In many cases, it is wise to consider putting down some carpeting on the staircase, especially for high-traffic structures that need a little protection. However, not all kinds of carpeting are going to work in your house. There are two essential options that homeowners have when they look into covering up their hardwood steps: using a runner that only covers the central portion of the stairs, or full carpeting that wraps around the whole step.
A runner will essentially act as protection for your treads while leaving a good portion of the hardwood steps exposed. Most runners are about 27 to 32 inches wide, leaving a space of about six inches on either side uncovered between the runner and the railing.
This is the more popular of the two options because it allows you to protect your staircase from scuffing without totally hiding your hardwood. It sets an aesthetic tone without being too bulky, which tends to be the fatal flaw when it comes to full carpeting.
When you decide to have your staircase completely carpeted, you are making much more of an investment than if you simply use a runner. You will have to purchase more product with full carpeting and also pay for a more complicated professional installation. Worst of all, the staircase will have a less sleek and graceful look if you hide all of the wood.
Runners are also much easier to replace than a full-on carpeting, allowing you to change the look of your stairway without having to tear up a whole carpet. When winter comes around, for example, you can lay down a runner that is patterned and darker so that stains from shoes that have braved a winter storm will blend in easier.
Either option is a fine choice on your staircase, though a runner will save you money and be easier to handle in the long run than full carpeting.
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