The Problems With Your Stairs That You Are Overlooking

Problems With Your Carpeted Stairs That You Are Overlooking

Carpet, when installed on stairs, can add warmth and insulation to your home. Many people like the look of carpeted stairs, but there are several things to keep in mind when you do decide to have carpet installed.

Slippery Surfaces

One of the biggest problems with carpeted stairs is that they create a slippery surface that can send someone tumbling down if they’re not careful holding the available railings. Carpet, while soft, also offers less traction than wood. Some homeowners have found that using carpet cleaner on newly installed carpeted stairs helps to improve traction because it removes any thin stain-resistant coatings that may be present on the carpet when it’s brand new. Even when you use the carpet cleaner, the stain resistant properties will still remain, it’s just the carpet cleaner helps to increase friction when you’re walking down the stairs.

Tackless Strips

Tackless strips should be nailed a half inch from the corner between the tread and the riser. Another common mistake is installing the tack strips with the upward-facing pins pointed away from the crotch of the stairs – they should point towards it.

Padding Selection

Don’t make the mistake of selecting a thin carpet pad. Stairs are considered high-traffic areas in a home, and thicker padding ensures the carpet has the support it needs. Thicker padding also ensures the carpet wears evenly, so in places where there’s lots of foot traffic, the carpet won’t flatten out or become too worn down.

When cutting padding for stairs, individual lengths must be cut for each riser/tread combination for each stair. When placed down, the padding should hang someone loosely over the nose (front edge) of each stair. Don’t try to stretch it out too tightly, or it won’t provide the proper support for the carpet on top.

Carpet Appearance

Many homeowners become concerned with how the carpet will look when it’s wrapped around the edges of the stairs, or where it has to be cut around railing posts. First of all, properly installed carpet ensures you’ll never see the back surface, even when it’s wrapped around the edge of a stair. In addition, for the last running piece on the bottom stair, four inches are added to the last piece of carpet, ensuring that it can be folded over to conceal the frayed edges where it’s been cut.

Certain types of carpet with longer piles do hide seams better than others, including those with shorter or looped piles, especially where the carpet has been joined to wrap around railing posts. It’s important to choose a carpet that isn’t too thick, because as it wraps around the front edge of the stair, it can act as a ramp for your foot, posing a safety hazard. A high-quality Berber carpet is an option as well, as long as it is installed properly, in a lengthwise fashion.

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