This is your home, so ultimately you should choose what you love most. Keep in mind a few tips and be realistic about your lifestyle, the use of stairs in your home, how much wear they will get, and the people and/or pets using them.
First bring home samples of runners/carpets, lots of sample. Pick different colors and textures. Lighting in your home versus a show room will be completely different. Choose a few you feel comfortable with and try something a little different to experiment with, you never know if something out of the ordinary could be the one. Stair runners can connect other area rugs together, protect your hardwood staircase, and they should complement your hardwood.
Some pro's and con's for both a stair runner or hardwood floor are:
Hardwood Pro's - Cleans well. Wipe up spills with no scrubbing. Use a dust mop to easily dust away lint or pet fur. Can help eliminates allergies in your home, and wont absorbs smells or odors. Hardwood can easily be sanded and refinished when needed. They are timeless, and fits with most styles.
Carpet Pro's- Safer, carpeting your stairs give traction for people and pets going up and down. Carpeted stairs can pull rooms together, and carpet can allow you to add texture, color and pattern. Carpet also helps create a noise barrier.
Hardwood Con's- Safety, Tends to me less safe, people often slip, finding hardwood to be slipper with socks or even bare foot. If a liquid is spilled, it becomes slippery. Loud, foots steps can easily be heard on hardwood steps. Hardwood damages, when carpet is used they apply it with either adhesive, nails or staples, all of which damage the hardwood.
Carpet Con's- Cleaning, carpet is hard to clean, carpet stains easily and traps odors such as pets, smoke and food. Vacuuming carpeted stairs are hard to do, maneuvering the vacuum on the treads trying not to damage walls, risers, or painted trim can be difficult and time consuming. Coordinating stair carpet with surrounding carpet may be tricky.
Stairs can be carpeting in many textures, styles and colors from Sisal to Wool, Berber to Oriental runners. Many options are out there. Hardwoods can be stained a variety of colors and shades, to different species of woods that are hard to soft, and show a lot of grain to no grain.
This is your home, its personal, your home should represent you and your family, your designs. Your home should welcome you when you walk in and make you want to stay and relax. Choose whats best for you.
Before and After Photos of Staircase runner installed
Creations by Couristan "Dominica"