We have three dogs. Our oldest is a 45 pound Brittany who’s about 10 years old.  The other two are small dogs, one 11 and the other 5 pds.  As they’ve gotten older, our bare wooden stairs have become an issue.  They slip on them and have fallen, so many times that the middle dog wouldn’t even go up or down.  She just waited at the top or bottom and cried until one of us gave her a ride.

An inexpensive solution for pets who have difficulty navigating stairs

We’ve had stair runners in the past but found them annoying. The single piece carpet runners seems to spend most of their time slumped onto the stair below them.  We tried all kids of ways to tack them in place, trying not to put anything permanent into the stairs, but we finally gave up.  We decided to go with single stair treads and when I searched online for them most of the styles were country rag rug style which was not what we were looking for.  Plus, they were thick and we wanted just enough carpet to keep them from slipping, but not so much that we were tripping on them.

I’ve been searching for awhile, but for $60+ for each set of steps (we have two), it would be expensive to purchase something that didn’t work. That’s when I remembered the FLOR carpet tiles we reviewed long ago.  It’s indestructible.  Seriously.  My dog who can get lazy on a cold day and use a carpet square as her outhouse is no match for the soap and water bath the FLOR tile gets.  We’re very impressed with the tiles, so much so we figured what the heck, let’s cut them in half and try them out on the stairs.  If they don’t work, we’re out nothing. If they do, we’ll order new ones in the right color for the new colors in the hallway. (Yes, we’re still working on the hallway, stairs, and guest bathroom makeover.  We’re picking tiles for the floor – I’ll share them soon.)

A little help from Martha Stewart and tissue helped us train the dogs to use the stairs after the carpeting was installed

So, we cut the FLOR tiles in half and hung them just over the edge of each stair (so the dogs could get a grip). On normal installations, you’d want it just inside the stair.  Since FLOR tiles are meant to be cut, there’s no unraveling and you can’t tell the difference between your cut and the factory cut.  We used double-sided carpet tape to put them in place and then practiced with the dogs to get them used to it.  One refused to step on the carpet and kept going up the bare sides.  We fixed this by putting objects to block the sides on the top and bottom step.  She’s so small (5lbs), she had to step on the carpet.  She eventually figured it out and we were able to remove the items blocking the sides.

For a cheap fix, this is working great. We’re going to give it a few more weeks and then order something that matches the hallway color. Even so, it’s still cheaper than the ready-made stair carpets and much more current and modern.  Good carpet tape and frequent inspection of the adhesion to the stairs and the results are a safer stairway.

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