5 Expert Tips To Choose Stair Tread Rugs

Stair tread rugs are a great way to incorporate functionality, warmth, and style to your home in an affordable way. There are several materials and styles to choose from, which is great for when you're looking to complement your existing décor.

With the five expert tips below, you'll know just what style speaks to you so you can soon welcome a great stair tread rug into your home.

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What are he best materials for stair tread rugs?

The best type of material for a stair tread rug in your home is highly dependent on the level of foot traffic you expect. 

  • Expecting lots of foot traffic? => Nylon stair treads.

When you have a busy home that sees a lot of wear and tear, nylon provides the kind of protection you need. Plus, it's super easy to clean and is stain resistant.

  • Looking for a soft feel? => Wool stair treads.

Wool can be used when you expect medium foot traffic and the big perk with this material is how incredibly soft it feels underneath your feet.

  • Want a natural feel for your busy home? => Seagrass stair treads.

This stain resistant material is great when the pitter patter of busy feet is common in your home environment. This material is pretty low maintenance and is naturally long-lasting.

  • Do you need durability in high-traffic environments? => Sisal stair treads.

As a natural plant fiber, sisal is super strong, long-lasting, and can endure the abuse of high-traffic environments. This material offers a natural appearance but don't expect a plush, soft feel underneath your feet.

  • Looking for an indoor/outdoor option? => Polypropylene stair treads.

Polypropylene, also referred to as olefin, is great in busy homes where spilling accidents are a regular occurrence. This material is fantastic with stain resistance and is super versatile, so you can place it inside or outside.

Gray Polypropylene Rectangle Stair Tread
Dark Beige Synthetic Fiber Stair Tread
Khaki Square Sisal Stair Tread
Multicolor Synthetic Fiber Strair Tread
Rectangle Silver Nosing Stair Tread
Black Rectangle Rubber Stair Tread

How to choose stair tread rug style?

Whether you want your stair tread rug style to be understated, blending in seamlessly, or prefer a more adventurous appearance, there's a style for you. Keep in mind that straight staircases do best with patterns, as it's much easier to line up patterned designs in a linear fashion. 

  • Want to keep it simple and conservative? => Traditional tread rug. 

A basic geometric pattern offers a conservative feel that fits right into traditional environments. If you prefer a softer and slightly more vivid pattern, choose a floral print that still blends in nicely but has a more feminine feel.

Brown Synthetic Fiber Traditional Stair Tread
Brown Polypropylene Traditional Stair Tread
Multi Color Nylon Traditional Stair Tread
Rectangle Polyester Traditional Stair Tread
Navy Rectangle Traditional Stair Tread
Burgundy Rectangle Traditional Stair Tread
  • Do you love an exquisite pattern? => Oriental tread rug.

This pattern has been hugely popular for many years in American homes and businesses and fits well into traditional environments. You can find a variety of colors and shades with elegant designs to perfectly fit your existing décor.

Light Blue Oriental Stair Tread
Elegant Rectangle Oriental Stair Tread
Synthetic Fiber Oriental Stair Tread
Red Oriental Non Skid Stair Tread
Red Oval Oriental Stair Tread
Fawn Olefin Oriental Stair Tread
  • Going for an organic feel? => Natural fiber tread rug.

When your home has an earthy vibe, natural fiber tread rugs are ideal. They're made from sisal and seagrass and offer a neutral hue that fits well alongside other natural elements, like plants and fresh flowers.

White Black Natural Fiber Stair Tread
Oval Natural Fiber Stair Tread
Beige Natural Fiber Stair Tread
Red Brown Natural Fiber Stair Tread
Bluestone Natural Fiber Stair Tread
Tufted Natural Fiber Stair Tread
  • Going for a simple yet bold look? => Striped tread rug. 

Go for vertical or horizontal stripes and enjoy a surprisingly rich result. These tread rugs will get noticed, making them ultra-safe for guests and loved ones while offering a design flair unique to your home.

Striped Synthetic Fiber Stair Tread
Red Synthetic Fiber Striped Stair Tread
Rectangle Nylon Gold Stair Tread
Gray Synthetic Fiber Striped Stair Tread
Teal Rectangle Striped Stair Tread
Synthetic Fiber Striped Stair Tread
  • Do you love an exotic aesthetic? => Animal print tread rug. 

Stair tread rugs with animal prints like cheetah and zebra are bold statement pieces that do well in modern environments. However, you could also easily dress up a rustic environment with bear designs.

Gray Synthetic Fiber Stair Tread
Dog Paw Synthetic Fiber Stair Tread
Classic Flooring Oval Jute Bleached Stair Tread
Bear Brown Natural Fiber Stair Tread
Polypropylene Animal Print Stair Tread
Animal Print Decor Coral Fleece Stair Tread

What special features should I look for with stair tread rugs?

  • Bullnose stair treads

This feature makes it so your stair tread rug wraps around the rim of each of your stairs to create an uninterrupted appearance. Stair tread rugs without this feature incorporate space between the edge of each tread and the edge of each stair.

  • UV stabilized stair treads

UV stabilized stair treads are treated to better resist the wear experienced from frequent and direct sun exposure. If your stairs are in a particularly sunny room or you'll be using stair treads outside, this is an important feature to secure the life of the product.

  • Binding tape

Check the quality of your stair tread rug by examining how it's bound. Quality pieces are bound with color matched binding tape or they're bound with yarn for a posher look.

How to choose stair tread size?

The average stair tread size is within 8 to 10 inches long; however, there are longer stair treads for bigger staircases. 9-inch stair treads are the ones most used. To be sure you're purchasing the correct size for your staircase, follow the steps below:

  • Measure from the left of your step to the right. This is the max stair tread length you can purchase -- if you want full coverage, stick with this measurement.
  • Measure from the back of your step to the front. This is the max stair tread width you can purchase. For a narrower appearance, subtract a couple of inches from this measurement.

Do stair tread rugs require pads underneath?

Even though stair tread rugs are tiny pieces of carpet compared to other rug styles, they do require a pad underneath for cushion support. Be mindful when choosing the padding, however, as anything too thick will peak out from the bottom of the stair tread, creating an unsightly appearance. 

Be sure to choose a dense option so the stair tread rug stays securely in place. A general rule when choosing an underpad is to go 1/4-inch-thick and keep it narrower than the size of your stair tread rug. Rubber is a good material, as it offers firm support.

Now that you know what materials and styles are out there, you can decide on any special features and narrow down the right size of your stair tread rugs. Remember, for underfoot comfort, go for wool and be sure any patterned designs you choose are displayed on a straight staircase to get the most from this style.

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.