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Can You Put Hardwood Flooring on Stairs?

Wondering if you can put hardwood flooring on stairs? Discover how and why to upgrade your home with wood flooring on stairs at LL Flooring.

1 min read
Published on October 24, 2023

Hardwood makes a great choice for your home's flooring, but there's no reason to stop there. If you want to enjoy a consistent aesthetic throughout your home, you may be wondering if you can put hardwood flooring on stairs, too.


The good news is that you can indeed enjoy hardwood's elegance and warmth on your stairways and steps. Even do-it-yourselfers can install hardwood on stairs themselves and achieve professional-looking results with the right care and attention.


What Are the Benefits of Hardwood Stairs?

Hardwood stairs offer multiple benefits to homeowners, making everyday living more luxurious and improving your home's value at the same time. Whether you prefer solid wood flooring on stairs or decide to go with engineered hardwood flooring, you'll love the results both choices will give your home.


Aesthetic Appeal

The beautiful colors and detail that hardwood gives you are hard to match. Whether it's lustrous honey creams, cinnamon browns, or deep mocha tones, hardwood brings the warmth and vibrancy only nature can offer into your home. Plus, by matching your stairs to your hardwood flooring, you can achieve a cohesive, unified look that will elevate your home's interior style.


Superior Performance

Another great benefit of having hardwood stairs is the performance they deliver. Even softer hardwoods like red maple and elm are tough and long-lasting and won't be as susceptible to wear and tear as carpeting can be.


Easy Maintenance

Hardwood stairs are easy to maintain and care for. Simply sweep them periodically with a soft-bristled broom and use a damp cloth or mop for smudges and smears. Your stairs won't collect dust and dander the way carpeting can, which may help keep your home cleaner. You'll find all the flooring care and protection products you'll need at LL Flooring.


Prefinished Red Oak Solid Hardwood 1 in. Thick x 11.5 in. Wide x 48 in. Length Tread on stairs in basement with beige sofa and orange pillow


Is It Expensive to Put Hardwood on Stairs?

While the ultimate costs of any refurbishment depend on your particular situation and the type of hardwood you choose, installing hardwood on your stairway isn't generally cost-prohibitive. With careful planning, you can enjoy beautiful hardwood stairs without breaking the bank. When investing in hardwood stairs for your home, consider what's right for you between the two main categories below.


Solid Hardwood

As the name suggests, this choice offers one solid piece of wood. It offers strength and durability; with proper care, it can last decades.


Engineered Hardwood

When you go with engineered hardwoods, you get the same beauty as solid hardwoods—but they're constructed to include multiple layers, including both a natural hardwood décor layer and a strong core that adds stability and performance.


What Hardwood Should You Choose For Your Stairs?

To create a unified, seamless look, the best hardwood for stairs for your home should match your hardwood flooring. At LL Flooring, you'll find a wide selection of treads, risers, and noses that all feature hardwood in various colors, so you can easily find the right option.


When choosing the hardwood for your stairs, remember that stairs have essentially three components: the tread, which is the part you step on; the nose, which covers the edge of the tread; and the riser, which is the vertical piece that connects one tread to another. Interior designers will often match the treads and noses with the hardwood used for a home's flooring. However, they sometimes mix it up with risers, using different colors and patterns for added visual interest.


How Do You Prepare Stairs for Wood Flooring?

If you have old carpeting on your stairs, you'll first remove the carpeting to expose the bare wood underneath. Use a putty knife to scrape away any padding that may have adhered to the wood, and sweep away any debris so your stairwell is clean.


This is also the perfect time to fix any squeaks or noises your stairs make when you walk on them. Squeaks are usually caused by the wood moving against a nail and often means the wood is loose. Use a screw to secure the stair in place. Screws have threading that prevents the wood from moving and, thus, from squeaking.


What Tips and Tricks Help Make Installation Even Easier?

Once your old carpeting is removed and your stairs cleaned and ready for installation, we have a few handy tips below to make your installation as smooth as possible.


Measure Carefully

You'll likely need to cut your treads, noses, and risers to fit your stairwell. Measure the lengths and widths of each piece carefully so it fits snugly. Stairwells typically do not include baseboards, so your treads and risers need to fit flush against the wall. A tread measuring tool can help you get the right numbers so you don't have spaces between your stairs and wall.


Work Bottom to Top

It's generally best to work from your bottom stair up to the top rather than working top to bottom. It's safer and allows you to put your weight on the lower, completed steps instead of working on rough, uncompleted steps.


Install Risers Before Treads

Another important trick is to install your risers before you install the tread beneath them. This creates a tight fit with the tread above and allows you to easily push the tread below flush against the riser.


Ready to Get Started?

LL Flooring offers a wide variety of treads, risers, and noses in various hardwood looks and styles. Find the right choice for your home and get your upgrade underway.


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