Monday, January 25, 2010

No fear!

game OK, first…awwwwww yeah Colts!!!!!!!

What a great weekend!! Got some quality time with my hubby and my Bub, and got to go to the most exciting football game of the year because of my lovely, gorgeous, fantastic friend. No, that’s not her in the picture. ;) Hope you had a great weekend too!

Amanda (lilgrebs4 (at) hotmail (dot) com) won the free room consultation by My Design Guide! Amanda, email me and I’ll get you in touch with them. Congrats!!

So some of you may remember back in December when I showed you our decked out staircase and I mentioned I had a teeny tiny project in mind? OK, not tiny. Big. HUGE. Big for me anyway – the biggest project I’ve attempted in our house.

Back when our house was being built, I was here at least once a day checking out the progress. Our superintendent and I were BFFs. We were likethis. I had his number on speed dial. I’m sure he groaned every time my name came up on his phone, but he was awesome about it and was so great to work with.

One day I walked in and what I saw took my breath away. Our stairs (that were waiting for carpet) were GORGEOUS. Stunning. I mean, really. The shape was great because they wrap around at the bottom, which I love:

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And the actual steps were beautiful, with rounded edges. Real wood too, not plywood. I stood there, admiring them. I debated back and forth and back and forth about a meeellion times on whether or not I should call said superintendent and ask him to just have them stained instead of carpeted.

In the end, I decided to just have them carpeted. I wasn’t sure how hard stairs would be as far as comfort, upkeep, etc. So the carpet went on. And I have wanted to take it off since that day. ;)

My desire to do this has just gotten worse since blogging. I see these fantastic, gorgeous stairs and I just KNOW our stained, gross staircase could be one of them someday…

design20509 staircase1OK, OK, minus the fabulous railings and doors and floors and molding…minus all of those, they will be fantastic!!

It was uncharted territory for me on many levels – and I researched it for almost a year. I searched online, asked bloggers about it who had hardwood stairs. There were many aspects of it I was afraid of. The biggie was tearing up carpet. It just looked so…secure. I thought it would be a huge pain in the butt.

My father-in-law has been here often as he goes through his cancer treatments (he’s doing great by the way!), and the business he built and operated for years was tile and carpet installation…so who better to help me? DUH!

The other day I pulled up a corner of the carpet on the landing when he was here. This was the only area that I didn’t think was covered by the pretty wood and I was right, it’s just plywood. But my FIL assured me we could make it work by covering it or putting down new flooring.

We set up a time for him and one of his former employees to come by to take off some of the carpet on one of the stairs to see how it looked. Then we would determine if the whole project could move forward. I was so stinking excited I could barely stand it!

And then they had to postpone twice.

I am many things, and patient is not one of them. When I twittered about it this morning, all of you lovely peeps encouraged me to just go after the project on my own…and so I decided I would. I used a wrench and just started pulling on the carpet. I figured I could have my FIL fix it later this week if the stairs weren’t how I remembered. I came off so easily! I was squealing with glee seeing the wood and the curved steps…this was going to work!!

Reason number 539 I wanted the carpet gone:

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The darker areas? Yeah, I thought the treads were bad. The edges of them were waaaaay worse. I mean, how do you clean that? Nasty:

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As far as I knew, we’ve only had one spill on these stairs. It was me, years ago, and it was a whole glass of Pepsi on a couple of the steps. :) Well, I was wrong:

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Ummmmkay, that is nasty!! What the heck is all that? I mean, I see the Pepsi (which I thought I completely cleaned up!) but what else is there? Heebies.

Well, it took about two hours total…but here is the result:

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This is just the upper staircase. The carpet was way easy to get off. So was the padding. The tack strips weren’t bad either – I thought those would be a huge pain. But the staples…oh, the staples. They weren’t as bad as my dining room chairs. But it took a good hour just to get all of them out. I figured out an easier way to do it towards the end and I’ll show you how I did that soon.

 090That top step will be uncarpeted, but it’s connected to the upstairs carpet, so I’m waiting on the professionals to cut that part.

I’m also waiting on them to do the rest of the stairs later this week, and I’ll show you the steps then. This is not a project you want to do with a three-year-old around, otherwise I would do for the rest of it myself. :) (He was at school when I did this.)

091See that nasty landing??? Ewwwwweeee!

My main concern about hardwood steps was the slip factor. Mostly because of the Bub, but I also have a tendency to fall down stairs. I do it often. And I’m good at it. I asked a ton of people about it and ALL said their hardwood stairs (not laminate, btw) are less slippery than the carpet.

So far this is very much the case. I’m hoping to be able to sand off all of the overspray and stain these, but if not, there is an additive you can add to paint that gives it more traction. I’ll let you know what I end up doing! The risers will get a high gloss white paint.

Oh yeah, and our house smells like pine again…it’s fantastic!!  :)

So what’s the word…do you have hardwood stairs? Love them? Hate them? Is there something  you are dying to do in your house but are sceeered? Why are you afraid? Money? No know how? No time?

Really, how much could you mess it up if you just went for it? Ummm, maybe don’t answer that…

123 comments:

  1. Try painting the risers black- it looks great- gives it a little dimension.

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  2. Good job - I'm so excited for you! My house has hardwood stairs that I refinished dark stain w/ white risers when I moved in, and I love them! I'm too scared to tile my itty bitty entry room, so I greet my guests with a cement floor speckled with linoleum glue. :(

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  3. I love that look of the white risers. My stairs are carpeted and there are no hardwoods in the house so would you think the stairs are "nasty" wood? HMMMMMMM.

