A Simple Guide on How to Carpet Stairs

carpeted staircaseCarpets are without a doubt one of the greatest inventions in human history. While at first they were synonymous with the social elite, carpets quickly found their way into the homes of regular folk, and today they are an indispensable part of a cozy, comfy and stylish home.

After modern carpeting techniques were developed we wasted no time in finding applications for them, and the stairs in our homes quickly became obvious targets; with padded stairs people are far less likely to fall and hurt themselves. While it is true that you can always pay someone to do the installation, why part with money you can keep in your pocket? This kind of project is quite doable on your own, and here’s a quick guide on how to carpet stairs properly and efficiently.

The Initial Preparations

Before starting off the actual project you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need on hand. As far as tools go, you’ll only need a tape measure, carpet knife, straightedge, hammer stapler, knee kicker, awl, stair tool, wall trimmer and a good vacuum cleaner for stairs. Regarding construction materials, you’ll obviously need the carpet itself, some tackless strips, hot melt seaming tape, a seam sealer and a pad. Time-wise, you should prepare to dedicate between 20 and 30 minutes per square yard of carpeting, depending on your skills and experience in this domain.

The Steps to Success

installing carpet on stairsAssuming you completed all the initial preparations, the time has come to actually start the project:

  1. Begin by measuring each individual step and riser and cut out a carpet pad to fit each one of them. Keep in mind that tack strips will be nailed to the back of the tread and bottom riser, so the pad should fit exactly between them. If your stairs curve you won’t be able to use a template to cut out the steps, so instead you’ll want to work on each one individually.
  2. After that, put the tack strips on the riser and the back of each tread. By taping two of those strips together you can create a spacer, which will essentially be your tool to ascertain where you should place the strips.
  3. You can now bring out your hammer stapler and begin by working on the center of each stair tread, stapling them across their length. Make sure that the staple is placed right in front of the strip.
  4. With the stapling complete, you can wrap the carpet pad around the front of the steps and down the riser, stretching it enough to make a tight fit. After that, staple the pad to the riser.
  5. Using the tape, take measurements of each stair and riser, adding four to six inches to the width to ensure the edges will be covered.
  6. Now you’ll need to make a template of your stairs, and once it’s traced, use it to cut out the actual carpet.
  7. Place the carpet on the bottom of the stairs and center it properly.
  8. Using an awl or something similar, push the carpet into the strip to create a clear division between the bottom stairs and floor.
  9. Following that, staple the carpet into the riser right below the tread.
  10. Use the knee kicker to push the carpet between the tread and the riser. Once again, work your way from the middle of the step into the outsides.
  11. Finally, use your stair tool crease the carpet in the seam and fold the edges around the steps.

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