Carpet or Hardwood on Stairs | Wooden Floor Upstairs?

A lot of people prefer to do a hardwood floor throughout the home. There are many benefits to this such as making the home easier to clean. Carpets tend to cling to the dirt and other things that come across it not only making it more difficult to clean but it also tends to make carpet dirtier overall. This can cause the home to have a dirtier look and feel than if wood flooring was chosen.

So if the home is filled with hardwood flooring, what about the stairs? Should a homeowner choose the same type of materials as the rest of the house? For homeowners, it is usually important that the whole house flows nicely together so switching up the materials used on the stairs may not be a favorite choice among homeowners.

Here is some information to consider that can help during a transition when deciding if replacing the floors on the staircase is the next home improvement project.

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Choosing Wood Flooring for the Stairs


A huge factor for many homeowners when it comes to renovations in the home is what the cost will be. Homeowners typically have a budget that they prefer to stay within. If the home has original hardwood, choosing to refinish this rather than installing all new flooring could be an option that would save money.

If the home doesn’t have original hardwood, deciding what to do from there could all be dependent on the cost. Wood flooring is about double to cost of carpet. This is something to consider when trying to decide on a material for the staircase. It could be a compromise to choose carpet for the stairs if money is a large factor and is isn’t in the budget to continue with the wood on the staircase.


Wood floors are definitely a more low-maintenance option. It is easier to clean up the dirt off of the hardwood floors than it is off of the carpet. Just sweep up the dirt, or vacuum if the vacuum is hardwood friendly, then do a quick mopping if necessary and the flooring will look as good as new.

Placing a wax over the flooring and buffing with a clean towel as often as every couple of years is another way to help the floors look new again. This also makes them last longer and helps them to not need replacement as frequently.


When deciding what type of materials to use for the stairs, safety is a large concern. While the hardwood can make the home look more modern, it may also be slippery, which can be incredibly dangerous. This is especially the case if socks are being worn, as they won’t provide any traction at all.

A way to improve the safety of wood flooring for the stairs is to use stair treads. These are non-slip pads and can be installed right onto the stairs for added safety. This will give traction to a person if they running, or even walking, upstairs and downstairs and aren’t paying particular attention to making sure they don’t slip.

Choosing Carpet Flooring for the Stairs


Carpeting costs less than wood flooring to install but a professional typically needs to be hired to install the carpeting. It can be a more difficult task to install carpet over hardwood alone, which can add to the cost of the carpeting and is an important factor to consider into the cost.

Carpet also does need to be replaced more frequently than hardwood flooring if the homeowner wants to keep it looking new and fresh. This can add to the long-term cost of using carpet rather than using wood.


Using low-pile carpeting, which is thinner rather than thicker carpeting, will be an easier to clean solution if deciding on carpet. It won’t cling onto dirt, debris and allergens as easily as a high-pile carpeting would.

A high quality vacuum is also needed to make sure that all dust and allergens are getting vacuumed up. A carpet cleaner should also be used, as stains show up frequently on carpeting, especially if there are children and pets in the home.


Carpeting on stairs will give good traction when compared to hardwood flooring. It also provides a softer fall in the event that a fall or slip does occur.

Changing the flooring? Choosing between carpeted stairs vs wooden stairs vs a runner

Asking the experts is something that is important when it comes to making decisions like this. Deciding on what type of floor when it comes to the staircase is an important decision.

When deciding to replace the flooring, if oak floors or any other type of hardwood is something that is most desired but safety isn’t something that is wanted to be compromised, a runner is a great choice. View the pictures of the staircase with a runner and a separate rug on the landing to see if this might be the best solution!

The video can be seen here.

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If the home has wooden floors upstairs and downstairs, choosing what to do with the stairs themselves can cause stress. If the flooring on the staircase is currently carpet, going from carpet to hardwood could be pretty costly.

On the other hand, using all wood on the staircase could cause many more falls and injuries. How to compromise could be choosing a runner rather than complete carpet or complete hardwood. This will not only provide a safe solution for the home but will also help to tie the stairs in better with the rest of the home, providing a modern and tied-together look.

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