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  4. Ok.. this is crazy... I really wanted to tackle the same project but I was too scared... I think I am going to pull my carpet off the stairs as well. Worse case... I can get more carpeting... right???

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  5. You seriously have me wanting to pull my carpet up now! I hate it anyway! Maybe when we get new carpet for our house I can talk my husband into doing it. Thanks for this post!

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  6. Holy crap girl! You are so gutsy, and it always works out beautifully!

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  7. We ripped (gross nasty 20+ year old) carpet off of our steps too. They're gorgeous, glorious hardwood and we LOVE THEM. The only slipping we've ever had trouble with is the very last step which seems to disappear into the same-colored hardwood floor beneath it. You can see some pics here if you're interested: http://www.theflippingcouple.com/2009/10/one-step-at-time.html

    Good luck!!! Can't wait to see how they come out!

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  8. Just a note from someone who falls down stairs on a regular basis - it doesn't seem to happen nearly as often on hardwood steps! I think carpeting is actually slippery, especially right there at the edge. I am sure your staircase will be gorgeous!

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  9. A couple years ago I pulled out all the carpet from my house. (did it myself too, as well as pulling up existing hardwoods.) I have no carpet *anywhere* - nada - not a stitch. Hate the stuff. HATE it. Allergies and all, and with pets, it's even worse. I have 3/4 inch solid brazillian cherry hardwoods everywhere (no fake wood - laminate or engineered stuff - for me) except in the kitchen, upstairs bathrooms, and laundry.

    Oh, and never, ever, ever put hardwoods in a kitchen or bathroom - just my opinion. Spill water on them and they are toast - ruins the wood. I know because I had different hardwoods in the kitchen before and they got totally ruined.

    You will love your stairs that way. My grandkids go up and down them all the time (ages 2-8) and no problems at all.

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  10. Yay, Colts!

    Seriously. You fall down stairs all the time and you are wondering what all those other stains are?

    I have hardwood stairs. We moved into our house with carpet on the stairs and we took it up after several years. I would love to paint them, but only decided that after seeing all the gorgeous painted stairs here in blogland. BUT, we may be selling this year and down-sizing, so I'm not going to do it here. Can't wait to see the rest of yours!

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  11. Looks good, girl! I can't wait to see the finished product.

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  12. Colts all the way!!

    I love the pictures of the stairs...and I think yours will turn out even better! You ARE brave. Being in a new house...it seems so hard to change anything...you know 'cuz it's new. That's the fear I have right now! It's new, oh no!
    Great job!

    Did I mention...Go Colts!!

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  13. It looks so great! Ok, I have to ask. I run up and down the stairs.. does it hurt your feet more than the carpet did?

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  14. Good for you for starting it. I commented on FunkyJunkInteriors this week that attacking our stairs to the basement- part carpet, part unfinished and part chewed by a visiting do- was something I was afraid to try but that I would soon anyways. You have helped to inspire me, although I know mine aren't hardwood underneath.

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  15. Can't wait to see more about your steps .... but WAY TO GO COLTS! My husband was born in Terra Haute and we now live in CA and we are true die hard colts fans! I love your Colts pride!

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  16. I don't have stairs, but am in the process, as we speak, of having tile removed from kitchen and wood flooring extended into the kitchen from dining room. They sanded today and I love, love, love the lighter color of the natural wood. The hard part is the cabinets are darker, with a red tone to them. Dare I stay with natural flooring or am I better to have a bit of color to match the cabinets. It's such a permanent decision - what have you done?

    Help! Any insight or suggestions (or pictures) would be helpful! Hadn't counted on this snag!

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  17. You my dear...are BRAVE.

    yikes. All these things you do scuure me. But because of you, I have realized that it indeed does not take a whole lot of time/effort/money to make a house a home :)

    But even still..Im not brave enough to tackle this....and my stairs need it bad.

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  18. Looks good. Can't wait to see the finished product!

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  19. Your stairs are going to look great. I tried to convince my guy to tackle this project with me in our house (same deal with the carpet and such) he said nope. Agh. Maybe one day.

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  20. We have hardwood stairs in our house and I just love them, both sets of them ... yes, we have two staircases! I must admit that my husband was nervous about them when we first moved in with our 7 year old son, but he's 13 now and has never taken a tumble on them. And neither have his parents! They're great with our pets, particularly the dog. Our risers are painted white which I think looks best with our lighter hardwood. Can't wait to see your finished project. Good luck!

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  21. We have hardwood and love them! I also had to take the plunge and rip off the old BLUE carpet from the previous owners. Don't you just feel great after it's gone?

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  22. all i can say is that I'm JEALOUS of your stairs... real wood???? WOWZA! after seeing the underside of your carpet... it pains me to think of the YUCK underneath ours. SCARY! I can't wait to see your finished product! :)

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  23. I can't wait to see your results and I have complete faith in your ability to tackle and master this project.

    I have hardwood stairs and I wouldn't trade for any other material. They are easy to care for and very difficult to stain!

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  24. I can not wait to see your stairs. My husband would be freaking out if I wanted to change something so soon after building a new house. He freaks when I want to change 30 yr old light fixtures that are UGLY! I am glad you get to make your stairs like you want them.

