1. Carpet for your house may not be applicable for the stairs because stair carpet takes more of a pounding.  Special care is needed to make this selection.

  2. Considering the type of traffic that your home has (kids, pets, the size    of both), will you need more of a “dirt-friendly color” design or more clean-ability?

  3. Ask your retailer if you need thin, flat, less “bouncy” cushion than  what’s under your regular carpet. (You want the stair carpet to fit properly, to look good and to be safe.)

  4. Staircase carpet warranties are rare. Better quality cushion helps carpet last by absorbing foot traffic. Ask the Carpet Cushion Council (Find Flooring Fast, Page 70-71).

  5. How does your carpet flow?  “Waterfall” style cascades. It is not attached under the nose of each step and leaves a slight gap in front of the riser. “Hollywood” sometimes called the “Chicago Wrap,” is attached under the nose,and there is no gap.Your preference is important;Hollywood-style requires more carpet.

  6. How about a runner down the middle of the staircase or a “boxed” application where the entire stair is covered?

  7. How will you finish part of a stair that shows?Will you paint it a contrasting color, use a natural stain or will you stencil a border along side the runner?

  8. Factor in the spindles, attached to the outside of the stairs and the banister.You can install carpet up to or around the spindles, even “upholster” them.

  9. Do you have free-floating stairs you can fully wrap? If stairs are visible from below you need to think about the look underneath.Measure extra for wrapping or upholstering.

  10. Stair rods add detail, elegance and drama and make a staircase the focal point of the house. Available in finished or prefinished wood and the most up-to-date looks of brass, pewter, copper and silver metal stair rods aren’t complete without finials attached to the ends. They’re available in glass and metal for a jewel look.