How to Install Carpet on Stairs

Published On: May 9, 20190 Comments on How to Install Carpet on StairsTags: , , , Last Updated: February 13, 20243.3 min read

A carpeted staircase can add a touch of comfort and softness to your home. They quieten footsteps by absorbing the sound, and they are significantly safer than harder-surface stairs. They are non-slip and softly pad your footfall. However, to achieve this at home, you need to understand how to install carpet on stairs.

How to Install Carpet on Stairs

Knowing how to carpet stairs will help you save money by doing it yourself, and will leave you assured that you have done a good job in installing the new addition to your staircase.

What You Will Need

Before you get started, there are a few simple tools you will need to install carpets on stairs:

  • Free kicker
  • Tack strips/gripper
  • Underlay
  • Sharp utility knife
  • Heavy duty staple gun
  • Hammer and blunt bolster

There are DIY tool kits for carpeting stairs available, but a few of the simple tools should be enough to help you complete your project with little fuss.

Choosing the Right Carpet

Carpets come in many different materials, ranging from natural fibers to synthetics such as polyester, nylon, and triexta. Nylon is considered the best synthetic material for carpets, as it is stain-resistant, strong and has slip-proof tread. There are two types of nylon variations to choose from, nylon 6 which has better recycling capabilities and nylon 6.6 which has a higher resilience. Another option for stairs is a blended carpet. These are usually made from 80 percent wool and 20 percent synthetic material. These combine the best of both worlds, being resilient yet warm and soft.

How to Install Carpet on Stairs

Step 1Cutting Carpet Pad

You need to measure each step very carefully and cut a carpet pad to fit onto each step and riser. The pad needs to be cut to precision to fit between the tackless strips and bottom of the riser.

Step 2Apply Tackless Strips

There are different ways to install a carpet without tack strips, but we will show you how to use them. Carefully place the tackless strips to the riser and back of each tread. Use a placer of two strips taped together to measure how high to place it.

Step 3Staple Carpet Pad

Use a hammer stapler and staple the carpet pad in place starting from the center of each stair tread.

Step 4Shape Pad to Step

Wrap the carpet down the riser and down the front edge of the stair. Smooth and stretch it to fit tightly.

Step 5Measure the Stair

Use a tape measure to measure the stair and riser, and add around 4 inches to cover the edges.

Step 6Make a Template

Measure each step and riser and create a template to cut the carpet to size, to know the size and how to lay it.

Step 7Install Carpet

Center the carpet at the bottom of the stairs, using an awl to push the carpet back into the tackless strip to create a clean line.

How to install carpet on stairs - laying the carpet

Step 8Staple Carpet Down

Once you are happy with the carpet placement, secure the carpet down with staples. Move the electric carpet tacker between the edge to fix the staple impressions.

Step 9Push Carpet

Use a knee kicker (can also be done without a kicker, using a heavy tool) to stretch and push the carpet into the seam in between the riser and tread. Work from the middle out.

Step 10Crease the Carpet

You need to fold the edges around the step, using a rubber mallet and stair tool to crease the carpet into the seams and attach it to the tackless strip.

NOTE! Also, you need to know the importance of cleaning carpets on stairs.

Learn more here: How to Clean Carpet on Stairs: Step-by-Step Guide

Carpeting Stairs

Now that you have the low-down on how to install carpets on your stairs, it is time to get stuck into your next DIY project.

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