removing carpet from stairs: what next?

(28 Posts)
bonzo77 Mon 11-Nov-13 10:02:37

We have about 5 steps leading from our hall into the kitchen. They are currently covered in very manky carpet. It's a grubby, high traffic area, and I think carpet is a crap idea. I was planning to take up the carpet and.... well and what? I thought sand and polish what is underneath, assuming it's serviceable. We are about to have other carpet replaced, so I'll get them to remove this at the same time. Is it easy to sand and polish a few steps? My dad has an electric sander if that helps.

struggling100 Mon 11-Nov-13 13:50:16

Sounds like getting rid of the carpet is a great plan!

Have you had a peek underneath The condition of the wood for the treads underneath could be anything from pristine to awful! This will influence how easy the job is to do/whether you want to do it at all. If you do go down the sanding route, be prepared for a LOT of dust (think saharan sand storm) though this may be better if your dad's sander is one of those that can attach to the vacuum cleaner!

Alternatively, you can get wood covers and noses for steps that kind of sit over the treads and encase them. These look really smart.

bonzo77 Mon 11-Nov-13 13:53:42

thanks! can one peel back the carpet to look, then put it back quite easily?

Where does one get these wood covers? What is a nose? The house was built in 1910 and is an end of terrace, if that has any influence.

struggling100 Mon 11-Nov-13 14:36:05

hi Bonzo! it's normally relatively easy to peek, and then put back as long as you don't remove the whole thing!

If you google image 'stair cladding' you should get an idea of the type of covers I mean. Some systems have a 'nose', which is like a kind of lip to make the treads look neat. It's probably a job for a joiner, but if there are only 5 steps hopefully it wouldn't be too expensive??

our carpet fitters always make us remove the carpet ourselves. so it might just be worth going for it..

oscarwilde Mon 11-Nov-13 15:21:47

The carpet grippers will have left lots of holes in the wood. When you sand, it's a really good idea to fill each hole and polish the stairs again before painting and/or staining. All the tiny holes show up like mad once it is done.
As it's high traffic you will need to put on a billion coats of clear varnish to stop the wear and tear.

As someone who has been here and done that, I'd replace it with a hard wearing textured carpet, dark colour like slate grey that won't show up drips of tea.

bonzo77 Mon 11-Nov-13 20:49:40

Thanks oscar. Very useful tips. What kind of filler? I'm a bit reluctant to use a dark carpet as it's a very gloomy spot with little natural light. There is "oak" coloured floor (I don't think its laminate but it's not bare boards) at the top and bottom of the steps.

PigletJohn Mon 11-Nov-13 22:00:04

do you live in a detached house?

If not, the next thing that happens, after removing stair carpet, is that your neighbours come round and kill you.

bonzo77 Tue 12-Nov-13 09:36:12

Ha ha! It's only 5 steps, next door have done the same, in fact they have bare boards throughout their hall, stairs and landing. We are end of terrace, no neighbours the other side to piss off.

oscarwilde Tue 12-Nov-13 12:51:08

Didn't fill them, and it looked like sh1t when we improved the lighting. Didn't have the energy to do sand it all down and do it again though. We used regular wood filler on the floors which comes in different colours so find one to match the stain you will put on the raw wood.

As PJ says, it's really noisy especially if your DH clatter through the house after a few too many beers waking up the DC at 11.30. It is lethal in socks so you'll need to insist that everyone wears slippers at all times. I had a nice stripe across my backside after landing on a step while carrying a newborn. I really recommend putting down carpet on stairs smile

You could do a stripey carpet or a stair runner and have some fun with colour if its a small dark area ? I saw a house in an evening newspaper once and they had gotten narrow striped rugs from Ikea, taped them together with some heavy duty stuff, glued them to the stpes and turned them into ultra cheap stair runner. It looked amazing.

