Covering the stairs with new carpeting is a great way to protect a newer home and strengthen the condition of old home stairs. But if you don’t know what you’re looking for, how are you able to make the best possible decision? If you’re stuck between the choice of stair runners and full-on carpeting, there are a lot of different factors to take into account. While some homeowners may love the versatility and ease of certain stair runner styles, it’s hard to deny how luxurious it can be to feel the underfoot padding of a fully-carpeted staircase. Every home is different, and it’s always helpful to keep things like climate, style, and maintenance into account. For instance: If you’re not going to spend the extra time to get your carpet dry cleaned with Rainier Chem-Dry, overall carpeting might not be the best choice for you. If you’re torn between these two carpeting styles, here are a few easy ways to determine what carpeting method works best for your unique home environment.
Runners are Easier to Clean
High on the list of the many benefits of carpet runners is their ability to be easily vacuumed, swept, or removed for easy cleaning. While overall carpeting protects the underlying wood or laminate material better by allowing for no gaps, runners are perfect for homeowners who want to protect their staircase while showing off some of the natural wood or material underneath the lining. When it comes to cleaning, of course, it’s much easier to remove a long strip of fabric to treat a stain or send it to the dry cleaners than it is to have to aggressively spot treat every direct area of a stapled-down full area carpet. Fuller carpets are also prone to having crumbs and bits of dust and dirt collect in the cracks where the stair footing meets the “stringer.” That said, if you’re concerned about keeping your stairs in absolutely pristine, untouched condition, overall carpeting may be the best option.
Carpeting Works Best for Cold Climates
Runners are perfect for providing that extra bit of protection and absorbing unwanted creaking sounds. However, when it comes to actually making your home warmer, overall carpeting is just about as good as it gets. As long as homeowners choose the right material for the job (not too thick, but thick enough to prevent slipping and increase heat retention) overall carpeting can do wonders for keeping a home temperature controlled, especially in a harder-to-heat area like the space between the first and second floor or the space leading up from the basement. Just like wall-to-wall carpeting provides a good amount of thermal energy, overall staircase carpeting can create a toasty feeling underfoot if the right material is installed. For homes in hotter climates, however, a runner could be the perfect option to decrease home heat and keep things airy and dry.
Carpeting Can Be Less Hazardous
Hardwood floors are beautiful, but they can also lead to some nasty spills. While falling on the floor might not be that serious for most people, tripping on the stairs can end up creating some nasty and painful bruises and could even end in a fatality in certain situations. If you’re living with an elderly person who needs more support, the difference between a carpeted staircase and a non-carpeted one could be huge. While runners can provide a good grip on the stairs, they can also lead to tripping if they’re not stapled down or secured in the right way. Conversely, if a stair’s overall carpeting is too thick, it could end up doing the opposite of its intention and increasing the possibility of a slip and fall.
Considering the Rest of Your Home’s Flooring Can Help
Both overall carpeting and runners can be great additions to your home staircase, helping to enhance style, keep everything safe, and help out with temperature control. If you’re truly torn between the two options, a great way of figuring out what’s best for you is to think about what the rest of your home looks like. Do you have a lot of exposed wood? Are you fond of showing off your hardwood floors? Do you like being able to see the flooring beneath your furniture and area rugs? If so, you might want to opt for a runner that will allow you to see and admire your hardwood flooring. However, if your floors are not finished or you’re simply fonder of wall-to-wall carpeting, choosing an all-over carpet for your stairs is the perfect option.