Staircase carpet ideas – 10 ways to create comfort and style

These staircase carpet ideas are guaranteed to make a fabulous impression

View of curved staircase carpet ideas from above with grey wall and striped carpet
(Image credit: Alternative Flooring)

Staircase carpet ideas can ensure the entrance to your home is a stylish space in its own right. Laying stairway carpet adds a contrasting texture to the wood of the staircase, and can bring in soft or bold color to complement the decor of the hallway and landing. It’s a brilliant opportunity to introduce pattern as well.

Staircase carpet’s appeal doesn’t just lie in its aesthetics, though. It feels comfortable and warm underfoot, and makes the staircase quieter for everyone to use, so it’s worth adding to your hallway ideas for its practical benefits as well.

Here, we’ve collected staircase carpet ideas to elevate the entrance of every style of home. 

Staircase carpet ideas

A chic staircase carpet will lead the eye into your home to emphasize the proportions of a grand hallway and create the impression of greater space in a smaller version. The best stairway carpet ideas are hardwearing for lasting good looks, too. If you are considering staircase ideas now for a remodel, these handsome, durable designs might just suit your scheme.

1. Fall for stripes

View of curved staircase from above with grey wall and striped carpet

(Image credit: Alternative Flooring)

A curved staircase is a beautiful feature in its own right, but it’s worth opting for staircase carpet ideas that make it even more attention grabbing to accentuate its elegance.

A striped carpet makes an impression and skillful professional laying will ensure it works perfectly on pie-shaped winder steps.

The design of this staircase means the carpet is fitted up to the balusters with the white painted finish of the staircase a crisp counterpoint to the colorful carpet.

2. Turn a carpet into a runner

Hallway with wood floor and staircase with Chinoiserie wallpaper and view to living room

(Image credit: M Lavender Interiors Photograph: Chris Bradley Photography)

If you’ve found a carpet that’s the perfect fit for your scheme but want to leave some of the beautiful wood of the staircase on show, it can be possible to have it designed as a staircase runner idea, instead.

‘We wanted something complementary to act as a supporting player to the wallpaper,’ Mark Lavender, principal designer of M. Lavender Interiors, explains of this design.

‘We found it with this bamboo/cane-look carpet that we had made into a stair runner.’

3. Carpet a spiral staircase

Living room with blue sofa and chandelier and spiral staircase

(Image credit: In Detail Interiors Photograph: Greg Riegle)

Wondering about staircase carpet ideas if yours is a spiral design? A spiral stair can be carpeted to make it both softer and quieter underfoot.

‘This was a unique project as it involved optimizing a very consolidated kitchen and living space that were split by this spiral stair that could not be removed,’ says Liz Lapan, showroom manager at In Detail Interiors

‘We knew that a fresh coat of paint would be in order for the railing and treads, and the client opted for carpet on the treads to soften the look some. We don’t do a ton of carpet, but we have recently been very keen on the opportunities that exist with the right professional team to bind one of a kind rugs and cut down lifestyle rugs to accommodate a really fun runner that can add so much statement to a stairwell. 

‘In this case, there was a lot going on in the room already, so keeping it simple and straightforward was best – but this can be a major opportunity for something impactful when a statement entry is top of your list of to dos.’

4. Bring rich color to a hall and staircase

Hallway and staircase with red carpet from Abingdon Flooring

(Image credit: Abingdon Flooring)

Employ color confidently in the carpet selected for the hallway floor and staircase to make the most of a space with sizeable dimensions.

‘Bold, rich colors can be attention grabbing and transform an unloved hallway into a statement area,’ says Rupert Anton of the Carpet Foundation.

Smaller home with a corridor that leads straight to the stairs instead? There are ways to visually improve the proportions of the space. ‘Pale, neutral shades will brighten up narrow spaces while lighter stripes also create the illusion of a wider hallway,’ he says.

5. Make an impact

Hallway with parquet floor grey wall with artwork, console table and stair carpet with bold pattern

(Image credit: Kate Martin)

This is a further alternative for a corridor-style hallway. Staircase trends are very much leaning towards an impactful carpet to draw the eye down the long narrow space and into the heart of the home. The brilliant colors of this design are set against a neutral backdrop of gray that makes them really pop.

The herringbone parquet flooring also points the way, leading visitors further into the space to create a warm welcome.

6. Introduce rustic texture

Landing with flight of stairs below and above and natural floorcovering and grey wall below dado and white wall above

(Image credit: Mark Luscombe-Whyte)

Opt for a stair carpet made from plant fibers such as sisal or coir to introduce a textural contrast to smooth painted surfaces. Its rustic look produces a more casual effect than that of a wool carpet. 

