I removed carpeting from a set of stairs going down to a basement. The structure of the stairs is just plywood on stringers, but is fully boxed in, meaning it is built out with both risers and treads.

To re-cover the stairs I am wondering what my options are? My preference would be for something slip resistant, waterproof and relatively quiet. Cost is no object and the absolute highest quality commercial option would be preferable. I want the best of the best.

  • 1
    A picture to see what you are working with would be nice....
    – Jack
    Oct 3, 2021 at 17:40

3 Answers 3


If cost is no object, rip it all out and replace it with all new treads and risers to your liking instead of covering it up with something. Placing additional material over the existing will typical make the bottom tread higher than the rest, and the top tread shorter that the rest. Code only allows 3/8" difference from the shortest to the highest.

If you just want to recover the treads you have, do a Google search on "tread resurfacing" there will tons of companies out there that have the things I think you are looking for.

  • The stairs already had carpet on them and padding, so they can accept anything at least that thick. I don't want to replace the whole staircase. It is not a question of money, but of time. Since there is an complex and expensive cedar closet built below the stairs, it would be quite time consuming and annoying to try to replace the stairs themselves. We could replace the treads if necessary. Oct 3, 2021 at 18:45
  • Thats what I was referring to replacing, just the treads, not the support system, and the risers if need be. The treads that are in place need to be measured with the carpet off. If all are equal now and you add the tread material over that that is available nowadays that is 3/8" thick, you will have a difference of 3/4" with the top and bottom tread. If the bottom tread was lowered to allow the carpet to make up some of the difference, and the top tread lowered too, then that would be a different story.
    – Jack
    Oct 3, 2021 at 19:10
  • I am kind of a looking for an answer to the question, not a dissertation on building rules. Oct 3, 2021 at 19:11
  • You could consider it that, but the "rules" are there for a reason. The questions I ask about the differences in rise are important to the use of the stairs. They will create a trip hazard if the numbers don't add up so to speak.
    – Jack
    Oct 3, 2021 at 19:20
  • I edited my answer with what you may be looking for.
    – Jack
    Oct 3, 2021 at 19:24

I think rubber or similar material would make sense. Something like this example picked at random from Home Depot:

Rubber Tread


Slip resistant, waterproof and quiet: I would recommend stair tread grip tape. It also has the added benefit of not messing with riser heights at all.

Some examples (all courtesy of Amazon.com. No recommendation expressed or implied.)


person in boots walking up stairs with grip tape

High visibility safety:

roll of yellow & black striped grip tape

Glow in the dark for even more safety:

Roll of grip tape with glow in the dark green stripe

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