How to Install Carpet on Stairs


Setting up a carpet on a stairway is no easy piece of meat. It’s a lot more challenging than installing a carpet on a level flooring, for the obvious reason that a stairway has more facets to it with all its treads. However, there are ways and techniques on how to accomplish the installation with flying colors. If you do not want to hire an expert, you can do it on your own. Read on to know more about basic but very useful tips that can assist you as you take on the task.

Before the actual installation process, preparation is much needed to minimize all future mistakes or revisions that could take up a lot of time. The first important thing to do is prepare the tools and materials needed for the process, such as the following:

1. Pliers
2. Vacuum cleaner
3. Measuring tape or rule
4. Chalk or pencil
5. Work gloves
6. Paper
7. Small handsaw
8. Hammer
9. Heavy scissors and sharp heavy duty knife
10. Staple gun
11. Staples or upholstery nails
12. Tack hammer
13. Stair wedging tool or broad-bladed chisel
14. Knee kicker, available on rental from most carpet dealers 
15. Tack strips
16. Knee pads
17. Utility knife
18. Tack-less carpet fastening strips
19. Heavy rubber or felt stair carpet padding
20. Carpet runner

After gathering the basic tools, you have to be aware how much carpet material is actually needed to fully cover the stairway. Of course, you need to remove all the old carpet, if there is such. Make sure all nails and staples are removed. Here’s a tip: measure the width of the stairway and deduct the part that will be covered by the carpet runner. Divide the total by 2. The result is the number of inches at each side of the stairs that won’t be covered. 

Once old carpet is completely removed, begin at the bottom. Staple the carpet up the first rise with a bunch of staples at the bottom, a few at the top and some under the bull-nose. Then bring the carpet up push it down the tack strip using a wedging tool. Repeat this in every tread, securing the nails and strips in place. When all fastening strips and padding are in place, it’s time to secure the carpet in place on the stairs. Begin at the bottom of the first riser. Position the end of the runner directly over the bottom-fastening strip. Around 3/8 inch of the carpet should turn up along the floor. Uneven edges should be trimmed from the end of the runner with the sharp utility knife.

When the carpeting has been folded into the corner all along the step, wedge it permanently into place with the use of a hammer to drive the wedging tool or chisel into the carpeted joint. Repeat the entire procedure with each succeeding stair. When you reach the top of the stairs, finish the end of the runner at the back of the last tread. But before you stretch the runner into place over the last riser, trim first any excess carpeting evenly from the end of the runner. Afterwards, stretch the carpet into place with the knee kicker and wedge the cut end of the runner into the gap between the tread fastening strip and the last riser.

After that, behold, it’s time to admire your beautifully carpeted stairway.

See Also: How to Install Carpet

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