A Guide To Stair Coverings

  • A guide to stair coverings

Staircases are an important part of any two (or more) storey home. In many houses or apartment blocks, the staircase will suffer the greatest wear and tear of any flooring due to the repetitive foot traffic along the same path each time they are ascended or descended. If you have ever visited a very old building, you will have noticed the indentation where the majority of people step, usually in the centre of the stair (as per the image below.)

In contemporary times, staircases are usually exposed hardwood or carpet-covered pine staircases. As we have seen an evolution of flooring variety options such as floating floors, vinyl, and hybrid planking, we have also seen an evolution of options for staircases. This article will go over some of the options available to refinish your existing staircase or install onto your newly built staircase.

Worn Stairs

Refinishing Hardwood Stairs

If you are having your hardwood floors re-sanded and sealed, we recommend refinishing your stairs at the same time. Refinishing your stairs and floors simultaneously helps to ensure continuity of colour and wear between the staircase and flooring. Exposed timber staircases generally comprise of treads 50mm thick and thus may be sanded and re-coated a number of times before the thickness of the tread will lead to any bowing or flexing. After your stairs have been sanded and sealed, they should look good as new. We can achieve a great result with your stairs as the sanding process removes the existing stain and minor scratches before we fill any deep gouges or scratches prior to recoating in an appropriate sealer.

Hardwood Stairs

Carpeting Stairs

Carpet has been the standard covering for indoor stairs due to its reasonably low price point and ease of installation. Generally, carpet-covered staircases have been made from more affordable materials such as pine or MDF, with the intention of being covered and not exposed. Prior to the invention of hardwood alternatives for stair coverings, such as floating floors, the only option for ‘cover grade’ staircases was carpet. Unfortunately, carpet on stairs is comparably fast-wearing and susceptible to damage such as stains, tears, and pulls.

Carpeted Stairs

Timber Boards on Stairs

If you are having your existing timber flooring sanded and resealed, this can be a great time to update a worn-out carpet staircase. At Back To Timber, we are able to source the same or similar species of timber boards as your floor and cover the existing ‘cover grade’ staircase. Staircases that have previously been covered in carpet generally do not consist of finish-grade timber, so the process of covering the stairs with hardwood boards is a great way to achieve a hardwood staircase look without having to completely replace the staircase.

Wooden Boards on Stairs

Timber Stair Alternatives

If you are having Back To Timber install floating floorboards, vinyl planking, or laminate in your home or commercial space, consider covering your staircase at the same time. Although not all of our hardwood timber flooring alternatives are able to cover staircases, many of them are able to. Utilising the same flooring on the staircase as your floors allows for a seamless transition between floors of the home and looks great. In addition, we install a flooring underlay to muffle stepping sounds, something which could traditionally only be achieved with carpet.

If you have any questions about how best to finish your staircase or would like to discuss your new or existing flooring, our helpful staff can be contacted here, or by phone on (02) 8041 0166. Alternately, feel free to pop into one of our showrooms to chat.

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