Can you put Hardwood Flooring on Stairs? - WFC Wood Floor Cleaner (2023)

The reasons to want a hardwood floor in general are pretty clear. In addition to being beautiful and adding value to a home, hardwood floors are relatively easy to clean.

If a house has hardwood floors, it makes perfect sense for said floor to extend to the stairs. Most homeowners — and just about anyone, for that matter — can see the logic in having floors match throughout the house. Essentially, stairs are just a specialized part of the floor, right?

However, we all know that hardwood floors can be slippery. Anyone who’s attempted a race on a newly polished floor while wearing socks can attest to that.

Can you put Hardwood Flooring on Stairs? - WFC Wood Floor Cleaner (1)

So the question is, can you put hardwood flooring on stairs? Simply put: Yes, you can, as long as you find a way to make them less slippery.

In this guide, you’ll learn the reasons wooden stairs are an excellent choice, and how you can make them less slippery and safe.


  • Why You Should Install Hardwood Floors on Stairs
    • Beauty
    • Cleaning
    • Durability
    • Value addition
    • Safety
  • How to Make Hardwood Stairs Less Slippery
    • Carpeting
    • Anti-Slip Adhesive Stair Treads
    • Anti-slip floor finish
    • Standard stair code
    • Maintenance
  • The Bottom Line

Why You Should Install Hardwood Floors on Stairs

There are plenty of reasons to make your stairs hardwood. The following are a few of the most salient points:


Hardwood floors are a popular flooring material due to their natural beauty, owing to the wood’s natural grain colors and patterns. Their sense of style is unbeaten and always inviting.

When the surface scratches or wears out, the wood can be refinished to look new and beautiful again.

Matching your wood floors and stairs is simply the correct decision aesthetically. It may look odd or incongruent when you have different flooring materials in your home.

(Video) How To Install Hardwood on Stairs

Extending the warmth of your wooden floors to the stairs makes sense both logically and stylistically.


Hardwood floors are easier to clean and maintain than carpeting or any other type of floorings.

It is impossible for dirt, dust, and allergens to stick to a wooden surface as opposed to carpeting, which acts like a sponge.

Additionally, dirt and other debris such as pet hair can simply be cleaned by sweeping or dusting with a dry mop.


Nothing beats wooden flooring in terms of durability. Wood can last for decades without changing its in-depth color or texture.

Hardwood flooring will serve best for stairs with high traffic as compared to other materials. Unlike carpeting and vinyl, hardwood floors can be refinished during an upgrade without needing to be replaced.

There are also different varieties of hardwoods to choose from, ranging from various species, styles, colors, and stains. You can choose from engineered, solid, prefinished, or unfinished hardwood floors for your home depending on your preferences.

Species such as Hickory, Maple, and Oak are among the toughest.

Value addition

Installation of a hardwood floor increases the value of your property. It can attract a great resale value in the future and you are guaranteed high returns on your investment.

For that reason, many homeowners consider the installation of hardwood floors in the kitchen, bathrooms, stairs and any other applicable areas to be a solid investment.


Hardwood floors create a healthy indoor environment due to their ease of cleaning, inability to attract allergens, and non-toxic nature.

They can also be disinfected to eliminate dangerous microorganisms. Carpets attract allergens such as pet hair, dust, and pollen, which may cause allergic reactions.

(Video) How to Clean Wood Floors: The Best Way to Keep Hardwood Floor Clean

How to Make Hardwood Stairs Less Slippery

Safety is a major concern when installing hardwood flooring on stairs.

A finished or polished surface of a stair tread is very slippery and dangerous to walk on. However, there are plenty of ways to make your wooden stairs less slippery.

They include the following:


Installation of a carpet makes stairs safer by adding traction to the surface. Carpets are also warm and beautiful, and thus will add a degree of coziness to your home.

There are two options of carpeting your stairs: namely, stair runners and carpet stair treads.

Stair Runners

These are pieces of carpet that don’t cover the entire width of the stair. They are commonly installed over hardwood or tiled floors to prevent slipping.

Stair runners exist in various colors, patterns, shapes and sizes you can choose from. Stair runners are meant to cover the full depth of each stair tread.

In addition to making stairs less slippery, they protect wood from damage, reduce noise, and add coziness.

Stair runners present some downsides, however. For example, they can be difficult to clean when they are extremely dirty.