oscarwilde Tue 12-Nov-13 12:51:50

Glued them to the steps

bonzo77 Tue 12-Nov-13 20:37:50

I like that idea oscar, especially as I hadn't thought about slipping. And I would like another newborn before too long. Do you think striped carpet will look funny? I'm going to have grey speckled on the rest of the stairs and land

bonzo77 Tue 12-Nov-13 20:39:59

Whoops! .....landings. And to the top and bottom of these kitchen stairs is oak coloured wood. I guess I could go striped all the way, but it's a bit busy for my liking.

furryfriends57 Tue 12-Nov-13 20:55:14

Have you thought about using a stairmat, its like a little piece of carpet taht sticks to each step - I am looking at similar to these for my stairs as want the safety factor but without covering all the beautiful wood. There are others that seem to be half moon shape that are in lots of colours and cover the front lip of the step.
If anyone else has used them would love to hear as never see them recommended here.

bonzo77 Tue 12-Nov-13 21:12:11

Those look interesting. I guess if one gets disgusting it can be removed and replaced. I'm a bit worried though about the edges curling and me tripping on those.

PigletJohn Tue 12-Nov-13 21:55:11

stripes on stairs are discouraged as they are said to confuse your vision and make falls more frequent.

FamiliesShareGerms Tue 12-Nov-13 22:07:37

You could paint the boards rather than varnish, particularly if you want to keep the floor light. Farrow and Ball's whole range comes in floor paint. You could even paint on a "runner" in a colour to tone with the carpet at the top of the landing.

AmberLeaf Tue 12-Nov-13 22:08:45

I like the look of those stair treads.

Interested in opinions of anyone who has used them.

furryfriends57 Tue 12-Nov-13 23:27:51

Here are some other stair treads that I was looking at , they have a lip under the actual step of the stairs and get away from the trip issue I had thought of as well and maybe also remove one dust sump at the front..

bonzo77 Wed 13-Nov-13 10:54:06

Oooh families painting is a good idea. But won't they be super slippery like with varnishing them? And if it chips won't it look a bit crappy shabby chic? How much prep would I need to do? As much as if I varnish?

oscarwilde Wed 13-Nov-13 11:00:21

If you are having new carpet elsewhere but not in the hallway (wood floor) I would personally use the same carpet but possibly buy a spare roll so that you can replace that section at a later date as it will probably wear faster than the main stairs and landings. Look into improving the lighting instead perhaps?

Dependent on your kitchen design/interior tastes. This is fun, bit loud but with different colours it could be a very cheap and cheerful alternative... We painted the backs of our stairs in white, and varnished the tread. Then it all had about 8 coats of varnish. It was a victorian terrace so the treads were quite narrow and my DH's heels kept taking the white paint off so I'm wary of the maintenance involved in painted stairs.

AmberLeaf Wed 13-Nov-13 12:10:52

Love the rainbow painted stairs in that link.

bonzo77 Wed 13-Nov-13 13:34:12

Rainbow stairs do look fab. Good idea to paint the risers not the treads. I could probably get away with just using testers too, one in each colour as it's such a short flight. Though not sure you'd see the full effect on a short flight. I'm just getting really worried about the kids slipping. Are there almost invisible things the stop slipping? The see through mats things on that floor mats website didn't really float my boat. Maybe something for the edge of the step that either blends in or is a bit funky. I suspect I'm going to end up with carpet, and keeping a bit spare, like oscar just suggested sad.

oscarwilde Wed 13-Nov-13 13:39:53

sad Sorry sad

You can always start with the paint and see how it goes? It's not a lot of stair to cover at a later date. Depends how old your DC are at the moment. We still have to insist on slippers with a wooden floor anyway and with DC1 we were petrified she would brain herself on the wooden steps. DC2 has just given herself a nice carpet burn instead so it's not a perfect solution.

oscarwilde Wed 13-Nov-13 13:40:39

Google stripy stairs and look at images, or just stair decoration. You might find the perfect solution.

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