Stair Coverings alternatives to carpet

14 Replies

Other than carpet and replacing the treads with hardwood treads, what are some good alternatives for durable stair coverings?  They go down into a finished area of the basement.  I attached a few pictures for reference.  

There are those rubber stair treads used in commercial buildings you can glue on. I looked into getting them but they were a bit pricey and there was no indication that they gain anything in sound protection.  I don't know if that would be too industrial for your purpose.

Did you ever find a solution to this? I'm in the same boat, and yes, rubber would be too industrial for the SFR I'm looking at. They have laminate stair treads, but they're $50 each! Way too much for an investment property.

You can use regular laminate plus a bullnose like here:

Not sure what it costs, though. Seems like a lot of labor.

I wound up just carpeting them.  I was in a time crunch and it was easiest and not too expensive.

You could use ceramic tile. They do have wood looking tiles.  Paint is an option but not the best looking.  Peal and stick laminate could look ok.  Carpet would be the way I would go if you don't want to spend the money on wood to match.  Its quick and easy.

@Eric Gutierrez , in the future if you want hardwood, you can overlay the existing treads and risers without having to replace them.  There are several manufacturers that offer overlay products.  Particularly on stairs that are closed on both sides (like the ones in your photos), it's a rather easy project.  But of course, it's hard to beat the cost and ease of carpet as you know...

@Michael Paris have any examples of them you could link to?

Those are quite expensive, though, aren't they? Then I would still need something for the risers, as mine are OSB. I like the idea of peel & stick laminate along with a bullnose piece like this:

Seems like it would last a lot longer than carpet and not be too expensive. I found a pic where they did that here:

quart of rustoleum paint, 3" brush and maybe some masking tape would be easiest and least expensive solution

Having some kind of carpet on the treads is always a good solution because carpet is naturally non-slip. My personal preference is wood treads, painted risers, with a runner over top the wood to keep it protected. Second option is the same basic steps but with carpet treads on the wood to protect. 

What some don't realize is that you can't just paint or stain stairs that were built originally to be covered with carpet. Stairs that were designed to be covered were built in a different manner and with different materials than those designed to be painted / stained. They are often nailed from the top so you have large exposed nail heads, the treads are usually made with cheap ugly wood and risers from OSB. If you try to paint or stain stairs like that you will have one ugly set of stairs! 

So, you need to either replace the treads and risers (expensive!) or cover it with something. The question in this thread is what are the options, besides carpet, can be used to cover stairs like this.

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