Indoor Stair Flooring Options

Written by anise hunter
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Indoor Stair Flooring Options
Stairs need to be safe and beautiful. (Adam Jones/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Whether your stairs are strictly for getting from one place to another or you want them to be a showpiece that cascades down onto the main floor, stairs are an important and functional part of your home. You need to cover them with something durable, beautiful and safe.


Wood is the gold standard for stairs. It is rather expensive and a little slippery, but it is beautiful and very durable. There is wide variety of wood types suitable for stairs, including oak, pine, cherry, mahogany and maple.

Indoor Stair Flooring Options
Wood stairs are classic. (wooden staircase image by Yali Shi from


Carpet is another old standby for stairs. It is hard to slip on and easy to clean with a vacuum. Cheaper carpet does tend to wear or pull up over time, and carpet needs to be professionally cleaned at times to keep it looking good. However, it is an inexpensive and safe solution for a stairway.

Indoor Stair Flooring Options
Carpeting is less expensive than many floor coverings. (Background carpet image by fotolia © 2happy from


Bamboo flooring is slightly softer than some woods, but it is known as a sustainable grass that grows much more quickly than wood. Bamboo has a look between wood and laminate. It tends to be about the same price as a cheaper wood floors. It is quite slippery to walk on, so not ideal for stairways, especially in a home with children or elderly residents.

Indoor Stair Flooring Options
Bamboo looks similar to wood but is slippery. (wooden staircase image by Heng kong Chen from

Stone and Tile

Stone and tile stairs are challenging to design because of the many cuts required for installation in a staircase. For this reason, tiles should be installed by professionals and tend to be expensive. Stone and tile stairs are very hard and some types can be slippery, but they look gorgeous and give a cathedral-like appearance to a space.

Indoor Stair Flooring Options
Try stone stairs inside the home as well as outdoors. (Stone stairs image by Aleksandra Górnicka from


Laminate looks similar to wood, but it is actually a processed wood product with wood laminated onto the top. Laminate can be easily glued in place on a stairway and is durable. It has the classic appearance of wood but does look lower in quality to the skilled eye.

Indoor Stair Flooring Options
Get the look of wood but not the price with laminate. (Ron Levine/Lifesize/Getty Images)

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