How to Choose Flooring for Stairs

How to Choose Flooring for Stairs

How to Choose Flooring for Stairs

Choosing the flooring for your stairs is a crucial decision. You want your new flooring to blend with your other floors and enhance your home’s interior design. There are many stair flooring ideas out there because of the numerous styles and options to choose from, so it’s wise to start your project by weighing different factors and narrowing your options based on their importance to you.

4 Things to Consider When Reflooring Stairs

When choosing flooring for your stairs, there are a few factors to consider:

1. Budget

Before you fall in love with a flooring option that’s out of your budget, you should establish your price range. Flooring costs are per square foot, so make sure you know the square footage of your stairs to get an idea of what you might spend. 

You also need to budget for installation. Nothing beats the sleek beauty of professional installation — you won’t have to worry about gaps in the flooring or uneven planks. Best of all, you don’t have to do the labor yourself.

2. Style

Style is all about what you like and find aesthetically pleasing. Many homeowners want a grand staircase that integrates with their home’s design. For example, you might want hardwood stairs in a historic home.

While considering style, also consider the materials and decide what you find most attractive — whether that’s a soft, plush carpet or a hard, glossy wood. 

3. Safety

Your household’s safety is paramount. If you have any children or someone with limited mobility living in your home, you may want flooring materials with extra traction or cushion to prevent slips and soften falls. 

4. Durability

You want to choose the flooring that will withstand your household’s daily wear and tear. If your stairs are in a high-traffic area, you’ll want a more durable material. Also, consider how often you want to clean your stairs, as some materials are preferable because they show less dirt and debris.

What Flooring Is Best for Stairs? 

Luxury vinyl plank, hardwood and carpet are all popular options for stairways. Consider their characteristics when choosing the best flooring for your stairs. 

Luxury Vinyl Plank

Luxury Vinyl Plank

Luxury vinyl plank is a high-quality engineered flooring that can resemble stone, wood or tile. This type of flooring works well on stairs because it’s attractive, durable and easy to maintain. It comes in a variety of color and style options and is stain- and water-resistant. 

The pros of luxury vinyl plank flooring include: 

  • Durability: Vinyl is strong and durable, so it’s an excellent choice for high-traffic areas. Thicker vinyl can last up to 25 years with proper maintenance. It also features a wear layer that is scratch- and stain-resistant. 
  • Affordable: Luxury vinyl plank can give you the look of hardwood or stone without the high cost.
  • Easy to clean: Thanks to the wear layer, all you have to do to maintain your vinyl floors is sweep and mop routinely to remove dust and dirt. 
  • Versatility: You can choose from various colors and styles to find the flooring you desire.
  • Waterproof: Vinyl is waterproof, so it can handle spills with little to no moisture absorption.
  • Easy to install: You can install vinyl planks using glue or select locking or floating planks.

The cons of luxury vinyl plank flooring include: 

  • Noisy: If you don’t care for the sound of footsteps on hard floors, there are quieter flooring options than vinyl.
  • More challenging to repair: Removing vinyl is more difficult to remove when it’s glued to your subfloor. Additionally, you can’t refinish vinyl flooring, so you have to replace the entire section to repair it.
  • Shorter life span: Although vinyl can last many years, it doesn’t have the longevity of some other floors.


Hardwood is a classic, majestic flooring option known for its beauty and durability. There are two types of hardwood floors — engineered and solid. Engineered hardwood floors have a top hardwood layer and a bottom plywood layer. Solid hardwood only consists of wood harvested from trees. 

The advantages of hardwood flooring include: 

  • Easy to repair: You can sand and refinish hardwood numerous times to restore it to like-new condition.
  • Versatility: No hardwood is the same because each piece has unique knots and grain patterns. Plus, there are many wood and stain options, and you can always re-stain later if you want to change the color.
  • Durability: Hardwood can withstand high levels of foot traffic and last 30-100 years.
  • Luxurious: Hardwood flooring will impress your visitors with its elegant appearance. It’s hard to tell the difference between engineered and solid hardwood floors.

The disadvantages of hardwood flooring include:

  • Cost: Solid hardwood is one of the most expensive flooring types. Engineered hardwood will cost less.
  • Susceptible to water damage: Solid hardwood floors absorb water, making them more vulnerable to water damage. Engineered hardwood has a fiberboard layer that makes it less absorbent, but it’s still not as resilient as vinyl.
  • Susceptible to temperature changes: Hardwood can expand and contract with fluctuating temperature and humidity levels. Continuously expanding and contracting can cause the floor to shift over time and break or warp. Engineered hardwood is less susceptible to temperature changes.
  • Slippery: Hardwood floors offer little traction.
  • Noisy: Solid hardwood creates a distinctive sound when you walk across it.


Carpet is one of the best materials for stairs and landings thanks to its cushion and traction. It comes in various colors, plushness levels and patterns. 

The pros of carpet include:

  • Quiet: Carpet absorbs the sound of footsteps.
  • Versatility: Many textures, colors, patterns and styles are available.
  • Safety: This is one of the safest flooring materials for children and mobility-challenged adults because it provides plenty of traction.
  • Cost: Carpet usually costs less than other flooring types.
  • Easy to install: Professionals can install carpet with glue, tape, an interlocking system or a peel-and-stick method.
  • Comfort: The plushness of carpet makes walking or standing more comfortable.

The cons of carpet include: 

  • Traps dirt: Carpet fibers trap dirt and other debris, so cleaning takes more effort.
  • Stains and odors: This flooring material can retain stains and odors.
  • Retains moisture: Carpet can absorb moisture and encourage mildew or mold growth if spills aren’t addressed promptly.

Contact Metro Flooring Contractors for the Best Flooring for Stairs and Landings

Contact Metro Flooring Contractors for the Best Flooring for Stairs and Landings

When considering different stairway flooring ideas, you want to look at as many options as possible. Metro Flooring Contractors provides countless high-quality, brand-name flooring options for less. We have decades of experience selling and installing floors in Delaware, northern Virginia, parts of West Virginia and Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Whether you want rich hardwood floors, plush carpet or elegant vinyl plank flooring, we can help you find what you need among our vast product selection.

Our professional team will help you choose the best flooring for your stairs and complete your project in no time. Take the first step toward beautiful stairs by scheduling your free in-home estimate.