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A stair tread is exactly what you might expect – the part of the stair which you tread on during your journey up or down a set of stairs. Whether it replicates the material of the rest of the staircase, or is made of something aesthetically eye-catching or comfortable to tread on often depends on the surroundings and the purpose of the staircase – for example its placement and the target user. Over time, stair treads can become subject to the usual signs of wear and tear, leading to many of our members and other buyers searching queries relating to revamping worn stair treads, or replacing old stair treads (if they have the budget). Both of these options have the potential to completely upgrade and update the appearance of the staircase as a focal element of a home, depending on the materials used for the basic structure and to cover the stairs.
The different types of stair tread and their use
Stair treads refer both to the original material used to form the part of the stair your foot lands on, and anything you use to cover that material to create a new design look or to protect the staircase. In old and traditional houses, the most common stair treads are formed of hard wood which proves a solid and reliable structure to step on – though overtime worn wood can become faded and patchy in appearance. To combat this, consider varnishing the surface before fixing a carpeted stair tread which will protect the wood surface from regular use. TOP TIP: Many of our members find that hardwood stairs can become slippery and cause a hazard, particularly for younger and elderly guests. For optimum health and safety, consider carpet as a family-friendly addition as much as a protectant. A more modern option we are seeing grow increasingly popular is metal staircases, replicating the feel of a holiday home with sweeping spiral staircases made up of intricately woven metal rods and designs. Just as popular outside as inside, metal staircases are another option which provides a reliable base – though unlike their wooden counterpart, dressing a metal staircase should be approached with caution due to the likelihood of slipping. A third option and one which is particularly popular in modern and industrial homes is concrete stairs – formed to appear as if they have sprung from the walls of the home quite be chance. These stairs are particularly solid and as such can often benefit from the warm addition of a carpeted stair tread to soften the finish and provide a more comfortable base to walk upon. In short, though the base materials of a stair tread can vary, the primary use of a carpeted stair tread finish is to not just create an uplift in the warmth and comfort of the stairway’s finish, but also to make for a safer and more comfortable experience.
Sourcing and fitting the best stair tread
When it comes to finding your ideal stair tread, you will want to approach any retailer with a basic idea of your desired finish, as well as a full breakdown of the width of your staircase, the path it follows, and the quantity of stairs to be covered. Homeware and DIY retailers are no doubt the best options, with experts available in store and online who can help with the purchase and even the fitting of a safe and effective stair tread. Doing it yourself is possible though we suggest you invest in a proper set of tools to ensure a carpeted thread is fitted properly – or in the base material case, to ensure the stairs are laid firmly and safely.