Which Should I Choose - Painted Stairs or Carpeted Stairs?
Soft and soundproofing or clean and colourful? We debate the merits of carpets and runners over painted stairs
Putting down a carpet or runner allows you to take a complex pattern onto your stairs more easily than trying to paint one on. Stripes are a traditional favourite for stair runners, but this staircase shows how a striking pattern against a soft grey backdrop looks exciting and original.
See all the carpet staircases here.
Painting the risers, not the treads, creates an unusual take on a painted staircase and produces an effect that would be impossible to create with carpet. Picking a host of candy colours adds a further shot of originality, while white walls stop the look from becoming too hectic.
Soft carpet feels great on bare toes and, while less practical in high traffic spaces like hallways, it works well on the stairs, pampering your feet as you climb. If you are concerned that a neutral runner lacks design oomph, take a leaf out of this staircase’s book and pick a runner with a border to create strong lines running upstairs.
If you paint your stair treads and risers, why stop there? Using paint gives you the freedom to take the colour up the walls, too, to make a bigger splash. As few people are fans of furry walls, you probably would not do this with carpet!
Fully carpeting the stairs gives them a neat, uniform look. It’s a good option in homes with children, who tend to romp up and down stairs, as it offers the best sound insulation, and provides cushioning in case of tumbles.
Painted white stairs and banisters look clean and crisp, especially teamed with stripped floors in pale wood. Cleaning stair carpet requires pulling a vacuum cleaner up behind you and balancing it on the treads, which can be a rather physical task. Painted wooden stairs can simply be swept with a dustpan and brush, making this a look that’s good looking, hard-wearing and easy to maintain.
Find more white and minimal staircases.
Maybe you don’t want your stairs to make a big style statement? You just want them to feel good underfoot and tie your interior scheme together. In that case, simply continue the carpet form the lower level up the stairs for a seamless look. Here, a neutral oatmeal carpet links the levels and allows the artwork, painted wall and colourful rug to do the talking.
If you love the fresh look and easy-to-sweep finish of painted stairs, but are also drawn to the pattern and colour a stair runner brings, why not combine the two? This clever staircase sports a painted stair runner that’s striking but practical at the same time.
A geometric pattern can really lift a restrained scheme, adding interest without undermining an elegant space. This carpet draws the eye upwards and energises the monochrome décor with a design that would take forever to achieve in paint.
Learn how to make an impact with geometrics
Painting stairs gives you the freedom to add words, patterns, symbols or numbers to treads, risers and sides. These stairs combine three colours, a runner effect and vintage-style letters on the risers for an eclectic, individual look that carpet would struggle to match.
Be inspired by unique staircases
Carpet or paint? Which one works for you? Share your thoughts in the Comments.