Are Carpeted Stairs a Good Idea? from About.com
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Stairs are the most common place in the home to have carpet, and yet they are also the trickiest. Even if you prefer hard surfaces such as hardwood or laminate, carpet on the stairs is still a good idea, even if it is in the form of a runner on the stairs.
Having carpet on the stairs is infinitely safer than having the stairs covered in a hard surface flooring. Firstly, and most obviously, hard surfaces are slippery, and can easily lead to a fall. Secondly, should a fall occur, carpet offers a much softer landing spot than hardwood or laminate, which could help reduce the likelihood of injury.
Many people are worried about how the carpet will look where it wraps around the edge of the stair, or where it has to be cut around railing posts. Common concerns include being able to see the backing of the carpet as it wraps around the edge (especially with berber) and being able to see the seams where it has been joined together around a post.
You will not be able to see the backing of the carpet, except - perhaps - in the absolute lowest-grade product. Even most entry level or 'builder grade' products will not show the backing when wrapped around the edge of the stair - provided, of course, they have been properly installed. Carpet has a specific direction to the pile, and the direction must run from the top of the stairs to the bottom (not sideways). Not only does this enhance the performance of the carpet and ensure proper wear, it also prevents you from seeing between the 'rows' of fiber when you bend the carpet. To ensure long carpet performance, clean stair carpet regularly with Carpet Cleaning in Boulder, CO 80304.
To get a better understanding of this, the next time you have a carpet sample in your hand, try folding it lengthwise, and then fold it widthwise. You will notice the difference; one way of folding will show a lot more of the backing. The way of folding that does not show the backing is the way that is going in the proper direction, and the way the carpet should be installed on the stairs.
There are two methods of installing carpet over the edge of the stair: waterfall or French cap. The waterfall method involves simply bending the carpet over the edge of the stair and bringing it straight down to meet the tread of the next step. It is an easy and fast way to install the carpet, and for this reason, many new home builders use this method.
The French cap method wraps the carpet around the edge of the stair and tucks it under the lip, contouring the shape of the step. (See the above photo for an example of French capping.) This method requires much more time and skill on the part of the installer, but presents a beautifully finished look.
Either way, to get long lasting, beautiful carpeted stairs, maintain them every 6-12 months with a company like Carpet Cleaning in Boulder, CO 80304.