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Amanda Harvey
Amanda
Harvey

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10 renovation projects to transform your interior staircase

Last modified: 2019/02/07 | Approximate reading time 6 mins

Unless it’s in terrible condition, the interior staircase is rarely a top-priority when it comes to home renovation. First and foremost, it functions to lead us from point A to point B. Of course, there’s a way to create a staircase that works perfectly with the architecture and decor of the house, but despite that, the main purpose of the staircase is functionality.

If you’re reading this article, it’s likely because you plan to renovate your staircase or are curious to discover different ways to restore or improve it. Thus, the purpose of this article is to offer some small and large renovation projects that will transform your interior staircase.

Here are 10 renovation projects to transform your interior staircase!

Staircase

In the following examples, we’ll focus on the most common building materials for interior stairs, which are wood or metal. Instead of replacing the entire staircase, you could opt for restoration projects or to replace certain parts of the structure. Here are 10 ideas to consider.

1- Removing staircase carpet

In the past, carpeting was a very common floor covering material, even on staircases. As with most, this type of material has advantages and disadvantages. Some of the benefits include being comfortable underfoot, helping to reduce noise in the home as well as keeping things safer. The disadvantages include the fact that carpet can damage the underlying wood surface and can be rather difficult to clean, which can affect your home's air quality.

Many decide to remove the old carpet in order to highlight the wood or install a runner (see point 7). If you’re considering this project, it’s important to note that you must proceed with care when removing the carpet to ensure the steps remain in good condition.

2- Fixing a squeaking problem

A squeaky staircase can affect the quality of life of the occupants, especially in the middle of the night. If you have teenagers under your roof, their return from a festive night out may prove to be a noisy awakening. There are plenty of things that can cause stairs to rattle and squeak. So, before making any repairs, you’ll need to figure out where the noise is coming from. Does noise come from the front, back or side of the stairs? In general, the noise is caused by friction related to how the wood has dried.

In most cases, it’s possible to solve a problem of stair creaking, with many techniques accessible to people with basic skills.

3- Decorating your risers

Does your current staircase feel rather boring? Instead of launching a drastic renovation project that will lead you to change the entire structure, why not focus on the risers? These surfaces can accommodate your most original design ideas, and the effect is often very pretty as a result of the visual dynamism of the steps.  There is no limit to colours, patterns and materials you can use to decorate the risers, but here are some ideas.

  • Wallpaper;
  • Newspaper;
  • Chevron Pattern;
  • Solid paint;
  • Decal;
  • Ceramic tiles;
  • Vinyl tiles.

Take a little tour of Pinterest to find hundreds of ideas. In addition, most of these projects can be completed in one day or weekend. This transformation will have a huge visual impact without putting too much weight in terms of a budget as well as time.

4- Strengthening the structure of the steps

Entrance staircase

Has your staircase seen better days and is now feeling as though it’s lacking stability? Instead of completely replacing it, you could try to strengthen the structure. For this type of project, the methods vary according to the type of staircase as well as the issues surrounding its lacking stability. Therefore, it is best to use the services of a stair manufacturing expert.

Here are some ways to reinforce a wood staircase:

  • Install risers (if there are none);
  • Build a wall of support underneath the stairs;
  • Install a false silt.

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5- Restoring or replacing the stair railing

handrails staircase

The stair rail must also be stable and in good condition, as it is one of the elements contributing to the safety of your staircase. You may not realize but in certain parts of Canada, ramps (handrails) are mandatory by building code standards. If you move forward with this renovation, you will need to be sure that the one in place complies with regulations. If not, do take this opportunity to make the necessary changes. Here are some examples of staircase restoration projects:

  • Sand and apply a new coat of varnish;
  • Dye or paint the staircase ramp;
  • Replace the bars.

6- Painting, staining, or varnishing the steps

This project can give a new lease of life to your interior staircase, especially if they’ve suffered a lot of wear over the years. Before repainting or dying, a good sanding will be necessary. On the other hand, care must be taken not to thin out the steps too much, as this may affect their longevity. In addition, it is important to choose the right products to create a strong and safe surface. Here are some articles about wood floors that may be useful for this type of project:

7- Installing carpet runners

Carpet staircase

Carpet runners are used for both practical and aesthetic purposes, as they make your steps much safer. Less permanent than carpet covering your entire steps, this type of rug is easy to install and can be removed if needed. When buying a carpet, you will probably receive instructions related to the installation process which should be completed in accordance with the regulations.

Often, this process is carried out with nails or staples. It will be important to make sure that the mat adheres well to the risers to prevent it from being too slippery.

8- Installing under-stairs storage

Without transforming the bottom of your staircase into a guest room (Harry Potter anyone?) and with the space available, why not transform it into a storage area? Instead of leaving an empty and unused space, you could build a wardrobe, a shelf, a reading area, a desk and so on. This kind of layout adds a certain charm and helps to maximize the space of your environment. If you’re not good at manual work, why not collaborate with a cabinetmaker or woodworker who can build a custom piece for your home.

9- Highlighting the stairwell

If you’re lucky enough to have a spacious stairwell, make the most of this space. You can do this by installing beautiful light fixtures, a bench, shelves, storage boxes, paintings and anything else you feel would create a welcoming environment. Even when your stairwell isn’t large, you can turn this transitional space into a place where you want to hang out! At the very least, you will be able to create a nice and well-integrated nook for your home. For example, installing an art gallery wall above the stairs is trendy. The art gallery wall will allow you to have fun, staging your favourite artwork, family photos and so forth.

10- Improve stairway lighting

A better lighting system can make the staircase safer while working to enhance its architecture. Very often, the stairs are illuminated with a single bulb that will diffuse a small amount of light. Why not opt for wall sconces or LED bulbs, as this will add a bit of originality.

Here’s a detailed article about lighting:

Other types of staircases

In this article, we focused on wood and metal stairs. Of course, we know for sure that other models and materials exist, even for models that are built for indoors. We’ve written a few other articles on staircases, though they tend to address exterior staircases. However, some of the topics covered in these articles can also apply to interior stairs made from the same materials. If you feel that this may be relevant, take a look at our articles:

Get 3 renovation quotes for your interior staircase project

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