How to protect carpeted stairs? The carpet on stairs is off-white, and I feel it's already showing signs of dirt/wear/tear even though it's been only about 10 days since we moved in.

If it was flat floor, rug was an option. If it was hardwood stairs, stair runner/treads was an option. However, it is carpeted stairs, and people think it's very dangerous to put stair treads/runner over carpeted stairs.

Is vinyl runner safer? We have a bunch of kids who like to run down the stairs on everyday basis, so I'm really concerned about skidding and slipping.

  • What are the stair treads and risers made of? Hardwood? Softwood? Finished? Painted? Raw?
    – bib
    Aug 7, 2013 at 12:49
  • @bib it's a rental unit, so I don't know! If I were to guess - I think it's raw. Aug 8, 2013 at 1:54

2 Answers 2


Scotch guard will greatly increase the stiffness and how it holds up to dirt and abuse. I suggest a heavy heavy layer of scotch guard once a year right after it has been shampooed (let it dry of course).

Long-term carpet might not be ideal. You need to try to figure out what is under the carpet. Almost all of the time you can take out the carpet tacking, sand, and the stain/paint the stairs. This is not hard to do, doesn't cost much, and it is a true DIY project.


I don't think there's any shortcut to regular cleaning and maintenance.

We vacuum our stairs weekly, and steam-clean them around once every six months or so.

Also, make sure you don't use outdoor shoes inside the house - other than messing around with dirt, they can also bring in the germies et al that you don't really need to have to worry about.

But, to attempt an answer, I would probably use smaller scrap cuts of carpet running the entire width of the tread, screwed in to the wood at inner and side edges. Do take this advise with a lot of caveats, however. Little kids running up and down the stairs (and many adults, too), don't necessarily step softly, and after a while it's easy to forget that there's another layer on the stairs which can be dangerous if it ever separates from the base carpet.

A runner may well help, too. In addition to performing the same task as described above, it may be a little more aesthetically pleasing.

Regardless of what you choose, I'm suggesting that you firmly fasten it, noting that regular removal, cleaning and reinstall is a big chore. If not properly fastened, you run the precise risks you're worried about.

Vinyl runner... nope!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.