What carpet is best for staircases?
Not all carpets are made the same. Carpets differ hugely in their texture, thickness, and durability, with some much better suited to certain parts of your home than others. That's why picking out the right type of carpet for your staircase is so important.
Installing an unsuitable carpet for your staircase can turn out to be a major headache down the line, as you’ll have to have it replaced far earlier than ideal.
Carpet Barn have been the South’s leading carpet specialists for over 35 years. In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about choosing the right carpet for your staircase, from fabrics and colours to pile height and underlays.
What material should my staircase carpet be?
There are a range of materials you can choose from when considering carpet for your staircase. As staircases tend to see heavy foot traffic, make sure to focus on a high level of durability.
Add a touch of luxury to your staircase with a soft and sumptuous wool carpet. Wool is durable, easy to clean, and does not flatten, meaning that it retains its premium look and feel for a long time. Keep in mind that wool tends to be more expensive than other carpet materials, however.
Although wool carpets are often considered the domain of period and traditional-style homes, their potential go much further. For example, the Fuerteventura Slate carpet combines traditional craftsmanship with a striking modern colour, resulting in a wool carpet that is ideal for a more contemporary home.
Thanks to their balance of affordability and performance, most modern carpets are made of man-made materials.
Man-made carpets are usually made of either polypropylene, nylon (polyamide), or polyester, although some are made with a combination of materials.
Although they were once seen as inferior to wool, modern design innovations mean that man-made fabrics now offer similar levels of durability and longevity - usually at a fraction of the cost. However, their performance depends on their specific blend of materials. Some fabrics will be more at risk of flattening on a staircase, especially if they have a higher pile.
Nylon is arguably the best option for staircases. It has excellent durability and a long lifespan, meaning it withstands wear and tear well. It is also very resistant to staining and easy to clean.
What pile should my staircase carpet be?
A low pile is better for staircase carpets, as it will be more stable and less likely to flatten underfoot.
What colour should I choose for my staircase carpet?
The colour your staircase carpet should be depends on the colour scheme of your home - it’s best to have one that blends in with your decor. More neutral shades tend to work well, as they can be paired with a variety of different designs and will fit in even if you decide to redecorate or sell.
Because of their location, staircases are often shaded from natural light. A light-coloured carpet - like our Santiago Elite Cream carpet - may help brighten up the space and prevent a claustrophobic feel.
On the other hand, dirt and marks are easier to spot on light carpets. If you have a larger or well-lit staircase, a darker or patterned carpet may be a better option - for example, our Bermuda Caramel Dream or Grey Lifestyle California Dreams carpets.
What underlay should I choose for my staircase?
When you’re laying a new carpet in your home, you can’t forget about underlay.
Underlay is the thin layer of material laid under your flooring. Although you can’t see it, it’s important for protecting the condition of your floor, adding cushioning for comfortable walking, reducing noise, and keeping the floor level and stable.
Because of the shape of staircases, the best underlay to choose is one that can be easily fitted around sharp angles. It also needs to be dense enough to withstand heavy foot traffic.
PU foam is versatile enough to suit most staircases, but sponge and crumb rubber may be better for staircases that see a lot of use (e.g. big households or those with pets).
A thickness of 9mm will likely work best, as an underlay that’s too thick will be difficult to install around each step.
For a more detailed overview of underlays, read our Underlay Buying Guide.
Looking to buy carpets for other parts of your home? Check out our full Carpet Buying Guide.
At Carpet Barn, we have over a thousand premium carpets available for you to choose from. Browse our range online, or pay a visit to our Poole, Ferndown, Christchurch, Eastleigh, or Salisbury superstores to see the quality of our carpets in person!