Best Carpet and Pad Choice For Stairs

Would you like to know what would be Best Carpet and Pad Choice For Stairs, landing, hallway and other high traffic areas of your home? 

Carpet installed on stairs tends to wear out much quicker than other areas in your home. Why? It’s because stairs are narrow and they receive a constant pounding from heavy foot-traffic focused down the center and on the leading-edge of every step.

Commercial Carpet on Stairs

The goal is to make sure your new carpet installed on your STAIRS can tolerate more abuse and hopefully last years longer.

The Best Carpet Choice For Stairs

Carpet installed on Stairs endures the most abuse. It’s because stairs are narrow and receive a constant pounding from heavy foot-traffic focused in the center and on the leading-edge of every step.

Active children, dogs and cats and especially teenage boys and their friends are the main reason why carpets installed on stairs tend to wear out faster than carpets installed in other areas of your home.

Kids and pets love to run up and down the stairs as fast as they can which is very damaging to the pile surface. Abrasion is the number one cause of carpet wear and tear.

How to Reduce Carpet Wear & Tear on Stairs? 

To start with, you can choose a more durable “Grade of Carpet” that can handle moderate to heavy foot-traffic, and select a padding with a higher-density rating to provide better support for your carpet installed on stairs. Here are a few options that may help you choose the right grade and style of carpet and padding for your stairs and other high-traffic areas.

The Best Carpet Fiber for Stairs?

For stairs, you can choose almost any carpet style you like as long as the “grade of carpet” is designed to handle your level of foot traffic, but the most durable residential carpets are made from 100% Nylon.

There are various types of Nylon fibers available and some are more durable than others. The “soft” Nylon styles are not quite as durable as the standard Nylon carpet styles.

What do I mean by “Grade of Carpet?” Carpet specifications determine the grade of the carpet you select. That means fiber type, tuft twist, pile height, pile density and face weight.

All this information and more is available on another page and I highly suggest you take the time to Learn More About Carpet Specifications

Choosing the Right Carpet Fiber for Stairs

The type of Carpet Fiber you select will determine how long it lasts, how soft it feels, what colors are available, how easily it cleans and how much it costs. This is one of the most critical factors homeowners face when choosing and comparing carpet.

There are several carpet fibers available today and they all have their own unique benefits and pitfalls:

  1. Nylon – Two main versions are Stainmaster 6.6 and Anso 6.0 and available in various “soft” styles.
  2. Sorona – also known as Triexta; Smartstrand; and PTT.
  3. P.E.T. Polyester – This is a soft and stain resistant fiber made from recycled plastic bottles.
  4. Polyester – A soft and yet inexpensive fiber to manufacture which makes it popular for homeowners who are on a budget.
  5. Olefin – Also known as polypropylene. A durable fiber that is inexpensive to manufacture but difficult to clean.
  6. Wool – A soft and natural fiber derived from sheep, is naturally fire-resistant but very expensive to buy and more costly to install and maintain.

When comparing carpet, you must compare apples to apples. For example, you cannot compare a NYLON carpet to a POLYESTER carpet, or a WOOL carpet to an OLEFIN carpet. This would be like comparing apples to oranges. You have to compare similar carpets and narrow it down to the one that best meets your needs and lifestyle as well as your budget.

Don’t believe any salesperson that says a carpet made with Polyester is just as durable as a carpet made from Nylon.

Nylon is the most durable fiber and most resilient carpet fiber available today. So if you want your new carpet to tolerate heavy foot-traffic and continue to look like-new for years to come, then nylon is the fiber you need to select.

Why You Should Consider a Nylon Carpet for Your Stairs

Nylon is a generic name or designation for a family of synthetic polymers first produced in 1935 by the DuPont Company. As far as fibers go, Nylon is the most durable and the most resilient of all fibers.

