Carpet runner, Beautiful stairs, Beloved dog

reservationgirl

I have a 1939 red oak staircase in the center of my relatively small house. There is nothing I would do to change it, except that my beloved dog can no longer comfortably get down the thirteen, beautiful, but 1939 narrow, steps that come right down in the middle of our center hall colonial. I'm in search of a remedy. I've investigated 'non-slip' stair treads, but I don't trust them, and I don't want to attach any glue, tape, or hooks to the  beautiful, and extinct!, red oak. Besides, the stair treads look terrible for a front door entrance. It seems my only option is a runner, which pains me to think of how many carpet tacks I pulled out of the staircase when we first moved in and got rid of all the wall to wall carpet. Nontheless, I think the only way to go is a runner, and I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions about who to go to, what kind of carpet to use, what to know before I go.


conandrob240

I get it. We had the same. But, our old cat kept falling so we added a carpet  runner down the center of the stairs. We chose one that did not have any loops so her claws couldn’t get stuck (an issue at a previous house). Itvwas fairly cheap ($500?) and I think we just let Home Depot or Lowe’s do it. I do remember not liking any of the carpet the had by the sq ft so I think we bought hallway runners that they had in stock and then the installed them as a stair runner.






conandrob240

I, too, preferred the look of just the wood but it turned out to be a good idea for more than just the old kitty. I’ve had a kid fall and the carpet stopped it from being really bad and cushioned him a bit too. And it is really dangerous if you’re in socks on bare wood stairs. 


reservationgirl
conandrob240 said:
I, too, preferred the look of just the wood but it turned out to be a good idea for more than just the old kitty. I’ve had a kid fall and the carpet stopped it from being really bad and cushioned him a bit too. And it is really dangerous if you’re in socks on bare wood stairs. 

 No kids, and never socks on bare wood floors here


Okokokok

When my dog was having difficulty I bought booties with tread on them.



jimmurphy
reservationgirl said:
I have a 1939 red oak staircase in the center of my relatively small house. There is nothing I would do to change it, except that my beloved dog can no longer comfortably get down the thirteen, beautiful, but 1939 narrow, steps that come right down in the middle of our center hall colonial. I'm in search of a remedy. I've investigated 'non-slip' stair treads, but I don't trust them, and I don't want to attach any glue, tape, or hooks to the  beautiful, and extinct!, red oak.

I think you are definitely on the right track with the runner, but wanted to point out that red oak is in no way extinct. 

I think you are thinking of chestnut. 


Jerseyperson

We Have indoor booties with treads for our older dog. However, she can’t make it up the stairs due to weak hind legs. 


reservationgirl
jimmurphy said:
I think you are definitely on the right track with the runner, but wanted to point out that red oak is in no way extinct. 
I think you are thinking of chestnut. 

You're right, but I was told by a floor guy that you can't get this quality of red oak anymore; something to do with old growth trees. I tried to replace part of the floor once, but couldn't match it. I put a border around my hearth years ago, but the wood doesn't match. It's ok for the border, but it would look terrible in the unstained floor. 


jimmurphy

My guess is that they used flat-sawn rather than quarter or rift-sawn oak, hence the mismatch in look. Makes for wavier, bolder grain rather than tight grain with flecks of brightness.


Can confirm if you post a pic showing both old and new areas.


reservationgirl

jimmurphy said:

My guess is that they used flat-sawn rather than quarter or rift-sawn oak, hence the mismatch in look. Makes for wavier, bolder grain rather than tight grain with flecks of brightness.

Can confirm if you post a pic showing both old and new areas.

 Wow, I never saw your reply... How do you know this? And why do you think it's just that there's no old growth red oak anymore like there was in 1939? And, if what you say is true, is it difficult to get 'quarter or rift-sawn [red] oak? If you reply, I'll send a photo. Anyway, definitely want to refer to it in the future. Thanks!


Formerlyjerseyjack

Red Oak is the N.J. state tree. Some nurseries sell it. 50 years ago, I planted one at Kean U. (I was in charge of the first Earth Day, there.


joan_crystal

If the dog can't handle the stairs any longer, is it possible to keep the dog on the first floor?  Then stairs would not be an issue.  If you do add the carpet runner, you will need something to anchor it or you could create a fall hazard for every being in the household, not just the dog.  That could well mean glue and/or tacks and the wood would be covered by the carpet runner.


marylago

joan_crystal said:

If the dog can't handle the stairs any longer, is it possible to keep the dog on the first floor?  Then stairs would not be an issue.  If you do add the carpet runner, you will need something to anchor it or you could create a fall hazard for every being in the household, not just the dog.  That could well mean glue and/or tacks and the wood would be covered by the carpet runner.

Good point, Joan! When Kobe could no longer climb the stairs, he didn't. I had to get a ramp for the outside front steps, which he hated. But then again, he always slept on the first floor, so that might make a difference. 

In South Orange, the first thing I did was rip out any carpet, which included the stairs. In West Orange, we have this, which I don't hate, and although I do prefer wood, these are early 1800's stairs and railing so I'm okay with a little extra safety. 


jimmurphy

reservationgirl said:

 Wow, I never saw your reply... How do you know this? And why do you think it's just that there's no old growth red oak anymore like there was in 1939? And, if what you say is true, is it difficult to get 'quarter or rift-sawn [red] oak? If you reply, I'll send a photo. Anyway, definitely want to refer to it in the future. Thanks!

Said it’s a guess, but an educated one.  Grain appearance varies drastically based upon the way it is sawn. 

Tighter grain with flecks of brightness if quartersawn. Much more uniform if riftsawn. More pronounced variation if flatsawn, as is usually the case.

Bottom line, red oak is readily available. There are some differences for old growth, but no floor guy should ever say it is extinct.

Please do send the pics!


jimmurphy

Better yet, post for all. 




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