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  25. Okay, here is the honest truth BECAUSE I HAVE HARDWOOD stairs--adn hardwoods throughout the house. Oh, they LOOK pretty, but the first time your child (or you) falls down them, you will ask yourself, "Why didn't I keep the carpet???!!" Then the second time, you'll say, "WHAT was I thinking?" Then the third time.... Seriously, wait till Bub is at least eight. Also, they are NOISY! I regret it.

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  26. Oh that look of timber stairs is fantastic. What a great choice. I can't wait to see the result.

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  27. I love it for you already! I too am a frequent stair-faller-downer. I think carpet is a lot more slippery than the wood as long as it is done right, which I know you will. When my kids were little, the stair rule was sit on your bo-bo to go up and down...lol as they got a little bigger and sure on their feet I would have to remind them to walk up and down, they would forget and sit down to scoot up the stairs...too funny. I can't wait to see them finished!

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  28. The picture of the curved staircase....GORGOUS! Wow...

    We just bought a home (its due to close the beginning of March). It has carpeted stairs. There are a few things I REALLY DO NOT like. Carpeted stairs is one of them. And its for the reason you said...so darn hard to keep clean.

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  29. OK, you're scaring me! Your pictures look almost exactly like my stairs that I compulsively, "oh honey I'll just peek under a corner..", tore up the carpet from this week. All due to the "If You Give a Moose a Muffin" syndrome that is home dec.
    I decided to carry your gorgeous wall molding idea from the DR up the steps and well the carpet there does look skeevy, and.....!
    Unfortunately my steps are solid and chunky but not as baby smooth as yours so staining, my first pick, was out. So DH faced them with thin poplar(?)and put molding on the front. Standard stair nosing was too narrow, bummer.
    It is still in the sanding/prime phase. I have seen great pics of painted stairs and treads but most have a runner. Thinkin' about a coir or sisal but they are hard to find in the US and get pricey. Dash and Albert has gorgeous runners too. But then do you need those rod thingies? $ rising. As a physical therapist who has seen a lot of slip and falls I am a bit adverse to no runner but the additive is a good idea.
    Good Luck!!!!

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  30. I have hardwoods on my stairs in my new house and LUV THEM! I have had both now and prefer the maintenance ease of the wood. I just noticed some wear on the third step up.....not really sure why it is this one, but I do know that they can be easily touched up with a little sandpaper, stain, and poly. With that being said, I love them because they are easy to clean (sometimes I wipe mine down with a towel going to the wash).
    I have three small boys and we have only had a couple of accidents (mostly because they weren't behaving). They know the stairs can be slippery and take care going up and down.

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  31. You go girl! We have carpet and I love it. I picked out a wrought ironed staircase with dark stained wood banisters and I like it. I understand the love of hardwood. I have hardwood in our entry, kitchen and 1/2 bath. I hope you get hardwood. I love mine.

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  32. We have hardwood steps leading to our basement and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them! I thought too they would be slippery, but they really aren't anymore than tile is. When we bought our house it had this gross indoor/outdoor carpet that was blue and just disgusting! I had a vision that I would be able to look down those steps one day and feel happy - and now I do!!! Oh, I know you said you were going to paint the back white - make sure you use really scrubable (sp?) paint because they will get dirtier than one might think. I'm kind of a clean weirdo like you, so I'm just warning you! I can't wait to see them after!

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  33. when we bought our house 14 years ago and tore out all the 40 year old carpet - we too found beautiful hard wood stairs beneath the carpet. I too did not want to cover them, but questioned the bare steps (noise, slips, etc), so we just had the carpet runnered down the center and have the wood exposed on the sides. It has been a great compromise - I love them! We did the same thing to the basement.

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  34. BTW... COLTS ROCK!!! Wish I had been at the game! Lucky Girl!

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  35. We switched from carpeted stairs to wood stairs this summer. My hubby did all the work. I feel so much better...so much cleaner!
    Have a great week ~Natalie

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  36. Congrats! We had similar stairs - wood treads, white risers - at our old house and it really was easier to clean. Keep white touch up and magic eraser handy, tho, because the risers will get marked pretty easily. Can't wait to see it! We have carpet for the first time in eons, and I think we've all slipped down the stairs in the last two months. Maybe a long time from now I'll go back...

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  37. I LOVE my hardwood stairs. I do have a carpet runner to cut down on the noise with the two story foyer. No one has fallen down them yet!

    I wish I had a photo on my blog but I don't only the railings.

    I think wood stairs make a house look more classic.

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  39. I am officially In LOVE with the first inspirational pic... the moldings, the dark wood paired with the off white....LOVEs IT!

    Now about carpet let me first say all ye fans of wall to wall carpet please do not hunt me down and go into attack mode but______ I absolutely Hate FTF carpeting. Especially since I removed ours 5 years ago and switched to my love, Hardwood flooring. with two kiddies I end up sweeping a couple times a day and still there is always tons of dust/junk in my dustpan... how often do we vacuum a whole house? Certainly not a few times a day right? How much of that dust/filth does the vacuum really suck up? Certainly not ALL of it...That means we were living in all that filth, all that dust and my first son at the time used to play on the floor! EWWWWwwwww! Then I think about all the chemicals in the actual carpet, dust-mites, etc... and it starts adding up to a huge NO for me. Again to each their own but for me I just can't do it. So its area rugs for us and not that many of them! The bonus? I love how awesome hardwood looks and oh how it gleams when its freshly washed and how well it ages.

