Remodeling Questions: Carpeting Stair Treads and Shower Plumbing

Hello!
We are in the very beginning stages of planning for some home remodeling on a tight budget. I have come up with some preliminary ideas that I ran past my husband who said, "I'm not sure that is possible." So, I wanted to seek the advice, ideas and suggestions of alt.homerepair experts on the following two ideas.
1) We have a tall staircase in our entryway right off the front door. I love the look of stairs where the risers are painted white and the treads are wood. Unfortunately, we have small children who have been known to tumble downstairs on (rare) occasion so wood steps are not safe for us. Right now the stairs are completely carpeted in plush and have a "fuzzy" look to them. I would like to compromise and find a brownish-colored berber carpet to just carpet the stair treads with and then paint the risers white. Is this type of carpeting treatment possible? We would hire a professional to do the carpeting for us. Obviously, another choice is to finish the steps in wood/white and do a carpet runner but we have heard that this type of stair treatment is hard to maintain and it would leave some exposed wooden edges that would be unsafe for our children in the event of a fall.
2) We have one of the world's most strangely-shaped master bathrooms with angled corners and angled ceilings at each corner. The shower is currently placed in one of these corners. The current shower was designed so that the water controller is on the angled/lower parts of the wall and the showerhead is on the angled ceiling. The shower is fairly wide (57") so that most of the shower is in the taller parts of the room. The most obvious remodel would be to replace the existing custom shower with another custom shower with tile and glass doors. In order to save money, however, and possibly get a lower maintenance fiberglass shower wall, we are looking at various prefabricated showers that would be smaller but could fit in the space. The big problem, however, would be moving the plumbing from the side angled wall, where it currently is, to the new shower space. The back wall of the shower is an exterior wall and I understand there might be limitations about moving the plumbing there. The only other option we have come up with is to build some sort of cabinet between the prefab shower and the angled wall that would disguise the plumbing being moved. We are seeking any good suggestions about what to do here. We want an elegant look and would love a smooth surface shower wall (rather than tile) so it is easier to clean. But doing a completely custom angled shower in something like Corian is probably out of our budget.
3) Finally, one bonus question, in the same strangely shaped master bath, I would love to add two small windows (one in the shower and one above the toilet) to add light and allow us to enclose those spaces attractively. My husband says way too expensive. True?
Thank you!
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Yes, you can put carpet on just the treads. The maintenance for a stair carpet runner or just carpeted tread would be the same. A lower pile carpet - runner or just tread - would be safer than the thicker carpet you have now. It might seem counter-intuitive, but people are more likely to trip on thicker carpeting.
As far as the kids taking a tumble, any tumble down the stairs is a bad thing. Someone could still break their neck on a carpeted set of stairs regardless if there is a runner or the complete tread is covered. I would not be too worried as kids tend to bounce more than adults.

Post some pictures on one of the free hosting sites, and post the link to the pictures back here so we can see what's what.
R
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windows in showers is a royally bad idea. it causes leaks and rot.
can you add a skylight to the bathroom, or upgrade lightning
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Nice view. Lose the reeds and you almost have a postcard.
R
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Where is it? It looks almost like the view from an Italian or Frech country house.
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That's totally different - the view sucks and you should move. ;)
Back in 1980 I rode my bicycle through your area. Coming into town I drafted behind a Winnebago that was doing at least 50 coming down from the mountains to the North. I nearly bought it on some of those bumpy reflective lane markers. Good memories (though I nearly crapped my pants) and a lovely area.
R
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On 01/16/11 04:40 pm, RicodJour wrote:

We have just started talking about redoing our stairs, which are now carpeted. On investigation, I discovered that the carpeting is in the form of separate pieces covering each tread and the riser below it.
OTOH, to disagree with your claim that "maintenance for a > stair carpet runner or just carpeted tread would be the same," a runner secured by stair rods (are they still available?) could be removed completely from time to time and vacuum cleaned.
Perce
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Carpet guys do that because they can use scraps and leave you with bigger remnants.

True, but complete removal for cleaning would probably happen, what?, once a year? The rods make typical daily cleaning much more problematic. I do like the look of them, though.
R
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Those pieces are separate to allow reversing the riser and tread portions as the original tread surface wears.
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wrote:

A riser's around 7" tall, and a tread's around 11" deep. If you pulled each piece and reversed it the worn area (the old nosing location) would now be about 4" in from the nosing. The worn area would be smack in the middle of the tread - a very visible location. I suppose if the people were okay with denim patches on their pant knees, then it makes some soft of sense...but not really. In addition, if the carpet has a pattern, it would no longer match up with the carpet at the top and/or bottom of the stairs.
The pieces are separate because you can use small pieces which are far easier to install. A single piece of carpet covering the whole flight would require you to cut a long narrow strip of carpet which would almost assuredly increase wastage by a goodly factor.
R
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My installers folded up the riser portion of the carpet behind the visible portion, so it is actually almost twice as long as the riser height, and thus plenty large enough to be the new tread.
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wrote:

Basically you are saying that they doubled the riser, stapled it tight to the riser, which obviously required a tight crease at the bottom (unless they went with that billowy upholstered stair riser look (I'm making that up), were able to pull the carpet, somehow flatten out the crease (huh?) and reinstall it. How could that possibly be cheaper than just buying a bit more carpet in the first place and having enough left over to redo the stairs? Pretty much all of the cost of carpeting a stair is in the labor. Pulling small pieces and mucking about with them to get them to look halfway presentable is a non- starter.
This describes how stairs are typically carpeted and states the lengths of each piece for a couple of different versions. http://en.allexperts.com/q/Flooring-Carpeting-1621/2009/6/Berber-carpet-seams-stairs.htm
There's no way that the creases would just decide to forget their years of experience as creases and just decide to flatten out. That's bad enough, but the real killer is that the 'method' you describe ignores the carpet pile and that will greatly shorten the life of the "new" pulled & replaced installation. Third column, last paragraph on the first page. http://books.google.com/books?id=HuMDAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA123&pg=PA123#v=onepage&q&f=false
The final nail in the coffin for the doubled riser scenario - who would want carpeted treads and risers when initially installed, and then be okay with just carpeted treads? If they were okay with carpeted treads, why not just carpet the treads in the first place? If they just carpeted the treads there would be enough material left over to redo the treads.
I can only think that you are joking or are describing something you'd heard about.
R
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On 1/17/2011 9:07 AM, RicodJour wrote:

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Flooring-Carpeting-1621/2009/6/Berber-carpet-seams-stairs.htm
http://books.google.com/books?id=HuMDAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA123&pg=PA123#v=onepage&q&f lse
Many years ago, I think it was on TOH, they described pretty much the scenario she was talking about, with the bars on the bottom of each riser. Of course, in that era, the carpet used on steps was NOT the same as used in rooms. It was more like a hall runner, and much more flexible, like a narrow Persian rug. And in the pre-vacuum-cleaner era, the only way to get it clean was the pop the bars loose once or twice a year, carry it outside, and beat it. I've never heard of being done with nailed-down carpet, though.
Personally, I hate carpeted steps. Mistake people make with wood steps is they finish them way too smooth and shiny. Leave a little grain texture in the field of the tread, and don't use a gloss finish. Otherwise, first time kids or older folks go up or down wearing socks, they WILL fall on their ass.
--
aem sends...

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