There is also the possibility of trapping dust, dirt, and allergens. Some people find them complicated to install but that can be handled by a professional.

Carpet Stair Treads

These are pieces of carpet that can be installed individually on each stair to prevent slipping.

They can be installed using carpet tape or on top of a non-skid rug pad to keep them firmly attached.

(Video) How to Clean Buildup on Wood Floors : Wood Flooring

Carpet stair treads are cheaper and easier to maintain than stair runners. They can be washed individually when dirty.

Can you put Hardwood Flooring on Stairs? - WFC Wood Floor Cleaner (2)

Carpet stair treads do come with some disadvantages. For example, they don’t offer complete protection to the wood. Furthermore, if incorrectly installed, they can slide and cause falling.

Low pile carpet is the best choice for both stair runners and carpet stair treads.

High pile carpet can cause tripping and can also be difficult to clean.

Installation of both types of stair carpets has to be done correctly to avoid sliding or bunching up.

Anti-Slip Adhesive Stair Treads

Clear anti-slip treads can be used in your home to prevent slippery stairs.

One side contains an adhesive substance that makes them stick on the stair tread while the other side offers traction.

They are easy to install: All you do is to remove a paper on them and roll them from one side of the stair to the other.

There are, of course, a few disadvantages with adhesive stair treads. During installation, the roller may not completely get rid of the air bubbles, especially when the wood surface is uneven.

Secondly, removing them is a challenge: They may leave a residue behind or peel off paint from the wood.

Anti-slip floor finish

This is a clear, textured coating that can be applied on the stairs to create a non-slip surface.

(Video) Should You Use Vinegar to Clean Hardwood Floors ? The Truth About the Debate

The finish does not alter the exact look or the beauty of the hardwood floor. It is the best option if you don’t want to hide your wood under a carpet.

There are a few disadvantages of using this method. The finish may wear down after few years, and you will have to refinish again.

Secondly, it doesn’t offer as much traction as carpeting and anti-slip adhesive stair treads.

Standard stair code

There are recommended standards a stair should meet to qualify as safe. The stair should be strong, with enough depth.

The distance between each stair must also be appropriate and not too far apart. According to the current code, your stairs should meet the following dimensions to be considered safe:

  • Width:The distance between the two walls bounding a stair should be at least 36 inches wide.
  • Riser height: This is the distance between two stair surfaces. The stair riser height should not be more than 7 ¾ inches tall and be almost the same for all stairs.
  • Tread depth: The distance from the front to back of each tread should be at least be 10 inches. However, the greatest tread depth should not exceed the smallest one by 3/8 of an inch.
  • Headroom: The distance should always be greater than 6 feet and 8 inches
  • Handrails:Every staircase must contain at least one installed handrail. The rails should be at least 34 inches and at most 38 inches from the landing of each stair. Additionally, they should not stick out more than 4.5 inches from the wall.


Promptlyfix squeaky hardwood flooring on stairsto make them strong. Clean to remove dirt and mop out any spills that may make the wooden stairs slippery.

Carpeting attracts dust and allergens, so it is important to vacuum them frequently.

The Bottom Line

Installation or remodeling of wooden stairs should be done by a professional contractor.

Depending on your preferences, you will find stair treads in various species such as Hickory, Red Oak, White Oak, African mahogany, American Cherry, Maple, Brazilian Cherry, and more.

Above all, safety is the most important factor to consider. Nobody wants to fall down the stairs, so make sure your stairs provide as much traction as possible.


Can I put hardwood flooring on stairs? ›

Hardwood is one of the best flooring choices for stairs, but a lot goes into installing it. In most home improvement projects, the skeleton of your stairs is already built, but the surface parts, the treads, and risers might need replacing.

Can you use hardwood flooring for stair treads? ›

Both customers asked whether or not they could use their hardwood flooring on their stairway as treads, which is a question we are commonly asked. The short answer to this is yes you can. To elaborate though, you will find that most often although you can, if you want a long lasting product, you should not.

What cleaners should not be used on hardwood floors? ›

Don't use straight ammonia, alkaline products or abrasive cleaners. They'll dull or scratch the finish. Don't rely on lemon juice or a vinegar-and-water solution to clean hardwood floors. "I don't recommend using vinegar or lemon juice, at least not in large quantities, as these can damage the floor's seal," said Wise.