    Ok so my rant is over... Love what you have done so far and am sure it will be amazing when all is said and done! I love your blog and really look forward to your posts!

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  40. I'm so excited for your Sarah! I have stairs that are carpeted in the middle with wood panels on both sides, but I wish they were all wood. I love the look. And I love the numbers that people have been putting on their stairs. They will be gorgeous!

    XOXO
    Jen

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  41. As soon as we moved in, we replaced the carpeted stairs w/ hardwoods! I love them. The only thing you will hate is the dust and stuff that you can actually see on them. On carpet, it absorbs it and you never really know how nasty, dirty they are. With hardwoods, you can see it easily so just wipe/sweep/swiffer them up every few days and know they are clean! No biggie! You'll love them! Good luck...can't wait to see them!

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  42. We have original refinished hardwood floors throughout our house and also have a wood staircase and I LOVE it. Vacuuming is a cinch, no more fighting with the brush attachment trying to pick up all the dust and pet hair. A quick once-over with an angle attachment and they are spotless. I have fallen on them once, but it was after a few too many glasses of vino and I was wearing socks, so I can't really blame my gorgeous stairs! Barefoot or with slippers on they provide more traction than carpet, IMO. Can't wait to see the finished product!

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  43. This looks like a really exciting project. Can't wait for more updates! =D

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  44. Oh my goodness! I love to watch you attack projects in your house. The only project I've really dared do in our home is painting our wood paneling in the basement. (Which I L.O.V.E! I love to spend time down there now that it's not dungeon-y feeling.)
    I really want to re-do my bathrooms. All 3 of them are carpeted - ugh! The house was built in 1959 so it is the most ugly, tacky carpet. Pink, Blue, and Teal, all with high-pile. Carpeted bathrooms with a 2-year-old is not a good combination. (We've had to shampoo carpet numerous times because she likes to dump water) The teal bathroom has a pink sink - I want to replace it with a pedestal sink. Seriously retro, right? But hubby and I don't know how to do that kinda stuff. We wanna tile, replace the tub, all the sinks & vanities. And paint of course. Ack, it makes me itchy thinking of all that work lol.

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  45. Would love them!! It is such a classic look that says quality. If I took off the carpet my stairs wouldn't look anything like yours. Your actually look good! Cost is stopping me...someday.
    Looking forward to watching this project! Janell

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  46. Fearless + Impatient = Sarah :)

    Good for you! Sadly, we have no stairs, so I have no input. I love the inspiration photos!! They are going to look fabulous whatever you decide.

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  47. There are a hundred little jobs, and about a hundred BIG jobs I would love to do - but I live in a rented Duplex and I can't do anything at all. One day I'll have my own home again and do all the stuff I've always dreamed of.

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  48. OK. First of all - yeah, YaY COLTS!!! What an awesome game to get to go to! I hope you had good seats.

    I want to rip the carpet off of my stairs and paint them out. They're gross. But, we can't figure out how to not use them while the paint is drying. That's all. Thanks for listening. :0)

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  49. (Applauding) Yay for you for tackling this project. :) There are all sorts of things I'd love to work on, but finances just do not permit at this point. I get my fix from my favorite blogs. :)

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  50. I just wanted to tell you thank you for your tiny cream cheese biscuit recipe. I just referenced you in my blog as having been my source for them.

    Thanks again and God bless.

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  51. Yes, white risers look nice but they are a bitch to keep clean (scuff marks from shoe tips) - I recommend either leaving them natural or painting them black, as another poster mentioned.

    Also, I completely disagree with poster Claire who cautions against hardwood in the kitchen or bathroom. I have both and absolutely love it, especially in the kitchen. It is soft to stand on and look awesome with my white cabinets & beadboard. We also love it in the bathroom for the same reasons. As long as you are careful and use a rug with a rubber backing outside of your tub/shower, you'll be fine.

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  52. just started reading your blog and just realized that you're a Colts fan... I'm a Saints girl! Geaux Saints!

    Hope you don't restrict my access to your blog - I am loving all your tips! and I can already see how great your stairs will look, too!

    Who Dat?! ;)

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  53. You brave, brave, brave woman. I love it. I am going to tackle a crazy bathroom remodel and I am sceeered.

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  54. I wanted to do this at our old house, but we moved before I ever got around to it.

    Pam-you have to stain/paint every other step so you can still use the ones in between. Once the first ones are very dry, do the others. Easier said than done when you have little ones.

    Sarah - I won't let the fact that you are a Colts fan come between us even tho I am a member of the WHO DAT Nation. Geaux Saints!

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  55. Sarah,these will be gorgeous when you are finished with them! I love hardwood on stairs and in fact that is on our list for the next big project...taking off the carpet and adding hardwood to our staircase with new newels. Excited!! Can't wait to see yours!!! Hugs and love,

    ~Victoria~

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  56. This is funny, b/c I have hardwood stairs and have been fantasizing about carpeting them. I do like the look of HW stairs better but unlike others I think they are way more slippery than carpeted stairs. After I took a bad fall---I was 4 mos pg with #3, carrying #2 down from nap, and tumbled down half the set of stairs---we put down treads and I LOATHE them. They are the most impossible things to clean---granted, we were on a strict budget so they are the cheapos, but still... My Husband has fallen down the stairs several times too, and at least one the boys had. They have all falled down our carpeted set leading to the basement though DH and I haven not.

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  57. Oh you lucky duck having real hardwood under your carpet! I wish our stairs were hardwood, but I know they're not. :( Yours will look amazing and be so nice with all your gorgeous molding.

