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How to Protect CARPETED Stairs from DAMAGE ([year] Top 10 Methods)

In this article, we are going to talk about how to protect carpeted stairs. In order to make the stairs more comfortable and secure to walk on, many people opt to place a carpet. This also adds style and color to the staircase so that it matches with the rest of the house décor.

However, a major drawback of placing a carpet on the stairs is that it becomes a haven for dirt, spills, and stains from people’s footprints and pets. Also, the carpet may get dents and tears when furniture is being moved up and down.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can protect your carpeted stairs, which we shall discuss below.

How To Protect Carpeted Stairs From Dirt And Damage

Apart from spills and stains caused by family members, foot traffic especially when moving houses or when contractors are doing repairs in the house makes the carpet prone to dirt and wear and tear.

Here are some of the methods by which you can protect carpeted stairs from dirt and damage:

How to protect carpeted stairs from damage

Thus, it is important to protect it even if it’s temporary so that it lasts long.

1. Stair Carpet Protector

LAMINET Carpet and Floor Protectors

One of the simplest ways is by using a stair carpet protector. The protector covers the carpet preventing wear and tear due to foot traffic as well as dirt and stains.

There are different types of protectors available from different brands but the LAMINET Carpet and Floor Protectors come highly recommended.

Stair carpet protector
Image Credits –

This is due to the fact that they have a unique non-slip backing that adheres strongly to all types of carpets whether shaggy, high pile, medium pile, or low pile.

In addition, these protectors can be used on tile or hardwood flooring and come out without leaving any residue or marks on the floor.

Also, they can be removed easily for washing or when moving houses.

See also: Best high pile carpet chair mat

2. Stair Treads For Carpeted Stairs

Clear Vinyl Stair Treads

During my research, I found several stair treads for wooden or tiled stairs. It was difficult to find some designed specifically for carpeted stairs.

Luckily, I came across these Clear Vinyl Stair Treads that have gripper teeth to allow them to grip the fibers on the carpet and stay in place. The teeth make them ideal for thick or high pile carpets.

Stair treads for carpeted stairs
Image Credits –

You can install them on a low pile or no pile carpets using double-sided carpet tape and they will firmly stay in place.

These treads come in a set of 2 each measuring 24 inches wide by 8 inches deep. So they can fit any standard size stairs.

They are the only stair treads that can allow you to protect your carpet while still enjoying the beauty of the carpeted stairs.

3. Temporary Carpet Protector Film 

Temporary carpet protector film

Carpet protection films offer temporary protection on carpets against pills, dirt, dust, and other damage, especially when moving or during house repairs.

They are made using a strong blend of polyethylene which makes them very durable and resistant to wear and tear.

A good example is the Kenley Carpet film which offers maximum protection. It is lightweight yet very strong and can be installed on the carpet for up to 45 days.

In addition, it has acrylic adhesive on the bottom side to allow it to attach to the carpet securely. Despite its strong adherence, it is easy to remove without leaving marks or residue.

See also: How to keep an area rug in place on carpet

4. Vinyl Runner For Carpeted Stairs

Vinyl runner for carpeted stairs

Vinyl runners also offer protection while allowing you to see through the beauty of your carpet on the stairs.

On the bottom, they are designed with long grippers for holding firmly onto the carpet and prevent sliding. Thus, they should not be used on hardwood floors since they can easily damage them. They should also be avoided on tiled or concrete floors because they will not stay in place.

If you want to protect your carpeted stairs with a vinyl runner, go for Resilia clear vinyl plastic floor protector.

It comes in different sizes and can be customized easily by cutting with a utility knife or a pair of scissors to get a size that perfectly fits your stairs.

Moreover, Resilia vinyl protector is free of toxic compounds like phthalate, DINP, and Prop 65 contaminants.

5. Clean Any Spills Immediately

If you have a carpeted staircase, liquid spills are your worst enemy. They are hard to eliminate and clean, and they also increase the risks of molding on the spot.

Living in a big household, especially with kids and pets, means that accidents will happen. They are normal, but that doesn’t mean you have to forego the idea of a carpeted staircase altogether. You can also sort out the issue with caution and immediate cleaning.

In direct spills, don’t let it go and leave it to dry on its own. That’s the biggest issue that leads to completely ruining the carpet. Instead, take immediate action and clean out all the spills once it touches the carpet. Your objective is to prevent the liquid from seeping into the carpet’s fabric.

Once it does, be assured that the stain will be a pain to get off the carpet. Ideally, you should follow the steps mentioned:

  1. Get a clean cloth and dab as much liquid as you can off the carpet. Doing so will minimize the amount of liquid seeping into the carpet’s fabric.
  2. Once done, you can get a soap, water, and vinegar mixture and spray it on the stain. Let it absorb for 5-10 seconds, then gently scrub it off. This will get off any dark stains from the carpeted stairs.
  3. Once you are done cleaning, get a steam vacuum to dry out the area. You can also use a hairdryer to dry the area as well.
  4. Drying is crucial. Don’t leave it to dry on its own since that will eventually affect the quality of the fabric for good.

6. Vacuum The Stairs Every Day

Before you think it’s too much and unnecessary, let us break your misconception. When you vacuum and clean the carpeted stairs daily, you prevent excess dirt on the carpet. This ensures that the stairs look brand new even after months or years.

Even studies indicate that daily cleaning and vacuuming is the best way to maintain the quality of carpeted stairs.

Vacuuming the carpet daily also reduces the settlement of the soil, dust, and debris that damages the quality of the fibers in the carpet over time. Also, using a vacuum is easy. All you have to do is get the hose attachment ready and clean the stains without hassle.

