Should I choose wooden or carpeted stairs?

Should I choose wooden or carpeted stairs?

One of the biggest decisions you'll need to make during your home staircase makeover is whether to have wooden steps or carpet your stairs instead. Neither option is wrong, as both carpeted and wooden stairs look simply divine in their own right. However, there are several pros and cons to each that are worth considering before you get the ball rolling on your staircase renovation - but what exactly are they?

Read on to find out which stairs style is best suited to you and your home, straight from our stair parts experts!

Wooden stairs - the benefits

Deciding to keep it simple with wooden treads and risers is a superb design choice that comes with a series of practical advantages too!

1. Quality timber looks fantastic

Depending on the stair parts supplier you buy from and the timber you invest in, wooden staircases look stunning among all decors. Whether you prefer a contemporary and modern space or a traditional one with ornamental features, good-quality timber treads won't look out of place.

Oak stair parts in particular offer an appealing natural allure thanks to their attractive grains and varying brown and gold hues. What's more, oak is one of those very unique materials that never loses its interior design appeal - it's timeless, meaning it's always fashionable and helps to add value to your home.

2. Wooden staircases are easy to maintain

Unlike carpets, wooden treads are very straightforward to clean and aren't difficult to keep in great condition. All you need to do is dust and wipe using warm water and a mild detergent.

You can even invest in treated wooden stair parts to help further protect your new and updated staircase, which helps to prevent stains caused by spillages.

This will save you the hassle and cost of having to pay for expensive professional cleans down the line!

3. Timber stair parts won't trap allergens

Carrying on from the last point, as wooden stairs are easy to keep clean they're much more straightforward to keep allergen-free. This is because there's no carpet pile for allergens to become embedded in, and you can visibly see if your steps are dusty or dirty.

So, you can rest easy knowing your or your family's allergies can be effectively kept under control and discomfort and sniffles in your home are reduced significantly.

4. Stair components made from wood last

Staircase components made from hardwoods such as oak or ash are impressively strong and durable, meaning the lifespan of your new stairs is increased greatly. Timbers such as these are highly resilient against scratches, scuffs and impact damages - even more so when paired with stair nosing, which is fitted at the joint between the riser and tread, taking the brunt of foot traffic and leading to fewer staircase repairs.

Hardwax oils can even be applied to your new wooden steps to boost their durability - this helpful substance will help to protect your steps from water damage and stains.

The drawbacks to wooden steps

Whilst wooden staircases have an array of advantages, there are a few cons you need to consider before deciding to invest in oak stair parts.

1. Wooden stairs are noisier to tread on

Heading downstairs during the night for a glass of water without making a sound isn't exactly guaranteed with timber steps - nor is your four-legged friend making their way upstairs a quiet affair. This is thanks to the lack of padding beneath your feet to absorb the impact sound your feet (or your pet's paws) make whilst using the staircase. What's more, over time wooden stair treads may start to creak, further adding to the slight din they can create.

2. Their quality depends on the wood you select

Not all woods offer the same level of strength, durability and overall quality as each other. For example, unlike hardwoods such as ash and oak, softwoods like pine that can also be used in staircase parts aren't as resistant to impact damage.

Plus, the appearance of oak is also considered way more desirable - but it comes at a cost. Oak stair parts tend to be more expensive than other options due to the scarcity of this impressive natural material, so you'll need to consider this too!

3. Timber stairs offer no cushioning underfoot

Naturally, wooden stairs have a hard solid surface that can be considered less comfortable to walk upon whilst barefoot, especially on cold winter mornings! However, this problem isn't too detrimental as it can easily be solved by wearing light footwear on the stairs, such as slippers.

Why choose carpet on your stair parts?

Carpet has been a hugely popular option in home decor for many decades, and for many reasons:

1. Carpet can enhance your old stairs

If you can't afford to completely replace your older or more worn treads and risers, installing a carpet is a refreshing way to breathe new life into your hallway. Covering the entirety of each step, a carpet can keep any unsightly scuffs or scratches hidden from sight, saving you from having to invest in a full flight of new stairs.

Carpets come in various eye-catching styles, from traditional creams to stripped and patterned designs, so you won't be short of options!

However, if your treads are overly damaged, we highly recommend investing in new ones for safety, comfort, and aesthetic reasons.

2. Carpeted steps provide cushioning

Experience a luxurious feel beneath your feet as you move up and down your staircase with a premium-quality carpet. Carpeting offers plush cushioning underfoot thanks to the carpet pile, which is a godsend on cold mornings!

Additionally, in the event of missteps or trips, the carpet offers a safer and less painful landing thanks to its plushness and the fact it lessens the harshness of the tread and riser joint.

3. It's much quieter to walk upon

Unless we consciously try, reducing the noise created as we walk up and down our stairs isn't easy.

However, carpet absorbs much of the sound created by foot traffic on your staircase, unlike wooden stair parts. This means you're less likely to be disturbed or irritated by footsteps echoing through your home, contributing to a more tranquil home atmosphere!

4. They help to keep your home warm

By adding carpeting to your staircase design, you actually help to further insulate your home and keep it warm. When paired with an effective carpet underlay, your stairs carpet helps to protect your house from the coldness of your underflooring, ultimately saving you money on energy bills and making your property much more energy efficient.

The disadvantages of carpeted staircase parts

Whilst staircases that feature a stunning carpet are super stylish and have an array of useful advantages, there are several drawbacks to explore:

1. Carpet staircases are hard to clean and maintain

Unlike wooden stairs that can be dusted and wiped clean from spillages, carpet is a textile flooring that absorbs liquids, can become stained by dirt, and even smells if uncleaned. This makes caring for carpets and keeping them in excellent condition quite the task - and a tiresome and expensive one at that.

Hoovering and carpet conditioning and shampooing isn't exactly a quick task - you may even need to hire professional carpet cleaners from time to time which can be costly.

Whilst carpet can be treated to be more resilient to staining, it's still more prone to losing its premium condition than solid floor staircases.

2. They're less durable

Even the highest quality carpet isn't as robust as oak stair parts are. As staircases experience an excessive volume of foot traffic, the quality of your carpet pile and its backing gradually wears as a result of friction and dirt.

This not only affects the feel of your carpet, but its appearance too! Worn fibres form unsightly patches across your stairs, which don't look or feel appealing.

3. Carpets can't be simply refreshed

If a carpet starts to show signs of wear or discolouration, even after rigorous cleaning, you'll likely need to invest in a new carpet for your stairs if you want to maintain its appearance.

This differs greatly from hard staircases, which can be sanded and re-varnished if they need a touch-up.

Carpeted treads harbour allergens

Different to solid wooden treads, carpet piles and dense fibres can trap allergens such as pollen and pet hair, contributing to a sneezy household!

On the whole, when deciding whether to opt for wooden or carpeted stairs, you can find your perfect match by weighing up the pros and cons of each. If you have children or pets who are likely to muddy your staircase or spill drinks, oak treads are certainly the way to go if you want to keep your stairway in great condition for longer! Otherwise, it's entirely up to your style preference.

Choose Stair Crazy for outstanding-quality stair parts

Here at Stair Crazy, we're an established online stair parts shop specialising in reasonably priced stair components, including metal spindles, newel posts, newel caps, handrails, and more! We offer great customer service and prompt delivery - if you'd like to speak with one of our helpful team about our extensive range of staircase products, don't hesitate to get in touch today.