When choosing carpet for stairs there are a number of different fibres to choose from. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Typically stairs are high traffic areas which are normally well lit. These areas are also prone to spills and stains when food or drink is carried up or down the stairs.
The surrounding decor may lend its self to a plain or patterned carpet. All of these factors will affect your final choice of fibre and design.
There are a number of natural fibres which are used for carpeting. This type of carpeting is a popular choice for its ecological sustainability. There are, however other characteristics of some natural fibres which make them less suitable for use as stair carpet.
This natural fibre is produced from the coconut husks. When using it for stair carpet the greatest advantage of this fibre is a resistance to high traffic. Coir however presents a couple of problems which need to be addressed before selecting it over other fibres. It is highly recommended when using carpet made from this fibre that a professional fitter is used.
This ensures that the flooring is level and evenly stretched before it is attached to the floor or underlay. It also has a relatively low tolerance of moisture. This can lead to expansion and contraction over time if it is in regular contact with moisture. Suppliers of this type of fibre can be hard to find and the relative cost compared to other fibres is high.
This is a natural fibre extracted from the Genus Cochorous plant. The main reason this fibre is used for carpeting is the soft texture. For this reason the finished product is relatively less durable and therefore not the most suitable for fibre for stair carpet.
This is a type of grass grown in the paddy fields of China. While it is more durable than Jute it is not recommended for high traffic areas. Another slight disadvantage of this fibre is the overall inconsistency of its natural colour. This makes it restrictive in terms of design and matching the existing decor is essential for stair carpet.
This is another natural fibre extracted from the leaves of the Agave Sisalana plant. Carpets made from this fibre are very hard wearing and provide an interesting texture to walk on. The main disadvantage of using this fibre is its vulnerability to moisture. While this fibre could be used for stair carpet, more suitable natural fibres are available.
This fibre is very widely used for carpet production and is relatively abundant. This keeps the cost low and availability high. This fibre is the most versatile in terms of pattern and colour. It offers a high level of resistance to water and stains and flame resistance, which other natural fibres do not offer.
Once wool carpet is fitted it is also requires a relatively low maintenance as it is a recommendation that it is professionally cleaned annually.
On balance, stairways will experience uneven wear as the central foot or so will be regularly used while the outer parts will receive little wear in comparison. To suit this type of area the carpet needs to be hard wearing.
As the stairs are occasionally subjected to spills as people carry drinks up and down it stands to reason that the carpet should also be resistant to stains. Taking all of these factors into account the most suitable natural fibre for stair carpet is Wool. An additional advantage of Wool is that is often mixed with man-made fibres such as Nylon which make it more durable and less costly.