What is the best mop for hardwood stairs? ›

The best mop for hardwood floors is the Bona Premium Microfiber Floor Mop because of its durable microfiber mop head and lightweight design. We also liked the iRobot Braava M6 Robot Mop, which uses mapping technology to navigate your home by itself and clean grime from your hardwood flooring.

Where should you not put hardwood floors? ›

You may love the look of your hardwood flooring, but it's really not a good idea to put it in your laundry room. Foyer– All manner of things can be tracked in from outside, and the foyer of your home will bear the brunt of all of them. Sand, dirt, mud, water, snow, and more can all damage hardwood.

What is the easiest flooring to install on stairs? ›

Vinyl is a good flooring material for a staircase because it is easy to clean and not slippery. It is also an affordable option that also comes with an easy installation process. There are different types of vinyl that come in sheets, tiles, and planks.

What type of floor is suitable for staircase flooring? ›

Thanks to its performance and style, one of the most popular choices for stairs is real wood flooring. Easy to maintain whilst adding a touch of elegance to your home, it's easy to see why it's such a popular flooring choice.

What type of flooring is best for stairs? ›

Out of all the options on our list, carpet is by far the safest type of flooring for stairs. A carpeted staircase with short, dense fibers can do a lot for your home. The shorter fibers are more durable and can weather heavy foot traffic while still feeling soft and comfortable underfoot.

Is Murphy's Oil soap good for wood floors? ›

Whether you're cleaning one area or all of your flooring, Murphy® Oil Soap is safe to use on hardwood floors.

Is Swiffer bad for hardwood floors? ›

Is Swiffer Safe for Hardwood Floors? As per the wooden floor repairing experts of a renowned hardwood floor company in Los Angeles, the Swiffer is absolutely safe for prefinished hardwood floors when used with either wet or dry refill cloths.

How do you clean hardwood floors on stairs? ›

You can also use dish soap diluted in water, as this is a relatively mild cleaner. Don't use any harsh or abrasive cleaners, as this can damage the finish on your wood, making it look dull and lifeless. If your stairs are unfinished or have a protective seal, you'll need a liquid or paste wax as well.

What is the best way to clean hardwood floor stairs? ›

First, sweep or vacuum the dust and debris off your wood stairs, starting from the top of your stairs and working your way to the bottom steps. Next, apply a mild wood cleaning soap solution, such as Murphy's Oil Soap or Orange Glo.

What can damage wood floors? ›

8 Ways You're Destroying Your Hardwood Floors
  • Using the Wrong Cleaner & Supplies. ...
  • Using a Steam Mop. ...
  • High Heels & Things That Squeal. ...
  • Using a Vacuum Without a Wood Floor Attachment. ...
  • Area Rugs with Rubber Backing. ...
  • Too Much Sunshine (Yes, It's a Thing) ...
  • Applying Wax to a Urethane Finish. ...
  • Waiting Too Long to Refinish.
Sep 22, 2016

What time of year is best to install hardwood floors? ›

Moisture in Spring and Summer

Fall is a perfect season for hardwood flooring installation because the cool, crisp weather exposes your hardwood flooring to less moisture.

How long should you stay off hardwood floors when finished? ›

We recommend waiting 6 hours before walking on your new floors in socks. After 24 hours you can walk through with shoes on. Allow 48 hours before setting furniture and returning pets. Carpets and area rugs can be placed after 1 full week.

What flooring is the most difficult to install? ›

Solid hardwood flooring is the most difficult of all to install. It's usually attached with a special flooring nailer then sanded with a drum type floor sander and finished.

Can you use regular flooring on stairs? ›

You can laminate stairs through the use of wood effect laminate boards. Laminate boards are commonly used as flooring for rooms but can be used as flooring on stairs, affixing to both the tread and the riser, with a stair nose to connect the two.

Is hardwood or vinyl better on stairs? ›

Often people use vinyl flooring not only for the floors but for the stairs as well. Vinyl is a good material for stairs because it is easy to clean and not slippery which protects against injuries. It is also an affordable option that comes with an easy installation process.

Do wood stairs have to match floor? ›

Wooden stairs don't have to match your floor. It's not necessary for them to be the exact same type of wood or stain. In fact, mixing different elements can create an interesting interior. However, having matching wooden stairs and flooring will make your space look more cohesive.

Is carpet or hardwood better for stairs? ›

Safety: Wood is slippery, and wood on the stairs can be dangerous in a home with children and the elderly. For this reason, carpet is the better choice, as it will greatly reduce the chance of a slip and fall that could cause serious injuries.

