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Ripping out carpet is somehow so very therapeutic.
Even after a bad day, if I get to come home and rip out the ugly brown carpet (which in my opinion is still in far too many rooms of the house), all my stress melts away. Maybe it’s got something to do with wielding a heavy crowbar. Or maybe it’s that I’m removing something I hate, which makes room for something better. At any rate, I get a great deal of satisfaction from turning this:
Into this:
It even sometimes involves discovering the history of the house, such as the previous owner’s smoking habit. She liked cigarettes so much, she even hid them on the stairs:

Thankfully though, no fingernails this time! Although I wouldn’t really be surprised, considering I’ve found almost two full sets in the house by now (fridge, living room, bedroom, primary closet, garage). FYI, the disgusting factor doesn’t dissipate… I’m just as grossed out when I find a new one as I was the first time.
So, as you can see, I have begun working my way down the stairs and removing carpet in anticipation of new improvements on the staircase. Scott has been working on installing the laminate flooring on the upper staircase “landing” area, and I will be working on painting our stairs. We have agreed that we don’t want to try to install the laminate flooring on the stairs themselves, which still leaves us with several alternatives.
Option 1:  I’m leaning toward the option that seems the easiest to do, which is painting the stairs white and adding a runner in the middle for traffic.


Option 2:  Staining the treads is also an attractive alternative, but would require that we find a stain to match the laminate color, which could be difficult.


Option 3:  Instead of staining the stair treads, Scott and I could paint the tread a different color than the risers. But which color? Perhaps a dark brown would look OK, especially if it’s close to the laminate stain color.


Image:  Remodelista


Option 4:  Instead of the stair treads getting the special treatment, a new trend I’ve seen is dressing up the risers with tile, paint treatments, or wallpaper. Very unique!


Oh, decisions, decisions… again! At least I’m learning some new home lingo (“treads”, “stairnose”, “riser”, etc.).
Which trend do you like best? I’m looking forward to reading your comments!

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  1. Oh I can't wait to see what you do!! All of those staircases are really nice, I woudln't be able to decide either!!

  2. Great inspiration! Haha, we went the easy route and just had our stairs carpeted along with the rest of the basement. Of course, our stairs aren't nearly as nice as yours, either! :) I'm excited to see which option you go with.

    And yes – ripping out nasty carpet is VERY therapeutic!


  3. Funny, we are in the same place: stairs stripped of carpet and ready to decide what's next. Fortunately, no history of smoking (or eww, fingernails!) in this place.

    I would go with option 1, out of kindness to your dog, Colby. We have two Goldens and have figured out that having the ability to grip a carpet is really important for their mobility up and down the stairs. We are considering an open stair type because it allows to heat to go up the stairs in a chimney effect, but we will still need to have some sort of stair tread for our boys.

    No matter what, I think your results will be fab.

  4. Thanks, Jan! I didn't even think about Colby's ability to get up the smoother stair versions. And he already looks funny enough climbing up the stairs as it is. Great tip!

  5. Fingernails? Ewwww, gross. We only had to contend with old smoke smell when we ripped up our carpets. Although, we did reveal a dubious sticky blood stain on the subfloor in one of the bedrooms.

    We're in the process of staining our treads a dark walnut color, and we'll later try to match the flooring color. The hubs says that there are not too many choices in stain colors, so you might have a little difficulty matching the stairs and your floors – in that case, a glossy floor paint might be the way to go. You could even mix in a little grit to help the dogs traverse the stairs. In terms of style though, I have to say I love the idea of tiled or wall-papered risers. It gives the stairs a certain je ne sais quois!

  6. i would go with option one or four. If you want you stairs to be killer go for 4 and since you don't have a window at the top of you staircase as the option 1 first picture does i think it would loose a little WOW factor. the wall paper would be a great way to add that back in.