Why wooden steps are more hygienic than carpet

In these unprecedented times, hygiene and cleanliness have never been more central in the collective psyche of the British public. Whilst it is difficult to control this in the external environment, there are certainly choices we can make to keep our homes cleaner.

For many years, the default has been to carpet staircases in the UK, but this is a very unhygienic practice. A simple wet vacuum is often enough to horrify the average homeowner as to just how efficient carpet can be at harboring dirt. As staircases are typically high traffic areas within the home, they are particularly susceptible to this.

We are one of the only countries in the world that insist on carpeted stairs and you have to wonder why. If you have hardwood floors in a home, you will be well aware how often they have to be swept – dirt that would usually sink deep into a carpet and fester- not a pleasant thought!!

Have a think about the following –

  • BUGS

    A study featured in the journal Scientific Reports discovered the that carpeted homes had more insects than non-carpeted homes. The researchers concluded that most of these insects didn’t actually live in the carpet but instead became caught and perishing in the carpet pile.


    One of the biggest problems with carpet is that it soaks up fluid faster than you can blot it dry. So any spilled food or drink will very quickly seep deep into the carpet fibres and underlay where they become a breeding ground for various types of muold. Not only does mould lead to stains and odour, but mould spores are another common cause of indoor allergies.


    The average human shed 1.5 million skin flakes each day. Consider all the people living in your house and the number of flakes can quite considerable. These flakes have to go somewhere and that is normally deep into the carpet fibres. There they become food for dust mites and the waste of dust mites is one of the most common causes of indoor allergies.


    At this time of year pollen is everywhere – including the carpet. Seeping into the house through open doors and windows and transferring indoors via clothes. Given it settles in the carpet, a hay fever sufferer is not truly safe by simply closing the windows and doors.


    Even if you do not own a dog it is safe to say the carpet in your homes will have tiny bits of dog dirt. Easily imported into the house following a trip to the park or a walk down the street. Throughout the day your shoes are picking up bits of animal waste which wipes off onto the carpet as soon as you get home.

At Complete Stair Systems, we always specify exposed hardwood treads. Not only are they stylish and add a touch of class to a staircase, they also have a very practical side. We recommend a natural matte varnish on all treads which are easy to wipe down. This means that no matter how much use your staircase is subject to, you’ll always be able to keep it clean it with minimal effort and cost.

If you are building a new house or carrying out a refurbishment and are deliberating on what type of treads to have on your new staircase, why not get in touch with use so that we can advise you further. You can reach our sales team on 01794 522 444 or by email at info@completestairsystems.co.uk.