The Risks and Benefits of Hardwood Floors for Stairways

As you remodel your home and update your flooring, you may choose hardwood because of its durability and elegance. It’s common today to use hardwood throughout the home. That leaves one to question if the design should be continued through the stairs for a cohesive design. 

A Grand Display

Depending on where your stairs are located, they may be a focal point in your home. If they open into a living room or foyer, they have major impact on your design for the area. Using wood on the stairs if the other areas are also hardwood only makes sense. It adds drama to your entrance and provides a clean look to the home when the floors are continued from one room to the next. 

Safety First

One of the concerns for many people considering hardwood floors in Toronto homes or elsewhere is how slippery the staircases may be. This is not just a concern for older adults but for those with young children. One of the deterrents for many to hardwood on stairs is the risk of falling. 

Combining Beauty and Safety 

In the case of hardwood floors on stairs, you can have it all. Several options exist that allow you to use hardwood while providing adequate protection for residents and guests alike. 

One option is to match the stairs to the rest of your home and place a carpet runner down the middle. You will still see the wood on each end, but carpet will protect those who walk up and down.  Pile or low-loop carpet works best and the shade should match the hardwood or an area rug. 

Another option is to use a sealant with additives that reduce slipperiness in the floor. Before putting anything on your hardwood floors, you should consult with a professional hardwood flooring company in Toronto to ensure it won’t hurt or damage the floor. 


Be aware that stairs often have heavy traffic and can cause your hardwood floors to look worn quickly. Discuss maintenance prior to installation to find out if this is something you want to do. If the stairs already have wood, you may only need to sand them and re-seal them to help them last longer. Depending on how thick the wood is, you may never have to replace it. On the other hand, you may find that you can only sand once or twice before the floors will need replaced. 

Work with a professional designer and floor company to determine how hardwood will work on your stairs. Show them the rooms around the staircase to get the best advice. Make sure you talk about the pros and cons, so that you can make an informed decision based on the architectural design as well as the function of the home. 

Hardwood flooring on stairs can add a beautiful touch, but only if it is handled in a way that is safe. Enhance the stairway by making them a focal point with the right wood treatment. 

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