Our house was built in 1992. One woman lived here until we bought it in 2010. We think she never, ever went upstairs (master bedroom is on ground floor) and thus the carpeting on the staircase and upstairs was barely used.

So yes, this was a good thing for us. I guess.

But was it our taste? Certainly not. The builder had installed same carpet in every house here and some houses even had it in the bathroom. Horrors. At least our bathrooms had vinyl tile!

Here is the original bland carpet extending almost wall to wall on stairs and landing. It also covered the entire upstairs hall and guest room.

We lived with said carpet for 8 years. We had carpet companies, carpenters, and builders all in about five years ago to see our options.

We thought long and hard about how to move forward. Cost was a consideration in that I would have liked to sand and stain the treads. But the wood under the carpet was rough pine and would never have looked smooth or taken a stain well. So, short of removing the bannister and replacing all the treads and the entire floor on the landing, we were left to deal with the existing flooring.

Paint would do be fine. A nice gloss finish.

And I knew I wanted a runner of some kind. Sisal was out: too rough and probably not long lasting (even though the traffic here is minimal). I’ve always liked a patterned berber.
Then we had to choose whether to do wool. Yes, this my first choice. But yes, it was the most expensive (duh!!)

Carpet Choices

Back to the stair work:

You can see the entire width of each tread was painted white, but look at the low grade pine used. Not possible to stain. And oh, those carpet tacks! Must have been hundreds of holes to patch, fill and sand.

We’re getting there: treads with base coat. We had decided width of runner and how it was to turn corner on the landing.

Gorgeous gloss paint. I had decided, a long time ago, to do the treads in the same color as the bannister railing (and the fireplace in living room, visible when you turn around.)

Color: BM “Iron Mountain”
This is one of my favorite colors anytime, anywhere!

And here we are with the finished product!




While we were at it, we removed the carpet in the upstairs hall (as mentioned) and replaced the flooring with engineered white oak. This, too, makes SUCH difference. My studio office is straight up ahead of the stairs, and it gives me total joy every time I go up!

Before above and after below.

Suggestions for Successful Stair Renovations:

    1. Take your time!
      Don’t rush. Let it all sit for weeks, months, or years. Really
    2. Talk to several (many?) contractors.
      Get names. Listen to them.
    3. Think about YOUR use of the stairs. Do they get heavy traffic?
      Are they rarely used?
    4. Think about the acceptable noise level in your house. Would
      you be fine with wood treads?
    5. Do you have a pet? It can be difficult for dogs to walk
      on bare floor!
    6. How do you feel about wood showing on either end of
      a runner? Are you more comfortable with all carpeting?


Maybe this has helped you…I hope so! We are very happy with the result of our years, yes years, of waiting for this to happen. It is just what we wanted, which is as it should be!