How To Give Your Stairs A Style Update
When renovating a property, it’s important to consider areas that are going to get a lot of use and choose materials accordingly. The stairs are arguably the area that will receive the highest footfall in a property, so it’s important to choose appropriate flooring that will stand up to years of constant use. There are lots of things to consider when deciding on the right flooring for stairs – here are some of the most important factors.
Carpet is traditionally seen as the standard flooring for use on stairs. Carpet serves many purposes, like noise-dampening, softening the feel of stairs in the home, and reducing the likelihood of slipping. However, it’s possible to slip on carpets too – especially as the tread wears down and the surface becomes smoother and more flat.
Choosing vinyl flooring for stairs may seem counter-intuitive, as the mental picture is often of polished wooden floors, but it could be the safe option. Several types of vinyl flooring on the market specifically offer slip resistance properties.
Pro-Tek™ Flooring offers slip resistance test results too, which can help you choose the best flooring for a property. Slip-resistant vinyl is an excellent choice for office blocks where the stairs are frequently used, often by people who are carrying things and not paying attention, but it can also be an excellent choice for family homes. Slip-resistant vinyl flooring comes in many different textures and colours, making it ideal for all situations.
One of the other big things to consider when choosing flooring for stairs is how you intend to keep it clean. For family homes, carpet is the obvious choice. A regular regime of vacuuming the stairs will keep the carpet free of debris. You may also choose to use a steam cleaner or carpet cleaner every six months to one year for a more thorough clean to keep the carpet in the best possible condition.
Vinyl flooring will also need to be vacuumed to remove debris, but any marks or spillages can be wiped away using floor cleaning wipes or liquid – ensure you use vinyl-specific products to preserve slip resistance.
For commercial properties, carpets can still be an option, as many manufacturers sell hardwearing carpets meant for high-footfall areas. However, installing carpets in busy areas will mean the carpets will need cleaning more often. This is usually done by hiring a professional to clean the carpets every few months.
Many commercial properties choose to install vinyl flooring on the stairs to save on cleaning fees. Cleaning vinyl flooring is much easier due to its wipeable nature and stain resistance. Vinyl flooring is ideal in an office scenario where coffee is regularly spilt on the way back to an employee’s desk! Vinyl flooring can be cleaned by a standard cleaning team by simply hoovering and mopping, making it more affordable to maintain.
Another consideration when deciding which flooring to use on stairs is the location of those stairs. For example, many homes have tiles on some sets of stairs, such as those leading in from an outdoor area or into the kitchen. Tiles are usually chosen for a mixture of tradition, practicality and continuity – most kitchen floors are tiled, so it makes sense to continue this. However, tiles can become slippery, and the grout is difficult to maintain in the long term, making the flooring look more dated.
If you like the look of tiled stairs, then consider choosing tile effect vinyl flooring. This enables you to replicate the popular style while ensuring that the flooring looks its best for longer and is easier to clean and safer.
In commercial properties, trends are less likely to have an impact, but if you’re a homeowner looking for a sleek and modern design, then you’re more likely to be influenced by the latest decor styles.
Patterned staircases have become hugely popular in recent years – particularly in period homes that may once have had a tiled staircase. This look is often achieved with vinyl flooring because it’s easier to install and maintain. Pro-Tek offers a wide variety of tile-effect vinyl, which could help you to recreate the look you’ve seen in magazines in your own home.
Another hugely popular trend in modern home design involves varnishing the wood underneath. This brings the feel of more natural materials into the home, as well as introducing a different texture and more neutral tones. This can be a great option, but the wood needs to be regularly treated to ensure it remains its best.
Exposing the bare wood can result in damage that the stairs weren’t originally designed for, meaning that you may have to change the wood in the future. For the same effect, without the extra work, consider a wood-effect vinyl flooring – this gives the same overall finish as natural wood but without the added maintenance. It also protects the original stairs from getting too much wear and tear.
The best flooring for stairs
There are a huge variety of flooring options for stairs, so it’s important to consider your priorities and the property’s use when making a decision. Carpet can be great for a softer feel in the home, and natural wood is very on-trend, but both require a lot of maintenance. Vinyl flooring offers the best combination of looks and durability, no matter what the property is being used for.