Should stairs match upstairs or downstairs flooring? ›

Stairs should match both the upstairs and downstairs levels. If the flooring upstairs is entirely different from downstairs, find a middle ground that can act as a fitting transition. Determine which floors the stairs are most visible from to decide which type of flooring to feature more of.

Should stairs be stone or wood? ›

Which staircase material is most durable? Stone is the most durable material for a staircase, with solid stone being a more durable choice than stone cladding. Wood is the least durable material to build a staircase from. Concrete is harder, but can also be brittle.

What can I replace carpet on stairs with? ›

Laminate flooring is among one of the most popular alternatives to carpet on stairs for many reasons. Laminate floors are notably less expensive than other carpet alternatives and offer a brilliantly affordable alternative to expensive carpeting.

Is it expensive to put hardwood on stairs? ›

Cost of installation of hardwood floor staircase ranges from $1500 to $4000, depending upon the type of wood material, risers, runners and contractor you have selected.

How much does it cost to install flooring on steps? ›

For example, if you want carpet installed on your stairs, expect to pay between $3.50 and $11 per square foot and $11 to $160 to carpet each step. Hardwood installation on stairs will run you about $160 per step.

Do you have to rinse Murphy's oil soap? ›

Clean well with wrung-out mop, and mop any excess water. No visible residue, no rinsing required.

Is Pine Sol good for wood floors? ›

It's safe for wood and hard, nonporous surfaces. You can apply it to the floor directly from the bottle. For more information about the Pine-Sol® lineup of products, visit our FAQs page.

Is Bona good for hardwood floors? ›

Bona is safe for all unwaxed, unoiled, polyurethane-finished wood floors. It's a water-based, pet-safe, pH-neutral formula. It doesn't leave a residue and dries in about a minute and a half.

Should you wet mop hardwood floors? ›

Do not wet mop wood flooring. Damp is good. Dripping wet is bad. If you can ring out the mop or pad, you're working with too much water.

Is it OK to mop hardwood floors? ›

Mop Hardwood Floors

When mopping hardwood floors, make sure to wring most of the water out of the mop so it's damp and not sopping wet. Rinse the mop when necessary. Avoid leaving any standing water on the floor, which can damage the wood.

How do you clean hardwood floors without damaging the finish? ›

Dry-mop at least twice a week using a microfiber head, focusing on corners. Avoid using water to clean your hardwoods, and never wet-mop, as the moisture can damage the material. To avoid staining and cracking, blot up spills immediately with a dry, clean cloth.

Is it better to use a mop or Swiffer? ›

Overall, microfiber mops have more pros than Swiffer mops. Microfiber mops can be used as a two-in-one to both sweep and mop at the same time. However, a Swiffer mop can typically only clean after the sweeping has already been done.

Is it better to vacuum or Swiffer hardwood floors? ›

Be sure to use a vacuum that has a setting for hardwood flooring. Or pull the plug on the vacuum altogether and use a Swiffer SweeperVac. It's great for sucking up dirt in between grout lines missed by other traditional cleaners. Make sure you're using the right cleaner for your hardwood floors.

Is Dawn good to clean hardwood floors? ›

Dish soap is a gentle cleaner that won't damage the natural wood, and it's perfect for light jobs and daily upkeep alike. In a large bucket, mix two to three tablespoons of dish soap with one gallon of warm water. Dip your mop and wring it over the bucket, then gently mop the surface of your floors.

How do you refresh hardwood stairs? ›

Steps to Refinishing Your Stair Treads:
  1. Sand. Start by sanding down the treads to bare wood with the 80 grit sandpaper. ...
  2. Clean. Vacuum between passes, then wipe down the treads with a tack cloth. ...
  3. Sand again. ...
  4. Clean again. ...
  5. Treat the wood. ...
  6. Stain the treads. ...
  7. Apply the Finish. ...
  8. Sand, then repeat two more times.

How do you maintain wooden stairs? ›

Wooden stairs can be cleaned with a vacuum or by simply wiping with a slightly damp, soft cloth then dried and gently buffed. For stubborn dirt and scuff marks, our range of PH balanced, non abrasive stair cleaning products are just the thing.

