How to Makeover Your Stairs Tips to Replace Carpet and Install Hardwood — Setting for Four

How to Makeover Your Stairs Tips to Replace Carpet and Install Hardwood - Setting for Four

How to Makeover Your Stairs // Tips to Replace Carpet and Install Hardwood

Well the renovation project is finished and I’m so thrilled with how great our staircase looks all beautified in hardwood!

I love the transformation!:

When we moved into our home 2 years ago the carpeting on the staircase was one of the main things that really bothered us. Don’t get me wrong – we love our house, all the room we have here, how bright our home is, the finished basement, our beautiful backyard and our fun hot tub…but the carpeting on the staircase was a total eyesore and hard to keep clean.

One of the first things we did after moving in was to repaint the walls on the main level. I’m not a fan of warm paint colors, that’s just my personal preference…this photo doesn’t really show it well, but this yellow was much more loud intense in real life!

I love the calm grey color we choose, it really compliments the hardwood color!

When you come into our home, the staircase is one of the first things you see.and the ugly beige carpeting along with it!

This carpet wasn’t even a nice berber type…it was some odd type of shag carpet…definitely not our style!

At first we thought we’d tackle this project on our own; rip out the carpeting and restain the treads – but then we realized the treads were not made out of wood that could be stained …. and our staircase is a custom layout, so it was beyond our DIY skills!

The custom layout meant custom cuts of hardwood using a custom template had to be made due to the curves and angles:

If it was a straight up and down type of staircase with decent wood underneath the carpeting, I know we could have tackled it ourselves….

However, I think it’s really important to know your limits as a DIY’er!

So we called in a professional home renovation contractor that specializes in railings! We tracked down the exact name and color of the hardwood that was used on our main floor. I called the office of the builder that built the house 6 years ago and asked if they still were using our hardwood in new home construction and they were! They told me where to order it as well as the exact name and codes. This allowed us to match exactly the stain, color and grain of hardwood to match the rest of the home!

Then we let our contractor use his expertise to measure, measure, measure some more and cut each of the pieces individually to fit!

He removed the carpeting, removed the banister and spindles, cut and laid the hardwood treads, painted the risers then added the new wall molding. Lots of work!

New hardwood treads: lots of angles and cuts!

New molding added to walls:

I love the results!

Bye-bye nasty shaggy, boring beige carpeting and Hello beautiful rich, glossy hardwood!

The new molding installed along the walls looks fabulous as well!

Soooo much better, don’t you think?

I’m so glad we have this project finished – what a huge difference it makes! I look at it everyday and it makes me smile!

Here are some tips I’m passing on from our experience if you ever decide to makeover your stairs using a contractor:

1. Make sure your contractor is reputable. Does he have a website? Is he registered with a business association? Our contractor, Andy at ‘The Railing Doctor’, is registered with the Better Business Bureau. (The BBB is a local agency which rates each business registered with them and displays any customer complaints that are filed against the business –it’s a great way to determine a business’s reputation in the community) Does he have pictures of other home’s and projects he’s done? Are they your style and have a quality look?

Our contractor has an A+ rating and came recommended to us as well.

(By the way this is not a sponsored post, but I love the work of our contractor so much I’m passing on his name here – in case anyone in the Ottawa area is reading this and is looking for a good renovation contractor!)

2. Make sure your contractor supplies and installs plastic dust sheet covers for your furniture. Believe me there will be lots of dust! Our contractor covered all of our furniture, sofa, tables, TV ect with big sheets of clear plastic and because our home is open concept he also installed plastic temporary ‘walls’ to prevent the movement of the dust into other rooms. It worked beautifully and I’m so glad he did this! We did have some dust on our floors around the staircase but it was very easy to vacuum up.

3. Decide on wether you want your stair risers to be hardwood, to match the stair treads, or painted white. The stair tread is the part you step on, it’s the part we had hardwood installed onto. The stair riser is the vertical piece. This can be hardwood or painted white. It’s your personal choice and there is no wrong or right way! We chose to have our risers painted white to tie in the white molding on the walls and to break the hardwood up a bit for some contrast and interest. We love the result! The white color really brightens up the whole area and makes the hardwood tones pop!

4. Be prepared to do some touch up painting on your walls… so have some of your wall paint on hand. Because the old stairs wall molding was removed to ensure a tight fit of the stair treads, new molding was cut and added. As a result there were a few places that needed to be touched up with the wall paint.

How to Makeover Your Stairs Tips to Replace Carpet and Install Hardwood - Setting for Four

My hubby did a great job touching up a few spots-Thanks handsome!

5.Ensure that your contractor cleans up after he is finished and removes all of the plastic dust covers from your home. Our contractor used a lot of plastic (thankfully!) and it was full of dust – the fact that he took it away with him was an extra bonus and meant less mess for us to deal with! He also used large padded blankets to lay on the hardwood floors to set his tools on, so our existing floors weren’t damaged. Our contractor also vacuumed (he even brought his own shop vacuum) the entire staircase and main floor area when he finished the job, before he left. I joked that he could come back on a weekly basis since he did such an awesome job vacuuming. …He didn’t take me up on it though!

Look at all of the tools he used! He also brought his own disposal bins and shop vac:

6. Make sure your contractor leaves you his contact information. You will need this in case you’d like him to return to make any touch ups that may be required or in case there are any deficiencies in the work that you might not notice immediately.

Andy came back right away to fix a very small area where wood putty (used to fill in the small nail holes) had smudged a bit. He agreeably came back quickly and fixed it in a few minutes! Andy rocks!

SO what do you think? Don’t our stairs look so fresh and updated now?

Do you think we made the right decision to have the risers painted white or would you have had hardwood installed there too?

So, if you have a staircase to renovate, by all means DIY it yourselves if there are no custom cuts and angles involved; perhaps it’s just a matter of removing the carpet and staining the wood underneath.

However, if it’s a complicated job having a stairs renovation professional apply his craftsmanship, years of experience as well as his supplies towards the job can be the better (or only) choice!

I have plans to add a photo gallery wall to the tall wall where the stairs turn..stay tuned for progress with that project!

I’ll be using this tip filled post for reference! 65 Plus Photo Gallery Wall Layout Ideas .

I hope you enjoyed my 6 tips on how to makeover your stairs!

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