Get decorating tips for stairs. Learn about carpets, treads, wood refinishing and other methods of decorating staircases.
LESLIE: Taking a call from New Mexico with Beth who wants to talk about tile. What can we do for you?
BETH: Hi, I have a two-story house and the first floor is totally open. You walk in the front door on tile and the tile wraps around to the kitchen area. The living area is carpeted and it’s really in bad shape.
BETH: The steps going upstairs are carpeted and the whole upper floor is carpeted. And I’d like to take the first-floor carpet out but then it leaves me with what do I do with these stairs .
TOM: These are wood stairs?
BETH: I believe so.
TOM: Well, if they’re paint-grade stairs or carpet-grade stairs, it’s probably pine or fir and if you pull the carpet up you may be able to sand them down and finish them  and have them look halfway decent or maybe replace the full carpeted tread, which is the runner that kind of goes up the middle of it.
TOM: The least that you could do is paint them and that’s always a possibility and if it’s done well it could look very, very attractive.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and in New Mexico you probably have – you know, I always see such beautiful color usage in the state in my travels when I see people’s homes and you can really have an opportunity to do a beautiful color on the riser and a different color on the tread, still very earthy and homey and pretty, just to sort of give it that New Mexico vibe.
BETH: Oh, that’s a perfect idea. That would – I can see that working so well.
LESLIE: Great, and as for the first floor, I say go ahead and replace that carpet with a laminate  or an engineered hardwood; whatever suits your taste and don’t worry about the transition between the tile and the new flooring because they make all sorts of different materials that bridge that transition between one type of flooring  and another, so you’re not going to be left with this oddity between the two.
TOM: And then you can use some throw rugs to give you a little bit of a carpeted feel in the living room if you still miss that feel.
BETH: Alright, well with all the dry air and dust we have here, it’d be easier not to have the carpet. So I’m ready to sacrifice … (Leslie chuckles)
TOM: Alright, Beth. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.