    ~ Sarah

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  58. I can't wait for the final results!
    They look great already. :)

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  59. BYE BYE CARPET - YES!
    Can't wait to see the beautiful finish!

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  60. Sarah,

    I HEART your blog. Your projects have totally inspired me to keep working on our new construction home. We have hardwood steps stained a yummy dark walnut and I love them. Our children are 4 and 6 and we haven't had too many accidents. Our 4 year old son has taken a few tumbles on the last 2 to 3 steps... but all has ended well. Nothing a bandaid and a kiss wouldn't fix! Good luck and keep up the amazing redos!

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  61. We built 20 years ago and have hardwood stairs. They still look as good as they day we moved in and I had two kids upstairs who thundered down them a zillion times. I don't find them slippery at all and they have a high gloss poly on them.

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  62. I have hardwood stairs and you-bet-your-bottom-dollar I would NOT go back to carpeted stairs. You can sweep and mop wood stairs and get them clean. Really clean. I think you'll love them.

    And just for the record, you were at the COLTS GAME?The real game? Oh, you lucky girl. I was wearing a Colts #18 jersey yesterday, too! Super Bowl, here we come!

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  63. Okay, it's so nice to know that I'm not the only adult who falls down the stairs! (Carpet can be very slippery at times.) ANYwaaaaay, I can't wait to see your finished product. I love the dark wood stairs with the white risers. Beautiful!

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  64. I am desparate to rip out all of the carpet in our house due to husband and son's allergies. Yuck! I've been worried about slipping on wood stairs.

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  65. We painted our back stairs years ago, all white with a carpet runner. When we carpeted last we put back wall to wall...hate it! Anyhow...we are in the midst of hardwoods upstairs, so the steps will need to be change AGAIN! I am seriously thinking of painting them again...white risers, dark steps...love that look. Would love to do it on the front stairs as well...however, the treads are "pine" the edges are "true oak hardwood" HATE IT!!! UGH!!!

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  66. I pulled off the NASTY carpet on my stairs last year. I'd like to know your little secret for the staples. Mine are all out but I used a flathead screwdriver and pliers. Very time consuming. I haven't done a thing to them yet. They have paint splatters on them and everything. But the carpet was so gross (previous owners), I just had to. Can't wait to see your finished staircase.

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  67. I have hardwood stairs with a threadbare, incredibly old runner. I have wanted to rip the runner off and restain/paint the stairs for so long but am scared to. I love the dark steps with white risers. Maybe someday....

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  68. Our last house had hardwood stairs and I absolutely loved the look of them. However, I'll be honest, I did slide/fall down them several times. Once spraining my foot. Ouch. If I remember correctly I was wearing socks each time, so maybe that was the problem. Our current house has carpeted stairs. I don't like the look nearly as much, but I haven't fallen once.

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  69. Our last house had hardwood stairs and I absolutely loved the look of them. However, I'll be honest, I did slide/fall down them several times. Once spraining my foot. Ouch. If I remember correctly I was wearing socks each time, so maybe that was the problem. Our current house has carpeted stairs. I don't like the look nearly as much, but I haven't fallen once.

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  70. I would LOVE to do this on our stairs... I ADORE this look. Can't wait for you to walk us all through it & give us your great tutorials so I can try it myself!

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  71. I am so excited to see the final result! The project I am most sceered of right now is my laundry room. I have glued down engineered hardwood and desperately want 20 inch porcelain tile. I think we are going to have to call in professionals because I am scared to death that we would mess up more of the floor than intended and then have to call in someone to fix the threshold into the hallway. We finally made the plunge into a project that we have been afraid of for some time... we're changing up our island (thanks to inspiration from you). I ordered an extra cabinet to make the island bigger and then plan on painting it black and distressing and getting a silestone counter top.

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  72. I am in the same boat as you. I did the carpet because when we bought the house the carpet was a cheaper option. I did hardwood everywhere else except the stairs. My stairs look just like yours. I want to rip up the carpeting, but know I will have to sand the over spray. I love the look of hardwood and will attempt this project in the spring when I can open the windows. I will stay tuned.

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  73. That is so funny that you posted on this because I just talked my hubby into letting me tear off ourold junky carpet, and his concern is that it would be too slippery. My GF ended up doing a runner down hers. I am in suspense to see how yours turns out!

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  74. Go Colts!

    Saw you were going to be at the Indy Home Show. Hope to see you there. I'm previewing it Wednesday on my blog.

    We've got a giveaway over at www.TheDesignFile.net. Check it out!

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  75. DYING to see your final results!!!

    I'm curious to see how that top stair works (where the carpet gets cut). We're considering something similar.

    Thanks! Love your stuff!

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  76. I ripped the carpet off my stairs and basically rebuilt them (i just had crappy wood underneath, but some pre-made risers and treads from home depot and i was good to go). I painted the treads with black paint (the stuff made for porches-- it's super durable) and then i put this really cute damask wallpaper on the risers. it turned out awesome! i love love love them. i just wipe them off with a rag once in a while to clean them (and when i see the dirt that comes off em, i'm so glad it's not carpet anymore). I've got tons of pictures if you want some, email me: hhspears@gmail.com.
    good luck!

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  77. Im so sure it will turn out fab! You have such a beautiful home! I have tile stairs and trust me you will look like someone beat you if you fall down them! My kids have all gotten a few bumps and gashes from our stairs. They are very low maintence however, and easy to clean. Keep at it girl! I cant wait to own my own home, so I can tear stuff apart to!

