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(Lorraine Boogich/Thinkstock)
(Lorraine Boogich/Thinkstock)

How can I redo my carpeted stairs? Add to ...

The question: I'm interested in redoing my carpeted stairs with one of those oak tread/riser kits available at home-supply stores. Are they a good option? I can't afford to have hardwood installed.

The answer: It's interesting you say you "can't afford" hardwood, as these kits are typically hardwood, either solid or with a veneer finish. There may be some that are all synthetic, but, as we all know, fakes can cost more in the long run. (For laymen, tread/riser kits come with two or three parts. Two-part kits include a stair tread with attached nosing; three-parters include the riser.) Keep in mind that, if the nosing is a veneer, wear and tear will see you replacing the tread sooner rather than later. Go for a solid-wood nosing for best value and, to keep costs down, get a riser that is paint-grade. Historically, classic Georgian stairways featured a dark tread and painted riser coupled with a painted picket and dark railing. This look complements another Georgian classic: black and white checkerboard floors, which, as we saw in overhead shots of the recent royal wedding, is equally elegant.

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Follow architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace, president of Taylor Hannah Architect Inc., on Twitter: @ddtaylordd. Have a design dilemma? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

 

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