Stairs are one of the most frequented areas of the house. In fact for anyone going up and coming down them, the placement of the foot is, by default, on the same place for every step he goes up or comes down. Hence those areas tend to experience maximum wear and tear. However no two steps suffer the same kind of damage due to use with the lower step suffering the most. Hence it makes practical sense to cover them up with a carpet.
However, carpets are delicate and much more fragile as compared to other flooring materials like wood, stone, ceramic, glass etc. Hence they tend to wear faster when used in areas inside the house which experience heavy traffic. But there are ways and means to overcome this problem and have carpeted staircases too.
Care must be taken to remember that carpet warranties never cover stairs. Hence in order to choose a carpet for the stairs, the following features have to be kept in mind, both for practicality and aesthetics. The features are:
- Berber or shag: Shag carpets are heavenly to walk on. They feel good underfoot, are available in multitude of colours and designs and help to protect any surface that they cover. But they are not a good option for staircases as they are not durable enough to withstand heavy wear and tear.
Berber on the other hand has low fibres which are also very densely woven with a low pile height. This makes them super suited for areas such as the staircase since they:
- Are durable and inexpensive enough to be put in high traffic areas
- Can repel debris and dirt much more effectively than shags
- Matting of carpet which is a general phenomenon in high traffic regions is scarcely visible in them.
- Colour: Opting for darker colours makes it possible to hide dirt, debris and stains which can be a common occurrence due to the frequent use of the carpets lining the stairs. In fact dark coloured carpets also tend to disguise the presence of missteps, thereby increasing the longevity of the carpets used on staircases.
- Quality: Taking into account the fact that the staircases are one of the most frequented areas of the house, the carpets chosen to cover them must be of the best quality available. Even though it would be initially quite expensive, the durability of the same evens out this initial cost in the long run. It also saves one from the frequent hassles of re-carpeting or finding methods to undo the damage suffered by the carpet. But care must also be taken to ensure that the carpet installed is not of a very thick variety since
- Thick carpets are slippery
- They cannot be wrapped around the edges properly.
- Using runners: The use of runners over carpeted regions which experience heavy footfall like the stairs is an option which, if explored, definitely gives value for money in the long run. It not only protects the carpet from damage but also adds to its beauty on the stairs.
Choosing the perfect carpet for staircases can be a tricky matter but it is not too difficult to find one. Paying attention to small details like the ones mentioned makes it much easier to weigh the available options and choose the best carpet for the stairs.