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  78. Went through this very same situation last year. I ripped off the carpet, a builder replaced plywood treads with oakwood treads, I stained and painted. Have NOT regretted it one second. My stair way is BEAUTIFUL now!!
    Becky in SC
    beckandjoe@bellsouth.net

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  79. Wow! I can't wait to see the finished product ... they will, undoubtedly, be beautiful !! And, I have to ask ... in that great picture above, when you stepped away from that Colt fan, was the right side of your face covered in face paint ?! LOL Love it. Take care, Becca

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  80. YAY! Super excited for you! I was following along on twitter! I LOVE my hardwood stairs except for two things...they were previously carpeted at some point because on the back edge there are little staples sticking up (and I DO need to know how to get those out so I can re-sand and stain!) and the other thing is the previous owner put those ugly little braided oval 'rugs' smack in the middle of each stair. ugh. so those need to be unstuck and removed lol!
    My parents have always had carpeted stairs and YES they are MUCH more slippery then hardwood...especially if you are wearing socks!

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  81. It's looking great! I just stripped the paint off of our old wood steps. The previous owners had painted an ugly color on them and then stenciled! So my next task is to sand them and stain them to match our hardwood floors in the living room. Its quite the job, but it'll be worth it in the end. I have to keep reminding myself of this, hehe. Oh and I can totally relate to falling down the steps. I'm prone to it.

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  82. Our steps are carpeted and ewww, is right. We are discussing taking up the carpet so I am excited to see your final pictures!

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  83. I wrote about the same subject. I am still torn on what to do! I finished the walls and left it :( If you get a chance I would love for you to peek over and offer your opinion and I can't wait to see what you do!

    http://angieedwards.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/01/a-stairway-revamp.html

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  84. I sooooo want to tile my backsplash in the kitchen... but I would also love to have my FIL in build me a kitchen island. I am not sure which to tackle first!

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  85. We ripped carpet off our stairs in our last house. We figured we had nothing to lose since the carpet was old, nasty, and had a musty smell to it. I LOVED having it gone. We sanded and stained the stairs and were very happy with the result. (I agree with everyone who says carpeted stairs are slippery-er.) I'm wanting to do it again in our current house, but my husband is afraid. His biggest concern is that since the stairs go down to the basement, pulling out the carpet will allow too much cold air through because the area under the stairs is unfinished. But I'm getting desperate. I think carpet on stairs is as dumb as carpet in bathrooms. It doesn't belong there and it's impossible to keep clean.

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  86. The best thing I ever did in my 1922 house was take up the carpet including the hardwood stairs. Even though I vacuumed like crazy--several times a day--I was thrilled with how much fresher the house smelled without all that dust (and God knows what else) trapped in carpet.

    It flies in the face of conventional wisdom but wood stairs ARE less slippery than carpeted. They are a breeze to sweep with a broom. You'll wonder WHY you struggled with a sweeper on the stairway for so long.

    You can paint the risers white (very cosmopolitan) or black (sophisticated) or use tile (like a backsplash) or even wallpaper. I even like when the stair treads and riser have the same treatment. In short, I've never met a hardwood stairway I didn't like.
    Good luck!

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  87. We have a 110 year old house, and it is almost entirely hardwood, including the stairs. I LOVE the look and wouldn't change it for anything. I will say though, that I have found the stairs slippery when I'm wearing just socks. Embarrassingly, I have fallen down them and gotten a nice bruise. But that could just be because I'm a klutz! Socks with treads on the bottom are a good precaution though. :) Good luck with your awesome project!

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  88. I love the look of wood and the health benefits of it as well (with an ashmatic cat AND husband, I need a no fabric zone!), but like you I'm concerned about the slip factor-I'm clumsy enough as it is.

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  89. Love your bravery! I took carpet off of three steps in my entry way leading to living room. I sanded them and stained but they are constantly fading. I probably am not using the right stain/poly. Please let us know what you used when you finish your project. Good luck!

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  90. We bought a house with hardwood floors and stairs (honey oak - bleah) last summer and I *hate* the stairs with a passion. I've fallen down them once and the hubs has fallen three times (and put his elbow through the wall - yikes). And the dustbunnies - gah! I never had problems with carpeted stairs. We want to try the white riser thing but will probably cut some white MDF to fit and try it out for a while before committing. Love your blog, and good luck with the project!

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  91. I have been hating my carpeted stairs, and now I may take the plunge and pull it all up. Thanks forthe inspiration.

    I live in Carmel, when are speaking at the home show?
    tia

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  92. Love your blog!! I remember seeing your staircase at rate my space and thought it was the best of the bunch. Had no idea you were the same person as the blog I've been following. Keep up the great work and I'm sure the stairs will be gorgeous!

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  93. Go for it...have had a hardwood staircase for over 27 years and it is great. I dislike carpet...dust mites, allergies, stains that you "think" you've removed, etc. We recently removed some of the carpeting at my parent's house as there are hardwoods underneath and the rooms look sooo much bigger. Hardwoods are way easier to clean too.
    Oh and I have pine plank flooring IN my kitchen (uncovered this summer under 2 layers of very old linoleum) and they are awesome...no problems at all! You can take a look at (the1829farmhouse.blogspot.com) You will love your new staircase.

