don't write to wish me well, absolutely not looking for sympathy here, am fine, and Do Not Want To Hijack This Thread! I just want to emphasize the places in the home where safety must come first!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 3:13AM
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oakleyok

Sorry Sable, but I am so sorry you hurt yourself! OUCH!!!

I don't have stairs in our house but did grow up with them. We had hardwood with carpet on the stairs.

I fell all the way down them in brand new shoes because the shoes were still slippery on the soles. Both heels broke off during the fall.

I would still prefer carpet though, but no matter if there's carpet or wood, there is always a chance for someone falling. Falling down carpeted stairs isn't as painful as the hard wood. But it can still hurt. :)

Nothing is fool proof regarding stairs.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 6:03AM
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ttodd

I have often wondered about this. For 11yrs. in fact - I want carpeted stairs (leopard pattern is a dream!) but I couldn't ever figure out how it might look. So glad you posted!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 8:06AM
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avesmor

As mentioned above our stairs are carpeted, but I know we do have some hardwood toward the ends. I'll see if I can get a pic tonight. I do know the carpeting is on the (can't think of the name, vertical pieces between treads) and butts up against a hardwood landing. We also have hardwood transition pieces.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 12:09PM
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leahcate

Forgot to say that wood stairs are probably less slippery than carpet....depending on what's on your feet. Socks only are baaad on wood stairs. Stairs may be less slippery with non-slippery shoes, but I always felt the fall would be less harmful with the padding of carpet.
Heal fast, Sable...appreciate your input.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 1:01PM
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