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

by Charlie
How Much Does It Cost to Change Carpet Stairs to Wood

Have you been looking at the carpet on your stairs and wondering how the stairs would look if they were all hardwood instead? Carpet stairs have some advantages, but hardwood stairs can look beautiful and will wear well, so they’re well worth considering – especially if you fancy a change in your home.

However, the cost is often an important consideration for people who are planning to do this. You don’t want to rip all your carpets out and then find that the stairs are too expensive to install. A lot of people don’t expect it to cost much, but this can actually be a surprisingly pricey project – and that’s something you need to know before you start.

How much does it cost to change carpet stairs to wood stairs? The price of hardwood stairs will vary depending on your area and how much of the work you are prepared to do yourself, but on average, this project costs about $4000 in total. Some companies estimate $60 per step, or $100 per hour of labor that they provide. That can add up fast.

Is it Expensive to Install Wooden Stairs?

If you need to replace the wood on your stairs when you’ve taken out the carpet, you should expect this to be an expensive project, yes. It requires both an expensive material (wood) and skilled carpenters to cut and fit the stairs. The price will be higher if you have awkward angles and you need anti-slip material.

If you are just lifting the carpet off your stairs and sanding and varnishing the steps, you may find that the project is reasonably cheap, particularly if you have the skills and the time to do it yourself. You might need to hire a sanding machine to speed things along, as hand sanding will be very slow, but this will probably be the only major cost.

However, if you need to replace the wood, the cost will jump up considerably. The type of wood you choose will also make a significant difference to the price of the project. Hardwoods tend to be very much more expensive, but will wear better, so may be worth the additional investment.

If you are thinking of undertaking this project, you’ll first need to determine whether you are taking out the stairs and building new ones, or just sanding and finishing the existing stairs. Once you have done this, get some quotes from reputable companies so you can better assess whether the project is within your budget.

How Do You Choose the Wood?

You should do some research before deciding what kind of wood to install. Remember, your stairs get a lot of wear and tear, so you want to make sure you choose right – but woods that wear well also tend to be more expensive. Oak, for example, will last extremely well, but it’s often top of the price range.

You can fit stairs in almost any kind of wood, and many people use softwoods like ash and pine. Walnut is another option. Softwoods are almost always cheaper.

It’s worth spending some time figuring out what the pros and cons of each are, and finding out what sort of prices you’re looking at, before you decide whether to fit the stairs. Don’t just pick the cheapest wood, or you may find you need to replace it after just a few years.

How Much Does Refinishing Cost?

If you’re just refinishing the steps, you might be expecting the cost to be low, but it depends heavily on whether you are doing it yourself or contracting a company. If you’re doing it yourself, find out how much it would cost to hire a sander, and work out how much varnish you will need to get a sense of the project’s cost.

You may also need to think about things like any repairs that need to be done. Products like wood filler tend to be reasonably cheap, but if the stairs are in a bad state and some parts will need replacing, that’s going to drive up the price quite quickly.

If you’re going to hire a company to do the work instead, it’s best to get a quote – but you might be paying around $40 or $50 per step, or even more. If you have 15 steps, you’ll easily find yourself spending $750 in many cases.

You should also think about the cost of having the old carpet stripped out, as this will stay the same even if you aren’t having the stairs replaced. This may be something you can do yourself, but it is often quite time consuming. If you are going to pay someone to do it, you should estimate around $200 or $300 for the removal and the disposal.

What Other Costs are There?

The materials and labor will be the bulk of the cost, but there are a few other things you should think about. The first is the treads, as these will add a price to every step. They will help with the safety aspect, however, and shouldn’t be skipped. You will also need to think about things like your balustrade.

The cost of these things will vary depending on your area and the length of your staircase, as well as the materials you choose. Wooden handrails might cost anything from $30 to $70 per foot, and the railings can cost as much as $17 each – which adds up very fast.

Take all of these things into account when you are assessing your project to avoid any unpleasant surprises partway through. If you’re dealing with a company, make sure both parties are clear about what will and won’t be done during the job.

Final Thoughts

It is surprising how expensive swapping from carpeted stairs to wooden stairs can be. Many people are quoted several thousand, although the actual cost will be determined by the size of your stairs, the wood you choose, your area, and many other factors. Wooden stairs do last for many more years than carpeted ones, so bear this in mind when determining whether the project is viable or not.

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