Floor Covering Ideas for Stairs

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Floor Covering Ideas for Stairs
Enhance the durability and aesthetic value of your home's stairs with a covering. (Dougal Waters/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

When updating the interior of your home, begin with areas that are readily seen. Paint walls, rearrange furniture, update fixtures or replace carpeting. But don't forget about transitional areas, such as hallways, foyers and stairways. Regardless of whether they are made from concrete or hardwood, try to preserve the life and beauty of the stairs inside your home.

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Carpeting

One advantage to covering stairs with carpeting includes the material's versatility. Carpet comes in many colours and textures. It is also available at different prices, suiting any homeowner's preferences and budget. Because carpet possesses the ability to absorb noise, installing carpeting over stairs offers a decorative way of soundproofing a stairway. However, when carpet is installed in a high-traffic area, including busy stairways, it requires regular cleaning. Similarly, carpeting located in high-traffic areas also wears down faster because of constant pressure from passersby. Carpet also attracts dust, which can be a disadvantage for individuals suffering from allergies. In these cases, place a plastic runner on top of carpeted stairways to protect the material and preserve its longevity.

Vinyl

Like carpet, installing a vinyl cover over stairs offers a high degree of versatility. Available in many colours and patterns, vinyl has the capacity to suit any decor However, unlike carpet, vinyl can resist stains well and can be wiped clean, in most cases. A thick vinyl covering offers more durability than a thinner sheet, but ultimately the homeowner decides which suits his or her budget and needs best. Its low maintenance level makes vinyl an excellent option for homeowners who cannot invest much time or resources into regularly cleaning the material. One disadvantage associated with vinyl is that it may become loose if it isn't fastened to the stairs properly. When installing vinyl over stairs, add a metal strip along the edges. The metal should prevent the material from peeling away from the stairs.

Ceramic

By installing ceramic tiles over stairs, homeowners can enjoy the luxurious appearance without having to worry about damage. Because ceramic tiles are not damaged as easily as carpet or vinyl, the material stands up to heavy traffic. Furthermore, ceramic tiles can be made to last even longer when treated with an epoxy grout that protects the material from wear and tear. Like vinyl and carpeting, ceramic tile comes in many colours, patterns and textures. High-quality ceramic will cost more, although affordable options are also available. Prices generally fluctuate according to the quality of the material. However, ceramic can feel cold beneath bare feet.

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