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Stairs Installed and Finished

UpstairsSelecting products for the two staircases was more involved than I had imagined. On our first semi-custom build, the stairs were fully carpeted. On the second, they were carpet with wood on the open edge. These experiences taught us an important lesson: we never want carpet on stairs again.

I don’t understand carpet. Who thought it would be a good idea to put a fabric product on the floor for people to walk on with their dirty shoes? And who extended that mayhem and foolishness to putting a fabric product on a super-high-traffic and super-high-abuse area like stairs?

Maybe it’s us, but we haven’t been able to live in a house for more than a few months without the stair carpet starting to look nasty and ratty. And what is easier? Hefting a vacuum up the stairs and using a carpet shampoo attachment or sweeping and  wiping them down with a cloth? It was an easy decision to opt for a hard surface stair. They are easier to clean and stay looking good way longer.

DownstairsWe had long thought we would cover the steps with magnesium chloride boards. We had a great staining process in mind. But the logistics of creating a clean edge with the product proved to be its undoing.

Next we got bids to have the steps tiled. At first it seemed economical and we were excited about the look. But, again, we ran into edge issues when the tile installers learned how the city code would impact the installation requirements.

Finally, we resorted to having solid wood stairs installed. We used stock oak treads and some left over magnesium chloride boards for the risers to save money. We chose to have the steps stained to match the front door and the risers and trim painted bright white to match the trim in the rest of the house. We had our painters complete the job. It may not be an exciting or unusual stair application like we planned, but it looks gorgeous!

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Daniel January 3, 2011, 6:15 pm

    I blogged about this subject myself today, and it was a pleasure to read your opinion on it Alison.
    Cheers.

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