Quick synopsis: Wood stairs are noisy and slippery – especially in socks. A few “lessons learned” later, and we realized we needed to do something about it.
I searched all over the Internet for nice looking stair treads that flowed with the general decor of the house and couldn’t find any (that weren’t an arm and a leg anyway). So, I set to researching how to do it myself. Below are the steps I went through to make them. I can tell you they aren’t perfect BUT at least we’re not keeping the neighbors up, nor are we creating an unintended slip n’ slide.
Measuring the Stairs
Believe it or not, not all staircases have the same stair length (width) all the way across, which can leave your treads looking smaller or larger (depending on how narrow or wide the step gets).
Make sure you measure each step by it’s length and width. Then, lob off anywhere from 2-3 inches on each side. Stair treads aren’t usually made to go all the way across (as you will see in the first picture above). However, they DO go edge to edge from back to front.
I’m pretty sure this is self-explanatory. We had leftover carpet from our basement so we used that. Note that the carpet should be durable, easy to clean, and not have such a crazy pattern that it’s hard to cut straight. Also, make sure you have double the amount you think you need.
Cutting the Carpet
I used Robert’s Professional Carpet Cutting Knife, which did a pretty decent job. Note that on a normal staircase, you will dull close to three razor blades, which are included with the knife.
Make sure that when you are cutting, you are doing it on a non-scratchable surface so as not to damage anything.
I also suggest using a fabric pencil or another washable marking pencil to make your cutting lines.
Finally, cut at least 3-4 more than you think you need, just in case.
Sealing the Edges
I used Robert’s Universal Carpet Seam Sealer to seal all edges of the carpet to prevent fraying. However, there are a couple of things to note with that:
- The carpets need to dry on a drying rack for a bit – this can take a few hours to do.
- The edges will feel hard, which at first will not be super fun to walk on, but it does wear down over time.
- Six months later, and the edges of some of our stair treads are fraying a bit, which means we need to reseal.
Sticking Them to the Stairs
I used Robert’s Indoor/Outdoor Double-Sided tape to do this. It’s super easy to apply but a pain in the butt to cut. Make sure that you use a box cutter or something else with a blade to do this – NOT SCISSORS.
Once you’ve cut your strips (two per tread – one for the top and one for the bottom), remove the adhesive backer from one side and apply to the tread. Do the same for the other. Then remove the other adhesive backers and apply the tread to the step.
Note: They can be removed and reapplied to the step if needed. They will still stick!
I’m sure you’ll probably do a better job than I did on cutting, but they certainly do the trick, and we’re super happy we did it. Good luck!