Nylon resists matting and crushing of the pile because it is very resilient. A “Resilient” fiber is defined as having the ability to return to its original form or position after being bent, compressed, or stretched. Nylon is the most resilient fiber used to make carpet today. Resiliency is what keeps a Nylon carpet looking like-new longer than any other fiber.

Nylon costs more than other fibers. Nylon is one of the more expensive fibers second only to wool. I would consider choosing a Nylon carpet if you have a lot of foot traffic and longevity was my biggest concern.

Q. Do Tactesse, Caress, Lisse’ and other “softer” Nylons hold up as well as the “standard, non-soft” nylon fibers do?

This is an excellent CARPET question. From my experience, I have found that the “softer” Nylon fibers are not NEARLY as resilient as a standard denier Nylon fiber. The thicker the fiber denier, the heavier the filament, the more durable the carpet will be!

The way they make a standard nylon fiber softer is to make the strand thinner. By doing so, I firmly believe that a lot of the fiber resiliency is compromised. This thinner strand creates a carpet that is much more softer to the touch but as a result may be more susceptible to matting and crushing of the pile.

I’m not steering you away from buying a soft nylon, but if you want to have the absolute most durable and most resilient nylon for the money, I suggest you buy a carpet made with a standard denier Nylon fiber, and steer away from a softer product.

The Best Carpet Padding for Stairs?

Rebond Carpet Pad

(Best Bang for your Buck!)

Rebond Carpet Padding

This type of pad is the most common and the best choice for most residential applications.

It is made from recycled materials, mainly from recycled urethane foam, which is why it is multicolored. It is available everywhere, and in virtually every thickness and density.

Rebond pad is reasonably priced and it does a good job supporting your carpet for about 7 to 15 years on average.

Rebond is designed for residential applications and is the most economical padding choice for your home, rental or office.

4 to 10-pound densities are available but most homeowners would be wise to choose a density rating of 6 to 8 pounds.

I recommend at least an 8-pound density for carpet  on stairs.

An 8-pound density gives excellent support and durability for homes with active kids and pets too. You also have the option for a 10-pound pad.

Not all Rebond padding is made of high-grade or top-quality recycled materials. Every padding manufacturer offers several grades of Rebond padding to their distributors.

Carpet retailers have a choice of which grade of Rebond padding to offer to their customers. The main difference will be the type of recycled materials used to manufacture the padding and the density rating.

Padding Types

The higher the quality of recycled materials used, the better the Rebond pad will perform.

Most carpet stores have a few different thickness and density variations on hand and can order other padding specifications to meet your needs when necessary.

Wool, Cloth Pads and Synthetic Fiber Pads

These types of natural wool and synthetic pads are used primarily for Berbers and commercial carpets. They are very dense, breathe well, and are not spongy at all. Any of these would be a great choice for stairs.

Cloth pads are made from recycled or shredded fabrics or natural wool. They are designed to support and allow looped Berbers and commercial carpets to wear well in heavy traffic situations.

Pads of this type are designed to prevent carpets from stretching out and developing wrinkles.

Synthetic fiber pads are also a great choice for basements with concrete floors because it breathes well, resists mold and mildew and has anti-microbial properties.

Padding Specifications

Reputable carpet dealers always offer top quality Rebond padding to their customers.

The price you pay for a good quality padding may be slightly higher. However you should never skimp when it comes to choosing a good quality padding to place underneath your good quality carpet.

The Grade of Padding you select must MATCH the Grade of Carpet you select. If you buy a carpet designed to last 15 years, then you must buy a padding that is designed to last at least 15 years.

Typical Cost for an 8-pound density Rebond pad is about $4.49 – $6.99 per square yard or about 50 to 77 cents per square foot.

Take my Free Carpet Foot-Traffic Test to help determine what grade of carpet you need to buy!

Carpet Dealer Directory

It’s hard to find an honest and reputable carpet store these days! That’s why I created my own special hand-picked list of locally-owned carpet and flooring stores. They give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring and use qualified installers. Are there any Recommended Carpet Stores Near Me?


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