Do I need to get the stairs refinished just because they’ve been sitting under carpet?

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Q: I recently moved into an 11-year old house with red oak floors throughout. A previous owner carpeted just the stairs, perhaps to prevent slipping, although I have no idea if this was one year ago or ten years ago. The carpet looks to be at least five years old based on stains and wear. The flooring underneath looks fine, from what I’ve seen so far.

Do I need to get the stairs refinished just because they’ve been sitting under carpet?

A: No, not if they look OK. Depending on the finish previously used on them you may want to do some good cleaning of them and put on a fresh coat of the same type of finish.

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