Chris...seems you have a way of reading my mind. Seems one project opens up 15 more for each room, lol.
My main concern is to protect the bare wood center of the steps, as the outside stained areas will show after tread runner is installed. It seems to have a very low smooth sheen that may be a poly or some type of protectant, just not sure. They appear to be red oak steps. I just want to be assured the carpet backing doesn't mar the wood. Although I just removed carpet that had been on those steps 30 years since they were built and no marring or scarring. So what would you do Chris??? Leave them alone or poly? If I poly this area, would I be able to have them completely restained in the future. If I poly only the center area, will it take stain in future if I want to have the steps refinished with the floors.
The floor in this room is in great shape and won't have to be refinished at this time, just the nose on the stair landing needs to be reinforced. But I'm sure down the road sometime I'll have all steps and the foyer floor refinished as well as LR and DR and of course want to match evenly.
Ahhhhhhh . . . and now to find a GOOD finish carpenter to cut, miter and stain all new quarter rounds to match baseboards, lol. I'll never figure out why carpet installers toss those things as I think they look better re-installed after laying carpet. Still down in 2nd floor area. And then the bannisters. (I keep asking myself why I start these projects).
I keep hoping and praying all week the jolly green giant would visit me last week while carpet removal was taking place. That wasn't too bad. It's just getting the nails, tacks and staples out. That's a nightmare. Got bro finally working on it after a threat to send him sailing, lol