Converting Carpeted Stairs to Hardwood

Stairway | Flowers Flooring

Converting carpet stairs to hardwood is a popular home makeover project. If you are one of the lucky ones, you’ll find beautiful hardwood floors already in place under the carpet. For the rest of us, this endeavor has a few more steps and is a little more involved.

Carpet on stairs is the first carpeted area in the home to wear out due to frequent foot traffic. While the rest of the carpet in the house may look mostly unworn, the stairs often do not fare as well. The stairs are a magnet for stains and dirt. If you aren’t keen on replacing the carpet with new carpeting and want to make the switch to solid surface steps, here is some information and advice about the process.

Steps to Having Hardwood Stairs

Step 1: Check for Existing Hardwoods

Using pliers pull up a corner on the riser, the vertical part of the step, not the part you step on to check what’s hiding under that old carpet.  You might be pleasantly surprised to find you already have beautiful hardwood steps preserved by the protective carpet layer.  In this case, you might get by having them refinished and restored to their original grandeur. Existing hardwoods do present another dilemma, however, and that is matching. Most homeowners want the stairs to match the surrounding floors. In this case, you’ll have to redo the stairs with different materials for consistency.


In the absence of nicely finished wood steps, your staircase will be constructed out of a simple plywood or particle board, or unfinished wood. Finding out ahead of time what is under your carpet will help the installer give a more accurate quote for the project.

Step 2: Remove Old Carpet

Regardless of what you find under the carpet on your staircase, the old carpet needs to be removed. Most contractors and flooring installation companies will remove the carpet, nails, and tacks and dispose of them for you as part of the project.

Step 3: Choose New Flooring

As mentioned previously, there are a few decisions to make about the final stair material. You have a couple of options.

  1. Match existing hardwoods
  2. Replace with new hardwood steps
  3. Use a vinyl or laminate product


Stairs require special edge pieces in addition to the tread and riser.



Step 4: Add a Runner for Safety and Style

Now that you have freshly finished stairs and that old, tired carpet is long gone, you can accent your stairs with a carpet runner. Runners cost less than a full carpet, they allow the hardwood to show under them and also add slip resistance to the steps. Homes with children and pets should consider a runner to help increase grip and decrease accidents. If you have ever padded down uncarpeted steps with your socks on and slipped, you understand how runners are valuable.

Enjoy Your New Stairs

Converting carpeted steps to hardwood steps is a quick project that can be completed in a day by a professional turning your staircase into a beautiful focal point of your home.


About Flowers Flooring

Flowers Flooring is your family flooring specialist with two locations – Cornelius, NC, and Winston-Salem, NC. Both locations service a 100-mile radius from the showroom. Both locations specialize in flooring sales and installation, including carpet, laminate, hardwood, sand & finish, hardwood restoration, vinyl plank, vinyl tile, rubber flooring, tile floors, tile showers, tile backsplash, area rugs, interior painting, and more. To reach the Cornelius, NC location please call (704) 445-7750 and to reach our Winston-Salem location, please call (336) 660-0977. Please be sure to inquire about our current promotion and financing offers.