I live on the top floor of 3 storey housing unit. When you walk into our house, you are immediately faced with a staircase that takes you up to the third floor.

The stairs are made of stone slabs and are extremely hard. Our child is getting better at walking and more independent and wants to go up and down the stairs by herself. However we are worried about this since even a small fall on such hard and sharp edged stairs would be painful and possibly catastrophic.

What can I do to make the stairs softer and more child friendly, while also taking into account that this is an entrance staircase and will encounter snowy boots during the winter and wet shoes in the summer?


  • Fair to say you need a temporary solution, no? That phase tends to be relatively short.
    – isherwood
    Oct 24 '19 at 2:22
  • What material are the risers?
    – isherwood
    Oct 24 '19 at 2:25
  • @isherwood sort of. There is a distinct possibility of another little one or two in the coming years. The riser apparently is metal. That's what it feels like when I knock on it Oct 24 '19 at 2:36
  • As a parent who's gone through this several times I wonder if you're working too hard for something that will pass quickly. Also, the world is full of hard stairs. Maybe better to teach caution than to pad the planet. My unsolicited $.03.
    – isherwood
    Oct 24 '19 at 13:49

Carpet the stairs. A fairly thick outdoor carpet could be secured using high-strength construction adhesive along with screws into the metal risers under the lip of each step. Perhaps even a rubber "nose" under the carpet, along the sharp edge of the steps. That would lessen the danger of a fall, at least a bit.

When unbearably muddy/dirty it could be water blasted and wet-vac cleaned.

When the tykes have grown the carpet could be removed (albeit with some labor to scrape off the glue and patch work on the screw holes) to reveal the nice original stone steps.

Contact the local flooring industry council or guild for advice; they would love to offer solutions and supply and install it for you. Or you could take a chance and do it yourself.

  • I was originally thinking of just a soft nose piece but worry that such an addition would introduce a tripping hazard... Oct 24 '19 at 6:33
  • Do you have any links to recommended products you can share? Oct 24 '19 at 13:54

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