The look of hardwood floors is something that attracts many home buyers and can help to raise the value of your home. Installing hardwood can be incredibly expensive, however, especially on stairs.
StairCasing hardwood overlay systems generally cost about $10 per step but can fluctuate based upon the value and style of staircasing. It’s a great alternative to replacing a whole staircase. StareCasing, a private company’s name for their system, can be purchased at a number of retailers across the US.
Read on to learn more about using the StairCasing system, what it is, the pros and cons of StairCasing, and how much it costs.
Staircasing is the act of converting carpeted stairs to have the appearance of being a hardwood floor.
In the process of converting, the carpet is removed from the stair so that the base on which the carpet rests will be exposed.
From there, two pieces of hardwood overlay are applied to the base: one on the tread (the part that you actually step on), and one on the rise (the part that you see when looking straight on at the stair.
These two pieces are applied to each step, essentially creating an exterior layer that covers where the carpet once was.
This gives the staircase the look as if it was made entirely of wood when really, only the exposed part is.
These two pieces of hardwood are also able to be trimmed as needed to account for potential variations in the stairs or in how the pieces mesh together, providing a flawless look to your stairs.
Benefits of Installing A Stairs Overlay System
There are also a number of benefits to staircasing. One benefit, as many have pointed out, is that hardwood floors can increase the value of your home. In most places, hardwood floors get about a 75% return on your investment.
The caveat with staircasing is that these stairs are not actual hardwood, but simply a hardwood overlay, you might increase the value of your home somewhat, but not to the same extent real hardwood floors will.
Another benefit to staircasing rather than replacing a staircase is the fact that staircasing is significantly cheaper.
Replacing stairs often come at the cost of anywhere between $1,000 and $2,000 and must be done by a professional.
Installing an overlay system, on the other hand, can be a “Do It Yourself” project that can be done, depending on the size of your staircase, for less than $100.
While you might not be getting true hardwood, you get the same look and feel for cheaper.
Disadvantages of Stairs Overlay Systems
Staircasing, though offering many benefits, is not without its faults.
For example, they are much more likely to chip or break after time than real hardwood is.
Because these overlays are only attached by some sort of adhesive or nails, the boards will be less likely to distribute weight evenly, meaning that they might break.
Though many staircasing brands have a warranty that will last 30 years, this is still an issue you may encounter.
Another issue you face with staircasing is that it can be incredibly tedious to install.
Most of the time, staircasing overlay systems are applied by the homeowner, who is responsible for purchasing the staircasing, trimming it, and piecing it together.
This is not incredibly difficult, but if you have stairs that might have some slight differences in size, or ones that are at an angle, trimming your staircasing to match can be very irritating and time-consuming.
Cost of Staircasing
As mentioned earlier, staircasing is a much cheaper alternative than installing hardwood steps.
Most staircasing costs about $10 per step, but can vary based on trim and the quality of the materials.
Staircasing has different colors and different kinds of wood that it is made from.
If you are looking for a less common color or kind of wood, the price is likely to be more expensive.
More common ones, alternatively, will be cheaper.
Another point worth mentioning is many retailers will price match or provide you with a quote of how much raw materials cost.
Lowe’s and Home Depot, for example, both sell stairs overlay material and can help you determine which kind of material is best for your home and how much it will cost.
Sometimes, shopping around for staircasing material can be your best course of action to find the cheapest staircasing material.
Staircasing provides a nice way to convert your carpeted stairs to hardwood for a much cheaper cost.
Staircasing acts as an overlay on your staircase so that, while your whole stair may not be hardwood, the part that is exposed that people can see will appear as if it is.
Staircasing costs vary based upon the retailer, quality of materials, and color, but normally work out to be about $10 per step.
Be sure to consider staircasing the next time you do home improvement!