Make a schedule if you can’t tend to the cleaning every day. Even once a week is better than infrequent cleaning. You can also keep the vacuum in plain sight, so it encourages you to clean the steps now and then.

When looking into vacuum cleaners, opt for the wireless ones. They are much more flexible to work with and support an easy cleaning experience. Also, look for compact vacuums instead of larger and bulky ones.

7. Install Blinds To The Windows

There are homes where the carpeted staircase is right by the window. You might think that’s going to add to the home’s natural lighting, but it will prematurely fade the color of the fabric on the staircase.

If you live somewhere with scorching and direct sunlight, we recommend installing blinds to block the direct sunlight.

However, adding blinds to the windows or the glass settings will inadvertently block out the natural light. So, in that case, you need to prioritize what you want more. We’d not recommend carpeting the stairs if it is right by the window or a glass panel with direct sunlight.

Doing so will make you spend on refurbishing the carpets now and then, which will dig a hole in your pocket. Another downside to blinds is the expense. They cost more than staple curtains, and their upkeep is quite expensive too.

Sol, although blinds offer a prominent protective benefit, they come with a list of downsides you need to be familiar with.

8. Get It Cleaned Professionally

Not just your carpeted stairs, every carpeted surface needs a deep clean once in a while to keep it in the best condition. So, if your goal is to extend the life of your carpeted stairs, we’d highly recommend hiring professional cleaning services.

However, does it need to be done frequently? No. You can schedule deep cleaning appointments every 12-18 months without hassle. Although indulging in this service might seem expensive at the moment, it is fruitful in the long run.

A deep cleaning by a professional gets rid of the trapped dust and stains from within. Also, if your carpeted stairs are growing molds, it can get rid of that too. So, not only are you taking care of the look of the carpeted stairs, but you are also prioritizing your health during the process.

Since deep cleaning is quite a tedious process, hiring a professional reduces your work and allows you to get the rest while things are getting done for you.

However, if you want a professional cleaning without hiring someone, we recommend investing in the best carpet cleaner for stairs like the Hoover Power Dash Go.

9. Install Doormats

Do you realize one of the main reasons why carpeted stairs get so dirty? It is because people walk in on them wearing their outdoor shoes.

If you have a similar habit, the chances are that the dirt, soil, mud, and germs from the outside will be transferred to your carpeted stairs, leaving them there until a deep cleaning happens.

The best way to overcome that issue is by installing good-quality doormats on either side of the door. You can place one outside the door and one right inside once you enter your home. Scraping the shoes on the doormats will dislodge most (if not all) of the dirt from the shoes.

Since the carpets have a softer and grooved fabric, the dirt will stick to the surface more easily. If not cleaned within a few hours or a day, the chances are that the germs from the dirt will multiply and infest the carpet, making it a health hazard without you knowing.

Besides keeping doormats on either side of the front door, you can also put up signs or instructions for the guests to open their shoes at the door before entering inside. A little change can greatly benefit the quality and longevity of the carpet.

Doormats like the Sierra Concepts Front Door Mat work quite well.

10. Try Carpet Masking

These are perfect for when you are moving. Carpet masking involves a carpet protective film made of polyethylene that shields and protects the carpet in the long run, especially during a moving process.

Since the plastic film is waterproof and tear-resistant, covering the carpeted stairs in that protective layer safeguards them from external factors like dirt, grime, water, mud, etc.

Most plastic filming for carpet masking has a non-slip design with a separate adhesive backing that keeps it in place, so people don’t risk slipping and falling down the stairs.

Also, if you find the plastic film getting dirty, you can remove and discard it for a new one without hassle. The installation and removal process is seamless and doesn’t damage the carpet or the stairs you are putting them on.

If you are looking for a good-quality option, this one from Tape Man Blue Store is a bestselling option on Amazon.


1. How Can I Protect My Carpeted Stairs from My Dog?

Dogs, especially young, tend to scratch and scrub down smoother and softer surfaces, including your carpeted stairs. The best way to prevent that is by installing a pet gate at the base of your staircase. However, once they are bigger enough to bypass the pet get, lay a protective film on the carpeted staircase for protection.

2. Can You Put Stair Treads on Carpeted Stairs?

Stair treads are an amazing way to protect the carpeted staircase against damage. They also offer a protective and non-slip layer over the stairs, which is a bonus. We have explained that in a previous section in the article that you can check out.

3. How Do I Make Carpet Stairs Clean and Safer?

The easiest way to keep your carpeted stairs clean and safer is by vacuuming them once a week and cleaning any liquid spills immediately. Moreover, you can install vinyl or carpet masking taped for further protection.

4. How Can I Protect My Carpeted Stairs from My Cat?

Unlike dogs, cats have an aversion to certain items that you can use to keep off the carpeted stairs. Materials like double-sided tape, aluminum foil, etc., will prevent your cats from scratching on the carpeted stairs. You can also install carpet runners for added protection.

5. How To Keep Carpeted Stairs Clean?

Cleaning carpeted stairs are not rocket science. Vacuuming every few days is your best option. Besides that, we’d also recommend doing a deep cleaning of the stairs every 6-12 months by a professional cleaner. This reduces the risks of mold growth on the carpet and contributes to its longevity.


If you like the idea of covering your stairs with a carpet, you should not worry about keeping it clean and preventing wear and tear.

We have highlighted some of the ways how to protect carpeted stairs. You can use a stair carpet protector, stair trend, temporary carpet film, or a vinyl runner.

Choose the method that will meet and needs depending on whether you want a permanent solution or a temporary one.