Should you carpet your stairs or not? If you decide to install carpet inside your home, then you’ll have a handful of subsequent choices that follow. One of the more substantial of these is whether or not you’re going to install carpet on the stairs, if you have them. Carpeting can certainly add durability, beauty, and comfort to stairs, but there are some potential downfalls to think about too. Keep reading to learn some ins and outs about this.

First, what are the advantages of carpeting on stairs? There are plenty of them, and they typically include durability, beauty, comfort, and the reduction of noise. A wooden staircase can look really attractive all by itself, although carpeted stairs will just look more inviting since they’re more comfortable underfoot. Noise reduction and durability are both more practical considerations. Stairs just last longer when carpeted, since they’re insulated from the constant foot traffic. This same insulation also minimizes stair squeaking.

You might also be wondering what kinds of stairs might stand to benefit from carpeting. As a general rule of thumb, noisy stairs are good candidates. So, too, are builder-grade stairs, also commonly known as basic or functional stairs. Comfort and aesthetics likely weren’t priorities when those got built.

For that matter, try to avoid carpeting attractive hardwood stairs, since you might ruin their aesthetics along the way. You’d have to nail down tack strips right into the wood. That creates holes throughout the process, which means that if your hardwood stairs were beautiful before carpeting, they’re not going to remain that way afterward.

Having said all that, there are some risks entailed with carpeting stairs. This primarily revolves around a higher risk of falls happening. These falls are more likely going down than up, and while the insulation makes the fall gentler, it’s still more likely for three reasons. First, the tread edge of the stairs is reduced, which reduces food grip; this particular effect is really significant with slippery materials like olefin or polyester. Secondly, carpets can reduce the depth perception of a person since the fabric might create a more complicated pattern than bare flooring would; a person might see where they are stepping until they have misjudged things already about where your foot should have landed. Third, carpets usually reduce the tread depth in stair risers.

It should be noted that some kinds of carpets are never safe for using on stairs, including many natural fiber carpets, carpets that have loose fibers, and thick carpets. In fact, even some carpets that do get used on stairs aren’t covered by the manufacturer warranty just because of the high volume of traffic. Some manufacturers do cover a stair carpet warranty, but most of them don’t.

If you want to install carpet on your stairs, or you’re not sure whether you should, consult a local carpet professional. Even if you already have carpet on your stairs, the right professional can clean them easily, quickly, and effectively, saving you a lot of time and trouble.