Like a rug, carpets not only protect your floors, but they can add a bit of elegance to them. On stairs, these "rugs" run up the middle of the staircase, leaving your original flooring still visible on the margins. This creates an interesting accent affect by adding a contrast color to your carpet or hardwood. But staircases aren't the only option.
Since floors get trampled all the time, eventually it will need some kind of maintenance: resealing, refinishing, or patching up troubled areas. This is especially true with stairs: whether you have wood or carpet, staircases get the brunt of the burden because people move up and down them all day long. However, before getting to the point of replacement or refinishing, the easiest way to maintain your floors is with prevention. By installing carpet runners, you will be able to protect floors against all those pummeling feet.