In many homes, once you walk in the front door the most prominent thing you see is the staircase. This is why ensuring that your stairs are aesthetically beautiful is key to a gorgeous-looking home and also why hardwood stairs are a great option. 

There is an enormous variety of wood flooring solutions for stairs and in this post, we’ll go through some of these options as well as provide tips on how to install wooden stairs including treads and risers, stair nosing, and carpet runners. As with other hardwood floorings in your home, it adds value and due to the durability of solid wood and engineered wood flooring will continue to look fantastic for years to come.

As well as being a prominent feature, stairs are also responsible for marrying the lower and upper floors of your home. So it is important to create a seamless flow between these two (or more) areas of your home which often have different styles according to need.

For example, many people choose to have wooden flooring in their hallway, this is perfect for a high-traffic area, especially for those coming in from outside as it’s hard-wearing and easy to clean. Therefore, continuing the hardwood flooring on the staircase creates a stunning focal point with its timeless beauty and elegant warmth.

Also, if the upstairs is carpeted having wooden stairs with a carpet runner helps to seamlessly blend the wood flooring downstairs with the carpeted upper floor.

The Benefits of Wood Flooring on Stairs

Some of the key benefits of installing hardwood flooring on stairs in a nutshell are:

  • Wooden stairs will add value to your home.
  • Wood stairs are easy to clean.
  • They are durable and long-lasting.
  • Fewer allergens and dust than carpet.
  • Wooden flooring is warm.
  • Hardwood stairs are versatile; they can suit any style of home.
  • Solid wood or engineered wooden stairs are aesthetically beautiful.

Installing Wood Flooring on Stairs

Preparing the stairs

Remove any existing floor covering such as carpet, including any staples and nails with needlenose pliers and/or a crowbar for the more stubborn ones.

Wooden floors will need to be laid on a level surface. This includes stairs. Using a long length measure check each individual stair to ensure there is no more than a 3mm difference.

If there is more than a 3mm difference then either sand it or use a self-levelling compound.

As well as being level, the stairs must also be clean, dry and solid.

Trim planks to size

It’s an old truism but measure twice, cut once.

The measurements you need to take are the length and width, the riser which is the back of each step and the tread, which is the part you stand on. You will need to measure every step individually. Then number each plank so you can easily match them up.

Make sure you don’t cut your wood too small - you can adjust if they are too big but too small and you have wasted that plank.

Take your time with the cutting, cut on an appropriate surface and use appropriate PPE such as gloves and goggles.

Installing risers

The risers should be installed first. This will provide the appropriate strength needed for the treads.

Beginning at the bottom and working your way up dry fit each riser first before applying a thin coat of adhesive making sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions and ensuring there is adequate ventilation.

Once the riser is in place attach it to the stringers with three evenly spaced nails on the right, left and central stringer. That’s nine nails per riser. This will ensure your treads have a strong solid foundation.

Installing treads

As with risers cut your treads carefully after double and triple checking your measurements. Dry fit them first to be sure you have the fit just right and make any adjustments as required.

Following the manufacturer's instructions, spread a thin layer of adhesive to the stair itself then place the plank on the stair starting from the bottom.

Once glued nail them in place using 2” nails is commonly thought to be best, as is firing them in at a 45-degree angle. Place the nails as per the instruction for the risers then finally fill the nail holes with a matching filler.

Dealing with stair nosing

Stairs nosing is a protruding edge or lip on the tread which hangs over the riser. The amount that overhangs is usually a  minimum of 16mm or ¾ of an inch to a maximum of 1 ¼.

The nosing is put in place after the risers and treads except for the top where if the floor is to be wood it is usually installed at the same time as the wooden flooring.

Ensure the treads are clean and dry before installing the nosing to make sure the adhesive works correctly. Once glued ensure no one walks on it until the glue is completely dry.

Installing a runner

Having a runner on your hardwood or engineered wooden stairs can help to make them less slippery and therefore less of a hazard for young children, pets or the elderly or infirm. This makes it a common choice alongside hardwood stairs.

The most important thing with laying a runner on stairs is to measure and get the initial angle right. Making easily rubbed away pencil marks where the runner should go is a good idea. Otherwise, as you staple the carpet will go off to one side and make it go off centre.

The runner can then be stapled into place with carpet staples.

Hire a Professional

For those who have a lot of experience in home improvements instaling wooden flooring on your stairs is a relatively straightforward, if time-consuming job.

However, for those who don’t have much experience, need the job done quickly, or want the best quality we recommend hiring a professional to install your engineered or hardwood flooring on your stairs.

How Wooden Floors UK Can Help

The Wooden Floors UK website allows you to browse for the perfect flooring to suit your home by suitability. This includes flooring that is suitable for stairs - just scroll down on our home page to ‘Browse by Suitability’ and click on the ‘Stairs’ icon. It couldn’t be easier to find the perfect wooden flooring for your stairs.

As well as making it easier for you to find the right flooring solutions for your stairs Wooden Floors UK offer the following:

  • Free samples, so that you can get a real idea of how the flooring looks in your home.
  • A wide range of types and styles of flooring.
  • The best prices. We regularly check our prices against our competitors to make sure we are giving you the best deal. If you see the same product cheaper elsewhere let us know and we’ll look into matching that price.
  • Fast delivery means you can have your new flooring with you in as little as 3 days.
  • Expert advice; we have over 4 generations of knowledge about all things wooden flooring; from choosing the right wooden floor, wooden floor installation, and care of your wooden floor.
  • Passion for our products; we believe in our products, we live and breathe wooden floors and want all of our customers to get the perfect wooden flooring for their needs.
  • Quality wooden floors; we used only the best wooden flooring companies, where we source only the best solid wood and engineered wood. This means you can purchase from us knowing your floor is guaranteed to be of the highest standard.

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