How Much Does It Cost To Change Carpet Stairs To Wood?

If you're thinking about replacing your carpeted stairs with wood and would like to know how much it'll cost you, you're on the right page. We've done the research on the cost of changing stairs to wood, and here's what we've found out.

You would have to allocate around $555 to $1,200 if you already have wooden floors underneath the carpeted surface of a 12-step staircase. But if you need to install new wood floors, prepare to spend an average of $1,995 to $2,220. These amounts are already inclusive of labor costs.

Keep reading so we can tell you more about the different factors that influence the price of redoing your carpeted stairs to help you set your budget for this home improvement project. We'll also provide you with the advantages and disadvantages of using wood versus carpet as flooring materials for your stairs. Let's begin!

A wooden stairs at modern office, How Much Does It Cost To Change Carpet Stairs To Wood?

How much does it cost to change stairs from carpet to wood?

There are different types of wood flooring. There's the more expensive solid wood and the more affordable engineered wood. There are also different kinds of wood. Oak, ash, and walnut are popular choices for hardwood, while pine and fir are commonly used for those who prefer softwood.

They each have their own features and advantages. The kind of wood you choose would affect its lifespan, appearance, and of course, its price.

Design of stairs in a rich country house

Whatever your reason is for undertaking this home improvement project, you should prepare yourself for the costs involved.  Here are the main factors that'll influence its total cost:

  • Wood type: Solid or hardwood is one of the most expensive flooring materials in the market. It is difficult to grow and source, but you can be assured of its durability.
  • Size of the stairs: Height and depth should comply with safety standards, while the width and number of steps would depend on the homeowner's needs. The wider the stairs and the more steps you have, the more you have to spend on your flooring.
  • Staircase design: Straight stairs are simple to work on. However, the job gets more complicated when you have L-shaped, winder, U-shaped, spiral, curved, or bifurcated stairs. The more complex the job is, the higher the labor cost.
  • Labor rate: Installation is usually done by professionals. The rate will vary across the country and would also depend on the experience level of the contractors.

Cost of Replacing Carpeted Stairs With Wood

Wooden stairs down

The average cost of replacing your carpeted stairs with wood is said to be around $4,000. Although, the price can range from as low as $1,000 to as high as $30,000. Professionals usually calculate the estimated cost according to the number of steps.

The average price of wood installation is $160 for each step. So, if you have 12 steps, you'll have to pay an average of $1,920. Cherry, walnut, mahogany, and white oak are the most expensive hardwood flooring types for your stairs so expect to go beyond this amount when you choose any of these materials.

If you already have hardwood underneath the carpet, this will reduce the cost of redoing your stairs compared to having new wooden flooring installed all the way. You just have to remove the carpet and give your wood flooring a new finish.

The cost to have the old carpet removed can be around $75 to $300 or an average of $60 to $65 per hour's worth of labor.

To refinish the wooden steps, you will spend $40 to $75 per step. So, if you have 12 steps, it'll cost you $480 to $900 to bring new life to your old wood flooring.

This means, if you already have wooden floors, you would just need to spend around $555 to $1,200 for this project since you'll only be spending for the carpet removal and refinishing.

But if you have to install wood after removing the carpet, your home improvement project will cost around $1,995 to $2,220 when we add the cost of removing the carpet to the average price of wood floor installation.

Carpet or Wood Stairs: Which is the Best Option

Collage of a carpet stairs and a wood stairs

Before you proceed to have your carpeted stairs changed into wood, it would be best to weigh the pros and cons of each material. It is important to be able to make an informed decision in the end.

Carpet and wood are both effective flooring materials for stairs that are crucial in providing access to different levels of the house. While this is a very important fact, this might be the only similarity that they share. They are different in various aspects, and you need to give each one careful thought before making your final decision.

Lifespan and Durability

Given that stairs see a lot of traffic in a day, it is important to choose a material that can stand up pretty well to the wear and tear that this brings.

Carpet has a lifespan of 8 to 10 years, while wood can last up to 35 years. This huge difference in their life expectancy says a lot about their durability and how long your investment would last before you have to replace it.

Carpet, especially those at the middle of the treads, can flatten over time. Stains and dirt will eventually become hard to get rid of, incidating that you already have to replace it with a new carpet.

Wood that has been treated with a generous amount of polyurethane is very resistant to damage, stains, and wear. However, you still have to be careful with its surface because it is prone to scratches and dents, especially when you use abrasive materials or drop heavy objects on it. But this can be remedied by just sanding the surface and giving it a fresh finish to make it look like new again.


Wood has always been held in high regard because of its timeless beauty. It enhances the look of your house and increases its value. One might say that it offers maximum ROI.

Carpet exudes a more casual vibe. Although it comes in different colors that will complement the overall look of your interior, it doesn't really add any additional value to the house. Its appearance will also depreciate over time that's why they say that it has minimal ROI.

Safety and Comfort

This is the aspect where we can say that carpet stairs excel the most. The material itself is soft by nature. The padding underneath provides a cushion whenever you step on it. It will also minimize the impact of falls and injuries while going up and down the stairs.

Carpet also gives your stairs traction, which further enhances their safety. The surface isn't slippery. This reduces the instances of accidents whenever you use the stairs. This is why it is recommended, especially for those who are living with elders, children, and pets in their homes.

However, you have to keep in mind that the thickness of the carpet shouldn't exceed 3/4-inch; otherwise, it'll become a tripping hazard. Choose a carpet material that isn't loopy to avoid having your and your pet's toes caught on the loops.

Meanwhile, wood is slippery and doesn't offer much traction. This can cause accidents, especially for those wearing stockings or socks. Take note that falling can lead to injuries and even death, so this is very important to consider when choosing the material for your stairs.

Noise Reduction

When you have wood flooring for your stairs, chances are you're going to hear sounds whenever someone is walking up and down the stairs. This material cannot absorb sound, so you would have to bear with the stomping and creaking noises that your family members and pets make when they're using the stairs.

On the other hand, carpet naturally absorbs sounds, so this one will provide you with a quiet environment. Experts say that it outperforms hardwood in sound absorption by ten times! If you're easily bothered by noises, this would be a great choice.

Ease of Cleaning

Stairs can be quite a challenge to clean, given their configuration and the amount of traffic that it receives.  Carpet is especially hard to clean because the dirt can be stuck in the corners, and the stains are more difficult to remove. Most of the time, you have to buy a more portable and lightweight vacuum to clean it.

Meanwhile, wood is very easy to clean. You can just wipe off dirt and stains or sweep its surface, and you're done.

Installation Cost

Since these two materials require different installation modes, there is also a huge difference in their costs. Wood is more expensive between the two. The installation cost of a 12-riser stair can range between $1,000 and $2,400. But if you choose carpet flooring for your stairs, you can get this job done for $750 to $850.

In the end, you have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each flooring material and see which one you can live with. As we always say, it's your house after all, so you get to choose which one will make you feel happy and satisfied without compromising your safety.

Final Thoughts

If you're decided to have wood stairs, then you already have an idea how much it'll cost you. Just make sure you also take the necessary precautions to make your stairs safer to avoid any untoward incidents.

For more related reading, you may visit the following links:

How To Transition Carpet To Tile [Even Without Transition Strips]

How Long Does Wood Flooring Last?

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