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Best Stair Treads

Updated June 2022
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Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Bungalow Flooring Waterhog Stair Treads, Boxwood Collection
Bungalow Flooring
Waterhog Stair Treads, Boxwood Collection
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Most Eco-friendly
Bottom Line

Versatile stair treads with a nice pattern and tough backings that our DIY expert approves.

Pros

Constructed of eco-friendly PET material that does a good job withstanding foot traffic and the elements. Strong rubber backings keep them in place. For indoor and outdoor use. Appealing leaf pattern comes in several colors.

Cons

Costly for a pack of four treads. Some felt material was thinner than expected, but no overarching durability concerns.

Best Bang for the Buck
EdenProducts Non-Slip Carpet Stair Treads
EdenProducts
Non-Slip Carpet Stair Treads
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Best for Wooden Steps
Bottom Line

These stair treads may require extra tape, but at a low price, they earn our expert's approval.

Pros

Non-slip surface provides excellent traction, making these treads reliable for pets, kids, and more. Easy to clean. Choice of several different colors. Pack of 15 treads for a reasonable price.

Cons

Treads have adhesive backings that don't work on all stairs, such as those with very slick surfaces. Also not ideal for outdoor stairs.

SUSSEXHOME Trellisville Collection Stair Treads
SUSSEXHOME
Trellisville Collection Stair Treads
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Most Stylish
Bottom Line

If you need soft treads for indoor stairs and prefer a pattern that will look nice with most interior decor, our expert recommends this.

Pros

These treads stand out for their stylish appearance and soft fibers that make them perfect for indoor stairs. Material is thick. Choose from several colors and quantities per pack.

Cons

Must be installed with pre-applied tape, which doesn't always stick properly. Not for outdoor use. Some quality control issues noted.

LifeGrip Anti Slip Traction Treads
LifeGrip
Anti Slip Traction Treads
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Best for Outdoor Use
Bottom Line

Our expert recommends these low-profile treads for basement stairs and a variety of different surfaces.

Pros

Designed for exterior steps. Provide excellent traction. Easy peel-and-stick installation, plus they can be trimmed for a more precise fit. Available in two sizes. Affordably priced.

Cons

Harsh weather conditions may challenge the reliability of their adhesive. Not ideal for indoor use. Only one color.

Cosy Homeer Non-Slip Carpet Stair Treads
Cosy Homeer
Non-Slip Carpet Stair Treads
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Comfort First
Bottom Line

A great set of stair treads that have added cushioning; earns our expert's recommendation.

Pros

The carpeted material makes it easier to walk up without slipping. Comes in multiple colors to match any aesthetic. The backing protects floors against scratching. Easy to install and fits most widths.

Cons

Some users noted that the carpeting may fray slightly over time.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 
HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best stair treads

A staircase is a functional area of your home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress it up and make it more interesting. With stair treads, you have the opportunity to liven up your staircase with color, pattern, texture, or a combination of these elements.

Stair treads are small rugs or pieces of material that sit on the top, horizontal portion of individual stair steps. These rugs add a stylish flair to your staircase. They can also help keep your family safe by creating traction, which may help prevent slips and falls. In addition, stair treads can help protect the staircase from scratches and other damage that might occur with daily foot traffic.

To choose the best stair treads, you must decide what type of tread you want, what size you need, and what material you prefer. There are other important considerations as well. To make your quest for great stair treads as simple as can be, we created this shopping guide.

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Nearly all stair treads are pre-cut so you don’t need to trim them to fit your steps.

Key considerations

Standard vs. bullnose

There are two basic types of stair treads: standard and bullnose.

Standard stair treads: These cover the horizontal part of each step (also called a “tread”) but leave a small gap between the end of the tread and the step edge. Simple and minimalistic, these pieces work well if you prefer modern décor.

Bullnose stair treads: These are designed with protection in mind and tend to have a traditional look. They cover the top of the step and also wrap over the edge to protect the staircase from scratches and other damage. Bullnose treads help dampen the sound when people run up and down the stairs.

Expert Tip
If treads lose their grip and begin to slip, remove them promptly to reduce the risk of falling.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert

Size

Getting the size right for stair treads is crucial. If treads are too large, you can’t safely use them on your stairs. If treads are too small, they won’t cover enough of the steps to offer protection or muffle sound.

Before shopping, measure your stairs from right to left and top to bottom. Consider how much of the step you want to cover. In general, steps generally range from 22 to 36 inches in length.

Material

Wool: Stair treads made of wool have a soft, warm feel underfoot and are fairly durable. They work well in areas that see medium foot traffic and bestow an elegant look upon a staircase.

Nylon: Nylon stair treads are excellent for homes with kids and pets because they resist stains and clean up easily. What’s more, they tend to withstand regular foot traffic while maintaining a neat appearance.

