Carpeting stairs?

lml999

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2013
503
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
We have a traditional colonial with a somewhat formal staircase running upstairs and a more casual set of stairs going to the basement. I'm thinking about carpeting one or both sets of stairs, mostly to reduce the slipperiness of the oak stair treads (older dog, occasional elderly visitors).

Rather than doing the basic stair carpeting with tack rails, I'm thinking about using the brass bars that hold the carpet at the rear of each tread. Not sure this treatment works well on the steps going to the basement, am open to other ideas... I do want to have some of the oak tread showing on each side. Haven't seen a tread-only method (not carpeting the risers) that would be slip proof.

DIY project... I've never carpeted before. Have done lots of other work, mostly turning expensive wood into sawdust. :)

Thoughts appreciated... (mostly around the two carpeting methods mentioned above). I'll be putting padding underneath the carpet either way...

Thanks!
 

Z33

Burning Hunk
Apr 14, 2014
220
Atlanta, Georgia
I'm not a fan of carpeted stairs. They are impossible to clean especially with dog traffic.

My grandmother loved and hated her carpet stairs. She said they were easier on her knees but due to the padding underneath she said she didn't always feel like she had firm footing or would catch her foot on the larger carpet wrapped bullnose.
 
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DickRussell

Burning Hunk
Mar 1, 2011
245
central NH
We have a traditional colonial with a somewhat formal staircase running upstairs and a more casual set of stairs going to the basement. I'm thinking about carpeting one or both sets of stairs, mostly to reduce the slipperiness of the oak stair treads (older dog, occasional elderly visitors).
We also had a 15-step run of oak stairs, which were slippery to feet with only socks on and caused at least one fall. Ultimately, I affixed a set of 6x24" peel/stick non-slip (name?) on each, centered side to side and leaving 1.5" at the nose of the step bare. No peeling at edges at all, over the last couple of years. The thing is basically like 80-grit black sandpaper.
 

lml999

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2013
503
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
If you have a dog in your house, carpeted stairs will be a pain when you want to clean it.
The pup, pictured to the left, is an older, non-shedding, not particularly active member of the family... He doesn't roll in mud and then charge into the house...

We've got light carpeting on much of the second floor and part of the first. Once in a while he will leave "social commentary" in the upstairs hallway, usually if we've been out all day. We bought a Hoover shampoo machine, with handheld attachments, to clean up, and that's worked wonders.

I'm not sure that his occasional climbing/descending the stairs will have much impact on the overall cleanliness of carpet stairs...

Thanks!
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,557
Philadelphia
I’ve always lived in older houses, and have gone both ways, but I’ve settled on going without carpet in the current place. I always wear slippers with a rubberized tread, so it hasn’t been an issue for me, only the kids tend to run around in slippery socks. I actually once fell down a flight of stairs and suffered several broken bones because it was carpeted, so while I’ll admit that situation was probably a statistical outlier, don’t assume carpet is the answer to that problem.

BTW, I always thought those brass bars were more decorative than a primary means of fastening, I believe you still need to staple or tack strip the runner before installing the bars.

Also, installing a bound runner over padding and trying to get the edges down tight as you make the negative bend from riser to bullnose is an exercise in absolute futility and frustration. It ain’t gonna happen, I’ve tried. Doing an un-bound carpet and folding the edges under to match the thickness of the pad may work better, I saw that done once, but haven’t tried that myself.
 
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lml999

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2013
503
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Thanks @Ashful, great feedback. I found some alternatives on Amazon, including carpet treads that stick on each stair tread, (without using adhesive). I might try a set of those on the lower staircase to see how they perform. Feedback from purchasers says they don't slip at all...and are easily removable without damaging the wood underneath...

Not looking to make a big project out of this... :)
 

blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,422
WI, Leroy
I have carpet on one set of stairs industrial office type very short knap. no padding under unless it is attached which is possible. It is ok to go up and down on but have tripped a bit on them. Note one leg is bit on not so hot side so that is a contributing factor. Years ago had a set with heavily padded carpet on them -royal pia went down those in the non traditional manner several times. Have set in back ( concrete inside) with some sort of plastic/rubber runner on them- slick as oil on water - that's coming off - near the top of the to do list particularly after slipping and do the back side slide full length -manged to keep the noggin from banging up down in the process though. Course what I started out carrying was traveling at the same velocity so both sides got hammered. 6 splits of 6" dia. oak 18" long- them buggers hurt. Carpeted stairs and none tradtional foot wear ( that includes female extended heals that they wear) is asking for trouble.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,557
Philadelphia
Our steps are actually pretty badly dished-out in two spots on each tread, the result of at least a dozen pairs of feet going up and down them every day for 250 years. They’d be a challenge to carpet, as is. [emoji3]
 

