Burning Question: Bare All?

This week’s big query is all about stairs. Namely, do you prefer them to be bare wood, plushly carpeted, or a bit of both thanks to a runner? Do you love the look of wood stairs but think they’re dangerous when it comes to kids (or just your own clumsy self)? Do you think carpeted stairs are a nightmare to vacuum? Do you adore runners or think they’re a bit too non-committal either way?



  1. Julie says

    We have (ugly) carpeting on our wood stairs, but I am nervous to remove it from a slipping hazard perspective. Not to mention, who knows what the wood underneath looks like. The carpeting is a pain to vacuum, though. Maybe a runner is the way to go??

  2. says

    Growing up we had carpeted stairs in our house and then ripped up the carpet and finished the wood below. All I can tell you is that it’s a lot harder to sneak in and out at night when you’re making ‘clunk clunk clunk” noises on wood steps… but it sure does look better. IMHO

  3. says

    We live in a one story, but I love the look of wood stairs, even though I hear they can be dangerous when running/quickly going down the stairs and I’m clumsy! (So it’s probably good we don’t have stairs!)

  4. says

    I love the look of bare wood stairs, but I have seen adults fall down those slippery stairs, and it was scary! All I can say is, no running on bare wood stairs allowed, no matter what age you are!

  5. Lisa says

    Love, love, love my wood stairs! But we did stencil our monogram on the back of each step (that part was white) with palm trees on either side of the initial for a fun, personal touch. Stenciling was easy to do and it would be easy to change with a few quick coats of white paint.

  6. says

    I have recently torn up the carpeting on our basement stairs and I LOVE how fresh they feel now! One day I’ll tear up the carpeting on our main stair case; no matter how much I vacuum, they never seem to feel really clean…I’m all about wood with a runner :)

  7. Meredith V says

    This is blowing my mind. I’ve always only had wood stairs. Growing up and in our new (old) house now. I never thought about the fact that the wood is probably more slippery. We have VERY steep stairs that I have fallen down twice already. Would a runner help to make them less dangerous?!

    • says

      Yes! It would probably make it harder to fall (although carpet can be slippery too at times). But it’ll definitely be softer on the ol’ bod when you do!


    • Chrissy says

      The only stairs I have ever fallen down have been carpeted…three times total that I can recall, but that is in just four years of living in a house with said stairs. The carpet was old and the edge was worn a bit….VERY SLIPPERY and you sort of could slide off the edge…nothing like wood stairs. And I still ended up very bruised each time. :/ so…in the future it is wood stairs for me.

  8. sophie says

    we had hideous beige carpeting on our stairs. took it off and found builders basic stairs, ca. 1984. painted them with porch and floor paint and voila, new stairs that are much more beautiful and much easier to take care of.

    To Julia, above: we had worries about slip factor and it hasn’t been an issue. We warned our kids about it and they adjusted. In the six months since we took on the project, we’ve had not a single slip at any time, and that’s from two rambunctious kids.

  9. erin says

    I love and totally prefer the look of bare wood stairs, but after a fall that left a huge bruise on my butt as well as bruising my muscle for weeks….I think some sort of carpet is needed for safety.

  10. JW says

    I’ve slipped on both carpeted and wood stairs, both are equally dangerous in socks I think. However, wood sure hurts a lot more to fall on!!

  11. Alexandra says

    While I love the look of wood floors, carpet is our practical choice. We have to be mindful of our living siutation: we have 3 cats who LOVE hanging out on our stairs. There is wonderful ignorance with carpet, you don’t know what you can’t see. Carpet allows us to put off cleaning a little more than our tell-all hardwoods downstiars.

    As for Vacuuming? Not an issue! Actually, we’ve learned that a broom works much better, so we vacuum seldom but sweep often.

  12. says

    I prefer bare or a runner. Of course, that’s my preference as someone who doesn’t have stairs! I have a 1940s ranch – and we’re as low and flat as you can go. If I were to buy a new house the stairs would most likely be carpeted… and I think I could deal with that. :)

  13. says

    Haha, I’m from Vancouver where no twenty-something in any legal trade can affor a house with stairs (make that a house – period). It would be a nice problem to have, though!

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