With a hardwood flooring in a home, most people would want it to extend to stairs. Reason being simple, wooden floors are easy to clean, beautiful and add warmth to a home. One of the downside of hardwood flooring on stairs is their slippery surface.
So the question is, can you put hardwood flooring on stairs? Yes, you can as long as you find a way to make them less slippery. In this guide, learn the reasons wooden stairs are the best and how you can make them less slippery and safe.
Why you should install hardwood floors on stairs
The following are reasons to put hardwood flooring on your stairs:
Hardwood floors are popular flooring material due to their natural beauty which is created by natural grain colors and patterns. Their sense of style is unbeaten and always welcoming. When the surface scratches or wears out, wood can be refinished to look new and beautiful again.
Matching your wood floors and stairs is something you cannot resist. It may look out of style when you have different flooring materials in your home. It is therefore good to extend the warmth of your floors to stairs by installation of wooden stairs.
Hardwood floors are easy to clean and maintain as compared to carpeting or any other types of floorings. It is impossible for dirt, dust and allergens to stick on wooden surface as compared to carpeting. Additionally dirt and other debris such as pet hair can be cleaned by sweeping or dusting with a dry mop.
Nothing beats wooden flooring in terms of durability. Wood can last for centuries without changing their in-depth color or texture. Hardwood flooring will serve best for stairs with high traffic as compared to other materials. Unlike carpeting and vinyl, hardwood floors can be refinished during upgrade without replacing.
There are also different varieties of hardwoods to choose from ranging from various species, styles, colors and stains. You can choose from engineered, solid, prefinished or unfinished hardwood floors for your home depending with your preferences. Species such as Hickory, Maple and Oak are among the toughest.
4. Value addition
Installation of a hardwood floor increases the value of your property. It can attract a great resale value in future and you are guaranteed of high returns on your investment. For that reason, most homeowners consider installation of hardwood floors in the kitchen, bathrooms, stairs and any other applicable areas.
Hardwood floors create a healthy indoor environment due to their ease of cleaning, inability to attract allergens and no emission of poisonous fumes into the air. They can also be disinfected to eliminate dangerous microorganisms. Carpets attract allergens such as pet hair, dust and pollen that usually cause allergic reactions.
How to make hardwood stairs less slippery
Safety is a major concern while installing hardwood flooring on stairs. A finished or polished surface of a stair tread is very slippery and dangerous to walk across. There are plenty ways of making your wooden stairs less slippery. They include the following:-
Installation of a carpet makes stairs safer by adding traction to the surface. Carpets are also warm and beautiful thus will add coziness to your home. There are two options of carpeting your stairs namely; stairs runners and carpet stair treads.
These are pieces of carpet that doesn’t cover the entire width of the stair. They are commonly installed over hardwood or tiled floors to prevent slipping. Stair runners exist in various colors, patterns, shapes and sizes you can choose from. Stair runners are meant to cover the full depth of each stair tread. In addition to making stairs less slippery, they protect wood from damage, reduce noise and add coziness.
Stair runners has got some downsides, they can be difficult to clean when they are extremely dirty. There is also possibility of trapping dust, dirt and allergens. Some people find them complicated to install but that can be handled by a professional.
Carpet Stair Treads
These are pieces of carpet that can be installed individually on each stair to prevent slipping. They can be installed using a carpet tape or on top of a non-skid rug pad to keep firmly attached. Carpet stair treads are cheap and easy to maintain as compared to stair runners. They can be washed individually when dirty.
Carpet stair treads has some disadvantages, they don’t offer complete protection to the wood. If incorrectly installed, they can slide and cause falling.
For both stair runner and carpet stair treads, low pile carpet has to be used. High pile carpet can cause tripping and can also be difficult to clean. Installation of both types of stair carpets has to be done correctly to avoid sliding or bunching up.
2. Anti-Slip Adhesive Stair Treads
Clear anti-slip treads can be used in your home to prevent slippery stairs. One side contain adhesive substance that makes them to stick on the stair tread while the other side offers traction. They are easy to install, all you do is to remove a paper on them and roll them from one side of the stair to the other.
Expect some few disadvantages with adhesive stair treads. During installation the roller may not completely get rid of the air bubbles especially when the wood surface is uneven. Secondly, removing them is a challenge, they may leave a residue behind or peel off paint from the wood.
3. Anti-slip floor finish
This is a clear textured coating that can be applied on the stairs to create non-slip surface. The finish does not alter the exact looks or the beauty of a hardwood. It is the best option if you don’t want to hide your wood under a carpet.
There are few disadvantages of using this method. The finish may wear down after few years and you have to refinish again. Secondly, it doesn’t offer strong traction compared to carpeting and anti-slip adhesive stair treads.
4. Standard stair code
There are recommended standards a stair should meet to qualify as safe. The stair should be strong, with enough depth. The distance between each stair must also be appropriate and not too far apart. According to the current code, your stairs should meet the following dimensions to be considered safe:
- Width: The distance between the two walls bounding a stair should be at least 36 inches wide.
- Riser height: This is the distance between two stair surfaces. The stair riser height should not be more than 7 ¾ inches tall and be almost the same for all stairs.
- Tread depth: The distance from the front to back of each tread should be at least be 10 inches. However, the greatest tread depth should not exceed the least one by 3/8 of an inch.
- Headroom: The distance should always be greater than 6 feet and 8 inches respectively
- Handrails: Every staircase must contain at least one installed handrail. The rails should be at least 34 inches and at most 38 inches from the landing of each stair. Additionally, they should not stick out more than 4.5 inches from the wall.
Promptly fix squeaky hardwood flooring on stairs to make them strong. Clean to remove dirt and mop out any spills that may make the wooden stairs slippery. Carpeting attracts dust and allergens thus important to vacuum them frequently.
The Bottom Line
Installation or remodeling of wooden stairs should be done by a professional contractor. Depending on your preferences, you will find stair treads in various species such as Hickory, Red Oak, White Oak, African mahogany, American Cherry, Maple, Brazilian Cherry and more. Above all, safety is much important factor to consider.