Many homeowners are content with laying carpets in their living and bedroom if the carpet offers insulation, comfort, and beauty to their homes. However, these three benefits (as vital as they are) are simply not enough when it comes to choosing the right carpet for your stairway. You need to prioritise other critical considerations before you spend your hard-earned money in buying a stairwell carpet. This guide reveals those carpet qualities you need to consider to choose the best carpet for your stairway.
#1. Safety Comes First:
The first and arguably the most important consideration is the safety of your stairwell carpet. Leaving your heavily polished laminate or hardwood stairs bare can be extremely dangerous. These floors may be aesthetically great to look at, but their slippery nature may pose a severe health risk. If you have children in your home, these stairs may be a high risk for tripping incidents. Children may be seriously harmed when they trip and fall on laminate or hardwood stairs. The thought of a child tripping on a riser and hitting their head on the hard tread nosing is scary indeed.
Carpets on stairs can help reduce the risk of trips and falls by providing the friction necessary for a safe ascend and descend. Also, if an accident occurs, the carpet can help to cushion a fall and prevent any serious injury.
#2. High Durability:
Another thing you should consider before choosing a carpet for your stairs is its durability. The stairway is a high foot traffic area, and the foot puts a greater amount of pressure on the stairs than flat floor surfaces. The science behind this fact is the extra gravitational force that your foot applies to the surface of the stairs whenever you descend from it. It, therefore, goes without saying that whatever carpet you decide to choose for your stairways has to be durable.
And there is a direct correlation between durability, quality, and cost. However, note that while high-quality carpets may cost more in the short term, they are ultimately a cost-effective option for long-term use.
#3. Appropriate Thickness:
The most basic mistake most people make is equating a carpet’s thickness with its quality and durability. Thick carpets are not necessarily high quality and durable stairway carpets. Laying very thick carpet on your stairs will do more harm than good. Your carpet should flow seamlessly and fit like a glove on the stairs.
Very thick carpets do not hold firmly to stairways, especially around the tread nosing of stairs. These carpets leave loose folds at the riser, which may appear firm to an untrained eye. Thick carpets can increase the risks of accidental slips, trips, and falls. The loose folds around the riser and tread nosing do not offer any form of support for the foot when stepped on. The appropriate thickness for your carpet underlay should be about 7/16 inches (or less). However, the pile height for your carpet should be about 1/2 inch (or less), while your carpet pile density rating should be a minimum of 8 pounds (Ib).
#4. Resistant to Soiling:
Do you know that the sole of your feet secretes oil that can soil your carpet? It is important to give a clear distinction between soiling and staining. It is not usual to have stains on carpets in living rooms, bedrooms, and passageways. However, stains on stairways are pretty rare. Most spills tend to occur in bedrooms and living spaces but not on stairs.
Nevertheless, stair carpets are prone to soiling caused by the residue left behind by the sole of your barefoot. This residue gets into the carpet fibres then acts as a magnet for dirt and dust particles. One way to avoid this problem is by wearing slippers or stockings in your home instead of walking around barefooted. But an even better way of preventing this problem is by choosing a soiling resistant carpet for your stairs.
#5. Warranty is a better Guaranty:
In the past, it was rare to buy carpets with warranty coverage for stairs. However, things are much different today. Many carpet manufacturers are now offering warranty coverage for stairways which is good news. Buying a carpet with a warranty for stairs is an excellent indication that the carpet is of high quality. Ensure the warranty coverage for the carpet you intend to buy, and don’t forget to read the terms and conditions carefully.
On the question of stairwell safety, especially for kids at night. You can incorporate the use of LED Strip lighting on your laminate or hardwood stairways. LED Strip lights are easy to install and can be used on the tread nosing of each step. This way, your child knows exactly where to plant their foot when ascending or descending from the stairs.
These lights can greatly minimise slips, trips, and falls from a stairway. However, Strip lights on carpeting are not appropriate. So if you have laid a carpet on the stairs, you can have the Strip lights installed along the wall string, stair string, or skirting of your stairs. This way, you can still provide a lighted pathway for your stairs and give them an aesthetic touch.
The five key considerations mentioned in this post can distinguish between buying a substandard carpet and a high-quality one. All carpets meet the basic needs of insulation, comfort and beauty. However, not all carpets necessarily provide safety, durability, the appropriate thickness, soiling resistance, and stairway warranty coverage.
The appearance of your stairway carpet is never in doubt. Even substandard carpets can look good if installed correctly. So while aesthetics is also one quality worth considering, it is not necessarily the most important. If you need more information on choosing the best carpet for your stairway, please send us an email, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.