Polypropylene: Polypropylene stair treads offer excellent durability and are suitable for use on stairs that see heavy traffic. They’re usually budget-friendly and stain-resistant, too, so consider these if you live in a home with lively children or pets.

Polyester: Polyester stair treads are affordable, durable, stain-resistant, and easy to clean. You can find them in a wide array of colors and patterns.

Sisal: Sisal stair treads work well in areas with heavy foot traffic because they’re durable and water-resistant. They’re made of natural materials but have a coarser texture than other materials.

Seagrass: Seagrass stair treads are a lot like sisal stair treads. They resist water and stains and clean up easily. If you live in a home with lots of foot traffic, they’re a good option.

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Expert Tip
Be sure the steps are clean before applying any treads. Dust and grime will reduce adhesion.
BestReviews Home Improvement  and DIY Expert

Features

Installation

Stair treads can be attached to stairs in several ways, which typically differ from brand to brand. Some treads require double-sided tape or staples to safely adhere. These methods keep the treads securely in place, but they can damage the stairs.

Other stair treads have a special adhesive on the back that isn’t sticky like glue. The adhesive locks the treads in place without damaging the staircase.

Quantity

When shopping for stair treads, it’s essential to find out how many treads come in a set. You will likely want a tread for every step in your staircase, so you may need to buy multiple packages.

Some sets include as few as two treads while others offer as many as 15. Count the stairs you need to cover and choose a set (or a number of sets) that covers your goal.

Color

Colors and patterns abound in the world of stair treads. Look at your nearby furniture, accessories, or artwork for ideas. If you’re still unsure, consider a neutral shade like black, cream, beige, tan, gray, or brown.

Patterned stair treads work well in areas that feature mostly solid-colored décor. If your stairs are in a spot surrounded by bold patterns, you may wish to choose solid-colored stair treads.

Resistance to moisture, stains, and fading

To ensure that your stair treads hold up well even if the kids trample up and down with wet shoes, choose a moisture-resistant product that is labeled as such. Treads that are not moisture-resistant may break down when exposed to water or other moisture.

Similarly, to ensure your stair treads fare well even if muddy feet and dirty paws frequent them, choose a stain-resistant product that is labeled as such. When cleaned in a timely manner, these products are much less likely to hold on to stains.

To help your stair treads look like new for as long as possible, choose a product labeled as fade-resistant. That means repeated exposure to sunlight and artificial light — in addition to repetitive foot traffic — won’t fade the color.

When adhering a stair tread with double-sided tape, use a hand roller or seam roller to firmly press it into place.

Staff
BestReviews

Stair tread prices

Inexpensive

The most affordable stair treads are usually indoor/outdoor styles made of rubber or plastic. They’re highly durable but aren’t the most stylish or attractive treads. Expect to pay $2.20 to $4.75 per tread.

Mid-range

Mid-range stair treads are usually indoor-only styles made of polyester, polypropylene, or nylon. They come in a wide range of colors and patterns and are fairly durable. Expect to pay $3.49 to $9.97 per tread.

Expensive

The most expensive stair treads are usually indoor-only styles made of wool, sisal, or seagrass. They generally have the most attractive appearance and are available in various colors. Expect to pay between $9.80 and $19.50.

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Expert Tip
Prevent mistakes and frustration by dry fitting your treads before peeling the adhesive backing off.
BestReviews Home Improvement Expert

Tips

  • Sweep your stair treads regularly with a soft-bristle push broom. That will help minimize the amount of deep cleaning needed.
  • In rainy and snowy weather, wipe stair treads dry as soon as possible to prevent slips. This is also a good idea because if dirty water has a chance to dry on your steps, it’s more difficult to clean up later.
  • If your stair treads are stained and you want to deep-clean them, try scrubbing them with a minimal amount of warm water. Be careful not to flood the area.
  • Low-pile stair treads may be easier for the elderly and infirm to navigate. That’s because you don’t have to lift your legs and feet quite as high with a lower-pile tread.
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To ensure the safety of your family and pets, choose stair treads specifically labeled as non-slip.

FAQ

Q. What prep work should I do to ready my staircase for stair treads?

A. The most important thing to do before attaching stair treads is clean the step surfaces thoroughly with a wet cloth to remove dust and other residues. Allow the stairs to dry completely before applying the treads.

Q. How should I choose which adhesive to use with my stair treads?

A. The manufacturer will likely recommend the best way to adhere the treads to the staircase. Often, double-sided tape is suggested; this makes installation easy. Even easier are stair treads that come with their own adhesive backing.

Q. Can I use stair treads outdoors?

A. If you have outdoor stairs that you feel need better traction, you can use stair treads. However, it’s important to choose treads meant for outdoor use. They’re usually made of rubber or plastic material that holds up to the elements.

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