There are a variety of tactile weaves to pick from in both sisal and coir, along with a range of shades, but the most relaxed impression can be achieved with natural and near-to-natural colors. Worried about durability? Both sisal and coir are sufficiently hardwearing for a high traffic area such as a staircase. 

7. Create a floor show

Hall and staircase with white walls and banister and striped carpet

(Image credit: Crucial Trading)

You can afford to be bolder in decor choices for a space you pass through rather than spend a lot of time in, so consider laying a carpet that’s far from shy and retiring for the hall and staircase. Set against plain white walls it won’t be overwhelming, but it will make the space a fabulous entrance to your home.

There’s one caveat if you’re using a striped carpet like this one. ‘Make sure that the opposite walls in your room are parallel,’ says Rupert Anton. ‘If not, the stripes will not align with one wall and it is not good on the eye.’

8. Complement hall carpet 

Hallway with console table and mirror and black carpet plus staircase with striped carpet

(Image credit: Brockway)

While the same showstopping carpet for the hallway and staircase might be one of your preferred staircase carpet ideas, an alternative is to combine plain carpet in the hallway and patterned carpet on the stairs. This way it’s the staircase that grabs the attention, drawing the eye upwards to make the space feel bigger. 

Whichever hall and staircase carpet combination you choose, make sure the latter is suitably durable. ‘Staircases are probably the most heavily used areas, particularly in a busy, family home, so a hardwearing carpet is essential,’ says Rupert Anton. ‘I would suggest an 80 per cent wool composition – or 50 per cent at least.’

9. Choose carpet for a cottage staircase

open stairs in living room with sofa, footstool, armchair and stove in fireplace

(Image credit: Jeremy Philips)

In a cottage home, the staircase might be part of a living area rather than located in the hallway. If that’s the case, laying staircase carpet rather than leaving the steps in wood can help ensure that the feature feels like part of the living space by giving it a softer finish.

Remember, too, that laying carpet will make the staircase quieter – a huge boon that means family members passing up and down stairs don’t interrupt living room activities.

10. Get spot-on style

Hallway and staircase with white walls and neutral colour above dado and spotted grey carpet

(Image credit: Alternative Flooring)

If you love the idea of pattern on the floor, but want something a little quirkier, a spotted carpet is a great choice for a staircase. The geometric pattern makes the space look smart as well as modern. 

In this home the carpet’s warm neutral shade is repeated on the wall above dado level for a pulled-together look. Simple, white painted staircase railing ideas keep the focus on the staircase carpet.

What carpet looks good on stairs?

Wool and blends of 80 per cent wool and 20 per cent synthetic fibers are beautiful choices for stairs, as are plant fibers sisal or coir, if you prefer a more rustic appearance.

When it comes to the pile, a cut pile is better if you have dogs or cats in your home as claws tend to snag loop pile. If cut pile is your preference, a textured plush finish is ideal for a busy staircase; a velvet surface is more inclined to show footprints.

While plain carpet always proves a handsome addition to a staircase, the staircase is the ideal location for laying patterned carpet to create a striking feature. Striped carpet won’t got out of style, but consider too geometric motifs, and even animal prints. 

Can you put any carpet on stairs?

While you could put any carpet you like on the stairs, it’s not advisable. The staircase is a heavy traffic area, so you should opt for staircase carpet ideas that are sufficiently durable for the daily movements of everyone in your home from one floor to another. 

Wool carpet is a great choice for a staircase as it is hardwearing as well as soft and warm. Opt for 100 per cent wool carpet for luxury, or choose a blended version which adds the durability of synthetic fibers – look for an 80 per cent wool and 20 per cent artificial fibers combination. If you like the idea of plant fibers consider sisal or coir, both durable enough for a staircase. 

It’s important that the fiber(s) from which the carpet is made aren’t slippery, and it’s best to avoid using natural fiber seagrass on the staircase for this reason.

Think pile, too. A short pile height is preferable for a staircase because of the heavy foot traffic. Look for half an inch or less. 

Sarah Warwick

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes – long enough to see fridges become smart,
decorating fashions embrace both minimalism and maximalism, and interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves testing the latest home appliances, revealing the trends in
furnishings and fittings for every room, and investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper. For Realhomes.com, Sarah reviews coffee machines and vacuum cleaners, taking them through their paces at home to give us an honest, real life review and comparison of every model.