What are the Best Flooring Options for Stairs?

September 08, 2020 3 min read

What are the best flooring options for stairs?

“What is the best flooring for stairs?” is a question we hear all the time. Should you go with what matches the rest of your flooring? Or should you decide based on durability? What about safety? In this blog, we’ll address the pros and cons of choosing carpeting, hardwood, or vinyl plank flooring for the stairs in your home. 

Cohesive Design

One element to consider in choosing the best flooring for your stairs is what other types of flooring you have. If you have wood or vinyl floors on both the lower and upper level of your home, it doesn’t really make sense to use carpet on stairs. But what if you have hard flooring on your main level and carpeting upstairs? In that case, you will want to match one flooring type or the other. The question then becomes: which type should I match? The answer is ultimately up to you, but the rest of this blog may help you decide.


Hard surfaces offer inherently less traction than carpets, so from a safety perspective, you’re less likely to slip and fall on carpeting. Additionally, if you were to fall on carpeted floors, the carpet and carpet pad would offer some degree of cushion, which could lessen the severity of an injury. When you consider that a fall on stairs has its own gravity-based safety hazards, carpeting starts to look like the safest bet. Keep in mind that choosing a matching low-pile carpet will further increase traction and stairway safety. 

But if you have a strong preference for the look of wood or vinyl, should you compromise your aesthetic for safety? We don’t think so. Carpet stair treads are a great solution to the traction problem posed by hard flooring on stairs. You can choose the best color and material of carpet stair treads to meet your aesthetic and functional needs -- for example, high traffic stairways with pets and kids may do best with a dark color carpet stair tread with a relatively high level of traction. You can simply apply the carpet stair treads to the wood or vinyl treads of your stairs in order to increase the safety of your home without compromising on design.

Durability and Ease of Care

When debating between carpet and hard flooring on stairs, consumers often wonder which flooring type has the clear advantage in the categories of durability and ease of ownership. Well, it really depends on your unique needs. As we discussed in the safety section, carpeting can have some definite advantages when it comes to protecting your family; however, stairs pose some challenges to the durability of carpeting. As a general rule, stairs and hallways are your home’s thoroughfares, meaning they encounter higher rates of foot traffic, and stairs tend to show wear and tear before carpet in, say, a bedroom or living room. Choosing a high-quality, stain-resistant carpet and scheduling regular professional cleaning will keep your carpeted stairs looking great for many years. 

For homes with pets and kids, the relative ease of cleaning wood or vinyl stairs -- which are naturally more hypoallergenic than carpeting -- is a definite plus. And as for durability, choosing luxury vinyl plank flooring for your stairs offers waterproof protection that neither wood nor carpet can. 

As you can see, your unique needs and preferences factor heavily into choosing the best flooring option for your stairs. It’s also pretty clear that there are some distinct advantages to any type of flooring you end up having installed. Whether you go with carpet or luxury vinyl planks for your stairs, you can find an incredible selection of both at MyFlooring, where we encourage you to Get Comfortable with a new way to buy flooring online!

Wondering how to measure stairs for your flooring project? This video will help!

Questions to Ask Providers from MyFlooring.com on Vimeo.


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