Wooden Head

Burning Hunk
Sep 14, 2009
226
West Michigan
I refinished Maple stair treads and was worried about slipping on the new poly finish. I found a non-slip additive made by Rustoleum that can be added to the poly that gives the surface a non-slip texture. It is granular and does not change the color of the finish. It works great.
 

blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,422
WI, Leroy
we call it sand or ground silica ( powdered glass)
 

lml999

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2013
503
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
I refinished Maple stair treads and was worried about slipping on the new poly finish. I found a non-slip additive made by Rustoleum that can be added to the poly that gives the surface a non-slip texture. It is granular and does not change the color of the finish. It works great.
Thanks, that's a great option. A bit more work that than the self stick carpet pieces, but maybe better long term...
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,557
Philadelphia
we call it sand or ground silica ( powdered glass)
Nah, it’s usually a little more complex than that, as sand isn’t going to suspend well in the finish or distribute evenly when brushed on. There are several commercial products that do this job, designed for compatibility with different finishing systems. Others can be sprinkled on after application, but a staircase may not be the easiest place to employ some of these.
 

Wooden Head

Burning Hunk
Sep 14, 2009
226
West Michigan
Thanks, that's a great option. A bit more work that than the self stick carpet pieces, but maybe better long term...
I found my order for the product. It's called Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield Anti Skid. I purchased the 3.4 ounce package. When I used it I mixed some in a quart of poly. I found you had to mix it often to keep it suspended in the poly. I have since used it and applied the poly to the surface and then the anti skid with a salt shaker. Because the anti skid are such fine particles, you may want to practice on an old board to get the application the way you want it.
 
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lml999

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2013
503
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
I ended up buying two sets of carpet treads and double sided tape from Amazon. Took under 30 minutes to do each set of stairs and the treads are solid. I used a simple cardboard spacer on one side to ensure consistent spacing...

I made a minor mistake on the first set (below)...I left too much room at the leading edge of each tread, maybe 1/2" before the bevel. On the second set, I put them down just after the bevel. The difference is that even with my modestly sized feet, my toes hit the edge of the carpet on the way down, versus hitting all carpet.

Again, with a full strip of heavy duty double sided tape on each edge (front/back), these things are immovable (so much so that I'm not going to bother repositioning the first set of treads). The dog is very happy, and my older parents, when they stayed over for Thanksgiving, were appreciative too!

IMG_5737.jpg
 

Wooden Head

Burning Hunk
Sep 14, 2009
226
West Michigan
I ended up buying two sets of carpet treads and double sided tape from Amazon. Took under 30 minutes to do each set of stairs and the treads are solid. I used a simple cardboard spacer on one side to ensure consistent spacing...

I made a minor mistake on the first set (below)...I left too much room at the leading edge of each tread, maybe 1/2" before the bevel. On the second set, I put them down just after the bevel. The difference is that even with my modestly sized feet, my toes hit the edge of the carpet on the way down, versus hitting all carpet.

Again, with a full strip of heavy duty double sided tape on each edge (front/back), these things are immovable (so much so that I'm not going to bother repositioning the first set of treads). The dog is very happy, and my older parents, when they stayed over for Thanksgiving, were appreciative too!

View attachment 252965
Very Nice.
 
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lml999

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2013
503
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
I made a minor mistake on the first set (below)...I left too much room at the leading edge of each tread, maybe 1/2" before the bevel. On the second set, I put them down just after the bevel. The difference is that even with my modestly sized feet, my toes hit the edge of the carpet on the way down, versus hitting all carpet.
Turns out they're pretty easy to adjust. I pulled up a tread and the double sided tape stuck nicely to the stair tread. I then put the carpet tread back down and it stuck nicely. My guess is that if I do this a bunch of times the stickiness between the carpet and the tape will go away...and that may happen over time through use...but if the tape holds for a year or two, I'm okay with renewing it every so often...
 

blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,422
WI, Leroy
l just pulled off around 30+ feet of vinyl runner that was glued down to the cement steps with the grip lines in the runner running parallel to the stairs. Slid down those stairs twice ( ouch!!!!) Going to be a PIA getting that construction adhesive off the stairs both the face and the treads. Course right now kinda hard to slip as some of adhesive is still sticky . Got to peel your foot off in places.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,557
Philadelphia
Going to be a PIA getting that construction adhesive off the stairs both the face and the treads.
You thinking mechanical or chemical? I think I’d try chemical, first.
 

blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,422
WI, Leroy
I am thinking that my vibrating cutter sander whatever tool ( can't remember what these are called) might be just the ticket. particularly on the stair vertical faces as with chemical it would be a scrub job trying to dissolve it - looks to be construction adhesive. kinda a dark brown when all dryed out but cream colored when still sticky ( liquid nails comes to mind)
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,749
SW Virginia
I have great respect for Liquid Nails from my time spent removing it.
You might try adding some heat to your scraping.