How do you remove old stains from wood stairs? ›

  1. STEP 1: Prepare your work area. ...
  2. STEP 2: Organize the tools and materials. ...
  3. STEP 3: Pour the stripper in a smaller container. ...
  4. STEP 4: Apply a thick layer of stripper. ...
  5. STEP 5: Let it soak. ...
  6. STEP 6: Scrape the stain stripper off the wood. ...
  7. STEP 7: Wipe down the surface. ...
  8. STEP 8: Sand your surface.
Oct 1, 2020

How do you keep hardwood stairs from being slippery? ›

You can start by simply increasing your stair traction with carpet strips or anti-slip adhesive treads for stairs. You can also apply coats of paint to the stairs that are anti-slip and will keep you safer. Just keep in mind that the paint will need to be reapplied every few years.

What is the best way to clean stair treads? ›

Treads should be swept with a broom or vacuumed with a heavy-duty commercial vacuum cleaner at least once a week. When needed, scrub surface vigorously with a stiff bristled brush using a mild detergent, making sure it does not contain Sodium Hydroxide or Potassium Hydroxide.

How do you make wooden steps shine? ›

An easy way to fill in microscratches and shine wood floors is to polish your floors after mopping. After dusting and spray mopping, use a designated microfiber mop pad to apply polish to wood floors to add shine. Bona floor polish is easy to use and adds a protection and shine with every application.

Why do you use vinegar to clean hardwood floors? ›

Vinegar is an acid and hardwood floors need a pH neutral or close to it cleaner. When mixed with water, the solution's acidity is drastically lowered and it becomes an effective method to wash hardwood floors. The vinegar and water mixture cuts through dirt and grime, leaving a streak-free and naturally clean floor.

When should you not install hardwood floors? ›

Hardwood Flooring During the Humid Seasons

During the hotter and more humid months of the year, hardwood flooring will absorb moisture from the air, which causes it to expand and swell. The expansion of the boards can cause them to warp.

Is it cheaper to carpet or hardwood stairs? ›

A general rule of thumb is that hardwood generally costs twice as much as carpet, so take that into consideration before you make a decision.

Should stairs match the floor? ›

Should it match the flooring or is ok to be different? Stairs should complement the rest of the house but do not have to be the same color as the flooring. It should, however, match so that it brightens up the stairwell and adds a general piquancy to the structure as a whole.

Why is wood flooring not recommended? ›

Not Resistant to Humidty: Wood can be damaged by spills, standing liquids, and humidity which is why wood floors are not recommend for areas of high moisture and humidity such as full bathrooms.

How many years do hardwood floors last? ›

Besides, a properly maintained wood floor can go 20 or 30 years or more before needing to be refinished, says Lupresto. And it can be sanded and refinished "easily six or seven times" over its lifetime, he says.

Do you need to put anything under hardwood flooring? ›

While underlayment isn't always necessary for your hardwood floors, there are always benefits to it. One of the most significant reasons to install underlayment is the added stability and durability. Underlayment provides support for your floor and helps smooth subfloor imperfections.

Do stairs have to match hardwood floors? ›

Wooden stairs don't have to match your floor. It's not necessary for them to be the exact same type of wood or stain. In fact, mixing different elements can create an interesting interior. However, having matching wooden stairs and flooring will make your space look more cohesive.

Can you put plank flooring on stairs? ›

If you want to install vinyl planks on a stair landing, you can follow the same directions that you would with a standard floor. The only change is that you need to add a stair nose along the edge first.


1. How to Keep Your Hardwood Floors Shining Like New! | Duffy Floors Hardwood Flooring Specialist
2. How to Refinish Hardwood Floors without Sanding
3. How To Clean Hardwood Floors | Hardwood Floor Care | The Home Depot
(The Home Depot)
4. How To Sand and Finish Wood Floors
(American Sanders)
5. Refinishing Hardwood Floors // START TO FINISH
6. Beautiful Bradenton Pool Home


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Terence Hammes MD

Last Updated: 04/10/2023

Views: 6303

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (49 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Terence Hammes MD

Birthday: 1992-04-11

Address: Suite 408 9446 Mercy Mews, West Roxie, CT 04904

Phone: +50312511349175

Job: Product Consulting Liaison

Hobby: Jogging, Motor sports, Nordic skating, Jigsaw puzzles, Bird watching, Nordic skating, Sculpting

Introduction: My name is Terence Hammes MD, I am a inexpensive, energetic, jolly, faithful, cheerful, proud, rich person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.