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  94. GO COLTS!!
    Sooooo jealous of your Sunday afternoon!!! (other than the close proximity to the Blue Man Group)
    Love your thoughts and plans...
    you keep me inspired!!!

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  95. I'm so glad you posted this. I have wanted hardwood stairs forever, but always worried about the slip factor. I am showing my husband your post today.

    By the way, did you have blue paint all over your face after you posed with the Colt Man? That's all I could think about when I looked at your picture.

    You're amazing!!!

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  96. We have all wood floors throughout our 100 year old home - I love them :) The only thing I would say about the stairs is that the "risers" are white, and they get really dirty. I've been thinking about painting them a darker color to hide that - otherwise you are constantly trying to keep the riser part looking clean :)

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  97. THat is super exciting! I LOVE LOVE the white and stained stairs! I want to do that myself in my next house. Good luck and one tip if this is your only stair case, do ever other stair so that you can use them and not have to live on the main level till they are done.

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  98. Thank you for this post - you are a brave pioneer. I've wondered about my own stairs for a long time, too. Ours are so close to the bedrooms that I thought the noise factor was the main consideration. Did you have to think about it?

    --Vicki K.

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  99. We live in a rambler, so no stairs. :( I'm jealous of your potential and the project you get to do.
    I'm a newbieto your site and have really gotten lots of inspiration from you so far...maybe I'll get the courage to rip that carpet up under my kitchen table! It's N.A.S.T.Y!!!, but it includes the entire family room, so it's a comfort/warmth issue. Any suggestions?

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  100. I love the look of hardwood stairs. I will say though that carpet is a much safer choice for me. I fell down our hardwood stairs at our last place and wrenched my knee something fierce. It took surgery to repair the damage... and that wasn't the first time I fell down those stairs. Fortunately, it was the last. Now we have carpeted stairs and I feel much more comfortable with the kids going up and down them as well as clumsy me. Our stairs aren't visible to the public though so I don't have to worry about how it looks to everyone else. That's a bonus. :)

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  101. SERIOUSLY! I think my hubs would DIE if he came home to no carpet on the stairs. :) In our new house, we have hardwood stairs. I like them -- easier to clean. But, they are slick in socks. So, be careful!

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  102. We are building a house right now, and this is a question I am struggling with. I love the look of the uncarpeted steps. They are definitely gorgeous that way!

    However, we are renting a house with wood stairs right now, and I think they are much more slippery. Our poor dog has to be very cautious going up and down them. The other problem - my 12 year old son sounds like a whole herd of elephants everytime he goes up or down!

    I'm still not sure what I am going to do.

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  103. We have hardwood stairs, and let me tell you...they are SLIPPERY! I love the look of them, but my goodness, I wish, wish, wish we had carpet on them. When you fall down wood stairs it hurts! No rug burn...it's bruises and scrapes! We have had our share of tumbles down our flight of stairs, including my husband slipping and sliding all the way down with my one-month-old in his arms! Very scary! Luckily he is He-Man and managed to keep her tucked in nicely so she was unhurt, but he wasn't. Now we have to have a no-socks on the stairs rule, which is lame because everyone wants socks on in the winter on wood and tile. Be careful! On the plus side, they will look nice.

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  104. My stairs were originally carpeted when I bought my home, and I tore the carpet off before I moved in, because I knew I wanted the wood exposed. I am MORE THAN HAPPY with the wood on the stairs, and I don't find them to be slippery. I've fallen a few times, but more because of carelessness than anything else. I was afraid because I had bamboo floors put in and I knew the stain wouldn't match the floor, but I love the way it came out and am happy I went with the darker stain.

    Here's the before and after:
    http://meditationsonlifeandstyle.blogspot.com/2009/12/its-finally-here-entry-reveal.html

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  105. My sister-in-law has hardwood stairs that I have slipped on at least 25% of the time I have walked on them. They are high gloss however and that probably contibutes to the slip factor. We had our house built a year ago and I went with the carpet on the stairs and hardwood on the main level. I hate how dirty the carpet looks compared to the wood and what a pain it is to keep them clean, but I know that with my track record I would break my leg/ankle etc. so I just deal with it. Good luck on whatever you decide. Also, my sister-in-law says they wear socks with the rubber grips on the bottom when they know that they are going to be going up and down the stairs alot (like a cleaning day) to help prevent falls so you could try that.

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  106. we finished our basement 2 years ago and I left the stairs unfinished because I wanted hardwood. I hate carpet and have tried to rip up all of it I could and replace it with hardwood or tile. I did the whole basement in wood! I love it. Now What to do with those stairs. they are not hardwood and I don't have the case to fork out the hardwood. They are crummy old plywood. Any suggestions. I will be watching to see what you do. Love it. Thanks for sharing.
    Cynthia

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  107. In our new addition, we are adding regular flooring right over the top of the steps. You can buy laminate or hardwood, just make sure the style you choose comes with an option of "bullnose" edging for the little overhang part in the front and side of the step that sticks out over the riser. We are painting the risers and spindles white with the treads, landing and posts all stained oak. CANNOT wait for it to be done!!!

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  108. So excited to see this project continue!
    We have stairs in our house, with carpet.
    However, we are going to be rebuilding in the not so distant future and have a beautiful staircase already picked out. I've been debating on doing hardwood or carpet. I'm anxious to see how yours turn out and if you love them....love that you are so honest about stuff like this!

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  109. I recently sanded and refinished our hardwood stairs (well, I tried and my hubby finished!). Lots of work, but SO WORTH IT!

