Stairs, Stairwells, Carpet, Tiles and Timber Flooring

By Greg Vanden Berge

Rule number one, any flooring materials that surround your staircase should be durable. All flooring areas leading towards the stairway and even the stairway itself will be high traffic area. These areas will be used often as people walk to and from the stairway, up the stairway and into the hallways upstairs.


This is only my personal opinion and it might not be shared by everybody, but I like carpeted staircases. Carpeting reduces noise and controls dust. If you currently have a wood staircase, you could always install a carpet runner or stair tread carpet pads.

Carpeting could also provide you with additional traction. Other types of flooring can create safety problems for your family and others. Don't be fooled, four of my family members slipped down a stairway that I built in our home and it was carpeted.


If this is the look you want, you're not going to have much of a choice. Tile is definitely durable, long-lasting and works great in high-traffic areas. However, even though it lasts a long time, we need to look at a few of the problems we could encounter in the future.

Tile is slippery when wet and if you're walking down a tiled stairway with a little moisture on your shoes, socks or bare feet, you could find yourself in a slippery situation. Ceramic tile can create safety hazards, it used as a stair tread or step covering.

Timber Flooring

Like carpeting and tile, timber flooring comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and patterns. If you're really looking for a rich and elegant look, wood flooring is the way to go.

Your stairway is usually a decorative centerpiece in your home. It's like an elegant piece of furniture and if you could imagine, what an elegant piece of furniture would look like, covered with carpeting or tile, you probably have a pretty good idea what I'm talking about.

Woods looks nice, but can be slippery when wet and doesn't wear well in high-traffic areas.

Don't forget to ask your local flooring representatives for additional information. If you're planning on installing tile in your stairway, new carpeting, wood or even tile, try to find a knowledgeable flooring representative and start hammering them with questions.

I'm not suggesting that these people are going to have the best advice of the worlds, but between this article and a few other opinions, you should be able to figure something out.

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