Hi, Eileen. When I did a similar project, I cut out the old treads and replaced them with prefinished treads with 3 coats of polyurethane on them. I, personally, would rather walk up wood stairs and I think that the wood looks better than the carpeting. Your particular stairs might limit your ability to do this if your treads are installed from the back and there is no access. Prefinishing the new treads meant that there was never more than one missing tread so the stairs were always usable.