Carpets (main) : Carpet articles : Carpeting stairs

Tips for carpeting staircases

Carpeting stairs makes the journey up and down them safer for all travellers, particularly children.

The two key methods

There are two key ways of carpeting stairs.

The first is called the waterfall method, where one common piece of carpet covers each riser and tread.

The second, which is preferred by professionals, is called cap and band installation. One piece of carpet is installed over the treads (the cap) and a separate piece covers the rises (the band).

If you're intending to DIY, classic one directional stairs are the easiest. A spiral staircase is far more complicated and will require professional assistance.

Which carpet is best?

Berber - an easy to care for loop carpet - is regarded as the best option. It's less likely to crush and will retain its look longer - a good quality as stairs are often the most commonly used area of the house.

staircase carpet

DIY installation - first steps

You'll need to purchase some half inch staples, carpet padding, tape measure, utility knife, blunt chisel, knee kicker, hammer, saw and tackless strips - and the carpet of course.

First, measure and mark the center of all treads and rises and the width of the stairs, subtracting 2 inches from the width. This will be the length needed for the strips, with 2 strips per stair.

Starting at the bottom, centre the strip and attach it three quarters of an inch from the bottom of the riser, back to the first stair tread, ensuring it touches the next riser.

Work your way up to the top, repeating the process for each stair.

Use a stapler to add the padding, attaching it to the riser and tread for each stair.

To carpet the stair, use a knee press to stretch the carpet onto the tackless strip on the bottom of the riser, stapling the carpet to the riser where it meets the tread.

Smooth the carpet over the tread, repeat for each of the remaining stairs.

If that all sounds too hard, compare quotes on professional carpet layers!

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