    I look forward to seeing the finished product - all your projects are so inspiring.

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  110. I too am gifted at falling down stairs! I once fell down the stairs with a latte in my hand. I was trying so hard not to spill it that I ended up in this contorted position and my husband threatened to take a picture! Didn't spill one drop! But I couln't get out of bed for two days!!

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  111. Hi, I want to do this but haven't had the guts yet so I'll be watching your progress. Can I ask where you got the saying that is on your wall. It's really cute and I would love to get one like it.
    Lesliemaj@verizon.net

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  112. We have hardwood stairs and LOVE them. I sweep them a few times a week and wipe them down once a week with wood floor cleaner on a microfiber cloth. Not only does it make for a beautiful entry but they are much cleaner than carpet. Falling hasn't been an issue for us (a mom, dad, and 4 kiddos)

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  113. Hard woods are deemed as more durable that’s why Parquet flooring experts suggest Parquet hardwood flooring in kitchens and children’s areas whilst subtle hardwoods are predominantly used in living areas.

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  114. Trans{forming} HomeJanuary 28, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    Can I just say...I love,love,love your bolg! I've been blog-stalking you for a month or two now (this is my first post) and I can't tell you how many cool ideas you've inspired. About the stairs - I read your post and (utility blade in hand) stopped myself just.in.the.nick.of.time to think...what the heck is hubby going to say when he gets home and I've ripped up the carpet on the stairs? OMG...he will KILL me (well...maybe a bit of an exaggeration...but)on second thought...he will KILL me :0). Don't know how you get away with it. I can hide a lot of my 'projects' but I'm not sure about this one. Can't wait to see how it works out for you.

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  115. We bought a house built in 1939 last year and took up the carpet off the stairs. The previous owner had 2 cats and my daughter is slightly allergic so we removed all the carpet in the house prior to moving in and refinished the hardwood floors. The stairs, however had been recarpeted many times there were many, many nail holes and staple holes along with other damage that would have required so much work to get a decent look. I could not bear the tought of the horrible mess from the dust for excessive sanding to get down to decent wood so we decided to re-carpet. It honestly took us a year to finally make the decision, so I lived with the wood for a year.

    The original plan was to refinish. I just could not bear the thought of more mess.
    My husband may in the future replace all the wood treads with new, but for now I am very happy with the carpet. It is so much easier to clean then the wood. The dust and pet hair seems to always collect on the steps from the upstairs. It looks nice for a day then you have to wipe it down again. Now I just have to vacuum with the attachment.

    The wood was more slippery, with out a doubt. But, my son has already fallen down the carpet dones. Our 7 pound dog that took a few tumbles down the wood has no problems with the carpet.

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  116. Love that you were brave enough to do this!! I, too, had a moment where my disgust with our carpeted stairs led to my ripping it all up and throwing it on my driveway. (hubby was out of town :-) Best of luck to you!! Hope you end up loving the "new" stairs as much as I love mine! (it took me over 3 weeks to finish, but it was soooo worth it! Oh, my treads are stained really dark and my risers are glossy white - LOVE IT! I also did a couple darker coats of gel stain over my orangey oak banister - much better!!) Love the blog... Take care! Nikki

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  117. When we took out the black metal spiral staircase and put back nice wood stairs back where they originally where in our old home, we stained the treads and painted the risers just like you want to do. I LOVE the look of it. We have golden honey oak color to match the original hardwood floors in the house and in the room where the landing is, but that dark stain in your sample pics us so pretty!

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  119. I love all that you do..

    I would LOVE to pull my nasty carpet off the stairs, but my stairs dont go all the way to the wall (?) there is 1/2" - 1" gap on both sides...we do not have the molding/baseboard along the wall like you do - just wall.

    I am curious if anyone has ran into this and how they fixed it when they pulled up carpet?

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  120. I am soo wanting to do this to ours too! Mt concern is our landing. I figure I can always paint a design on them or something but I just know The Hubster would die when he got home if I just started ripping carpet up. Plus they go into the LR and it is carpeted so it will wait. I will live thru you!

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  121. I am soo wanting to do this to ours too! Mt concern is our landing. I figure I can always paint a design on them or something but I just know The Hubster would die when he got home if I just started ripping carpet up. Plus they go into the LR and it is carpeted so it will wait. I will live thru you!

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  122. Those stairs are going to be awesome. Had stairs in our townhome, but were carpeted. Looking at your stairs, I kind of wish we had both our cottage and the t/h just so I could take the carpet up and stain the stairs! I realized that I have always loved beautiful staircases. My boss has double curving stairways on both sides up to the second floor. My favorite stairs are spiral but trying to move furniture up them could be a royal pain, lol. Will check back to see the lovely results of your stairs soon.

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  123. I just recently finished my stair overhaul. Mine had carpet too but unlike yours, mine had 90 years of living on them. They were partially stained and yet painted on the edges like yours. Stain from woodstain but only part of the way and then stained from spills on the stairs. I had carpet staples from three different carpeting jobs. Why remove them when you'll just carpet over them right?

    While I couldn't stain my stairs and have it look good, I could paint them. We've had no slip issues, they're a million times easier to keep clean, and they look so much better! Good luck with your stair project. I'm sure it'll look fantastic just like everything else in your house!

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I LOVE your comments, thank you! (I read every single one.)

If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here! Be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site and my Projects page for paint colors and DIY projects as well.

THANKS so much for reading!