There is no other area of the house with a traffic pattern like your stairs. The closest would be hallways, but even in hallways you step lighter and not in exactly the same area.
So how do we select a carpet that will last? The good news: choosing a durable, quality fiber carpet with a non-directional weave will help achieve a longer lasting staircase. The bad news: There is no super teflon coating that will help your stairs last as long as the carpets in the rest of your home. Experts say that you can expect your stairwell carpets to last about one-half the time that of the same carpet elsewhere in your home.
Where do you start? We always start with the type of fiber. Wool or Nylon? Both are very strong fibers. Both types of carpet fibers exhibit resilience to the stress of constantly being walked upon. It is this resilience that helps them prevent premature aging that many carpets in high-traffic areas, like stairs (and hallways), experience.
Wool Carpet: very durable, requires special care, absorbent making it prone to mildew when exposed to spills, prone to sun damage
Nylon Carpet: if untreated, very prone to staining, when treated has the best stain resistance, very strong, resists sun damage, abrasion resistant
Next we look at face weight/density of the carpet choices. This is important in that the more dense the carpet, the less wear appears. Consider a spring meadow vs. the same meadow in the fall. The density of the carpet of flowers is much more lush in the spring, and you are much less likely to notice damage to that carpet of flowers. It is also more likely to spring back after being walked on with the support of other flowers and plants lifting and supporting it. The same goes for a dense nylon or wool carpet.
Now that we have chosen a fiber and know we require a dense carpet, we choose the weave. A weave with a twist is important. Twist level is the amount of twist that two plies (or more) of fiber are given. You can sometimes count the twists by examining the face of the carpet carefully. The more twists in the fiber, the less dense the carpet needs to be, and it can even have less fiber. A short, medium dense, 40 ounce face fiber, high twist carpet will last as long as many looped carpets.
Arming yourself with this information will provide you the tools you need to make the best choice. Will there be a window allowing sunlight to reach the carpet? Will the carpet be exposed to moisture? Do you have large dogs with harsh nails that will break down the wool? Do you have small children? Is someone allergic to wool? These are the types of questions you should ask your self when starting the process of choosing a carpet for your home, then use that information and choose the best carpet available.
Once you’ve made your choice you might consider purchasing extra footage to re-carpet the stairs at the half-life of your carpet, to keep your stairwell decor as fresh and marvelous as the rest of your home, extending the lifetime of your home’s carpeting. Going one step further, you might consider installation methods that allow for replacement of one step at a time, as the top and bottom stairs typically wear out faster than the others. A waterfall type installation on stairs requires the entire length of carpeting to be replaced.
Of course, when you are looking for the highest quality carpets to be installed on your stairs, you’ll need professional installation. American Carpet Dealers and Agents will be able to help you navigate these questions and more thus allowing your family to tread softly for years to come on quality carpets from Bloomsburg Carpet made in the USA.