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Stair Tread Rugs: Improving the Safety and Beauty of your Stairs

Updated on September 25, 2009

Stair Tread Rugs Add Beauty and Safety to Hardwood Stairs


Why You Need Anti Slip Stair Treads

Stairs are an obvious necessity in any home with more than one floor, however they can be dangerous. A fall on the stairs is a lot more likely to cause a serious injury than one on level ground. For this reason, every precaution should be taken to make sure your stairs are as safe as possible.

Different Types of Carpet Stair Treads

One of the main issues you should be addressing is slippage. Stair treads are very easy to slip on, especially if they aren’t carpeted over. They are sometimes smooth finished wood with coats of urethane that makes them very slippery. On top of that, urethane floors are generally sanded and waxed every few years to keep them looking beautiful. While this does indeed look wonderful, it exacerbates a dangerous safety issue. One easy solution to this problem is to carpet your stairs. This will definitely solve the problem, however if you have hardwood floors and a carpeted stairway, it might not be the most aesthetically pleasing option. Carpeting stairs is also not an easy do it yourself proposition, and hiring a professional can be expensive. Another solution would be a stair runner, which is somewhat easier to install, but still runs into the aesthetic problem.

A Great Solution

Enter stair tread rugs. These are small stair sized rugs that attach to each step. They are not obtrusive, and you can see your beautiful hardwood steps around them. They also improve the traction and add beauty and contrast to your stairs. They come in many different styles at many different price points. Some of the most popular types are braided rug stair treads, which are nice and thick, and cut down on the noise your stairs make when you walk on them. They are a perfect compromise between hardwood and a full carpet. They are also very easy to install.


Installing Stair Tread Rugs

Although many manufacturers ship their treads with some simple double-sided tape, this is not the safest way to install them.  If they have some type of backing, I would recommend gluing them down, however if they don’t the glue might make its way up through the top side of the rug.  In this case I would recommend a two-step method utilizing industrial Velcro, which is available at most hardware stores in different widths.

Carpet Tacks


Materials Needed

  1. Industrial Velcro.  (2” or close is fine)
  2. Small Carpet Tacks
  3. Stair Tread Rugs
  4. Pencil
  5. Hammer
  6. Measuring Tape or Ruler


  1. On one stair, find a good center for the rug and measure its distance to the riser (the back of the stair) on the left and right of the top side of the rug, and then measure its distance to the wall on one side.

  2. Note the distances you measured, and then mark the edges of the rug with a pencil.

  3. Continue down the stairs marking the position of each and every rug.

  4. Take a rug and stick two strips of Velcro on the back side along the entire top and bottom edges.

  5. Peel the back the other sticky side of the Velcro and carefully stick it into place according to your initial marks on the stair tread.

  6. Stick it firmly into place, then take four small carpet tacks and hammer them into the corners of the rug at the seams.

  7. Rinse and repeat.


  1. Get very small carpet tacks, that are light or dark colored according to your carpet rugs, this will prevent them from being seen.
  2. Try to put the tacks into the seams of the rug, in a way that the seam covers them when they’re all the way in.
  3. Don’t pull the rug off the stair after you stick it down with Velcro. This will only make it harder to stick back in the perfect spot.

In case you’re wondering, the Velcro is actually a very important step.  It holds the edges of the carpet down to keep it flat, it also distributes the force of the tacks across the entire length of the rug, so you don’t get any stretching points.  It also makes the installation a whole lot more solid.  I wouldn’t recommend skipping this step.

I hope you enjoyed these instructions and I hope you take the time to make your stairs safer and more beautiful.  You will definitely be very happy with the results.


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    • profile image

      Eileen McMullin 7 years ago

      Thank you for the instructions - we just stripped, puttied, sanded, painted and poly'd the stairs and I just ordered braided carpet treads. My husband just asked about using velcro to attach them. Your info was just what we needed.

    • AuntySa profile image

      AuntySa 7 years ago from Austalia

      I love this idea of rugs on stairs. It definitely shows some beauty aside from its great functionality.

    • profile image

      Stairs 7 years ago

      That is a great idea.

      sometime the simplest solutions are the best (and cheapest!)

    • shanel profile image

      shanel 8 years ago from Seattle

      Thanks for a great post. You've got to love velcro, and that is a great way to distribute the force of the tacks. I love simple solutions!