When deciding whether to install hardwood or carpet on stairs, there are a few things you should definitely take into consideration. Both can be stylish and functional, but which is right for you? We’re here to get down to the details to help you make up your mind. Here are some factors to consider:
Carpet is the Safer Choice
The adage ‘better safe than sorry’ definitely applies to stairs. When it comes to safety, carpeting wins the debate hands-down. If you’ve got small children or elderly members of your family using the stairs often then carpeted stairs is recommended. Hardwood floors can become dangerous if there is anything spilled on them. If you do trip or fall, hardwood will cause more injury than carpet.
Winner when it comes to safety: Carpet
Cleaning and Maintenance of Hardwood Flooring and Carpet
Carpeted stairs will obviously accumulate more dust and dirt than hardwood. Carpet also won’t last as long as hardwood and will need to be replaced frequently. You’ll have to get out the vacuum and give carpeted stairs a good deep cleaning about once a week. On the other hand, all hardwood stairs need is a good sweeping and mopping, maybe even a swipe with a damp towel. Hardwood also doesn’t collect allergens like carpet. One downside is that you may find some splintering over time.
Winner when it comes to cleaning and maintenance: Hardwood
Noise Reduction with Carpet
Carpets naturally absorb sound. If you have children, pets or need some insulation against loud music, then carpet may be the way to go. Over time, wooden stairs may also start to creak which might irritate some home owners. For all of you light sleepers, this could be the deciding factor between hardwood or carpet on stairs.
Winner when it comes to noise reduction: Carpet
Cost: Hardwood vs. Carpet
Overall, hardwood costs about double what you’d pay for carpeting. If you have original hardwood flooring on your stairs then it might be a good idea to just refinish them and save on costs. If your mind is made up and you want to go with carpeting, keep in mind that quality carpet can be expensive. You definitely get what you pay for when it comes to carpeting. You will also have to hire a professional installer.
Winner when it comes to overall cost: Tied
Return on Investment with Hardwood
Nowadays, new homeowners appreciate hardwood over carpeting. This isn’t to say carpeting is bad but industry trends point to higher resale value with hardwood. As a general rule of thumb, the better condition your hardwood is in, the higher the value of your home. If you do choose to install new carpet, consider using low-pile carpeting, which is easier to clean than high-pile carpeting. And take the color into consideration, especially in high traffic areas like the staircase.
Winner when it comes to investment: Hardwood
Ultimately the choice comes down to you and your lifestyle. If you really can’t decide whether to install hardwood or carpet on stairs, then you can always go with a carpet runner and have the best of both worlds! The good news is, you can always change your mind down the line and that’s the beauty of home renovations!