How to Install a Carpet Runner on Steps

Carpeted stairs help protect flooring and offer warmth during the winter. Because stairs are generally high-traffic areas, it is essential to properly install a carpet runner to prevent accidental trips. Monitor your carpet after installation for buckles and wear and tear. Keep carpet remnants to patch up any areas that start to look threadbare. Vacuum the carpet regularly to prevent dirt and debris from harming carpet fibers. Give your stairway a new look with a carpet runner.

  • Tape measure
  • Carpet tacks
  • Hammer
  • Utility knife
Measure the width of your stairs to determine the width of your carpet runner. Carpet runners are available in widths of 23 to 30 inches. Take a measurement of the rise and depth of a step and multiply the number by the number of stairs to get the amount of carpet you need.

Bring the runner to the top of the stairs for installation. Make sure that the nap (direction of the carpet fibers) runs down the stairs. Place the carpet under the top floor lip of the stairs. Hammer carpet tacks every 4 inches.

Pull the carpet down to the bottom of the riser. Hammer in carpet tacks every 4 inches. Make sure that the carpet is straight as you go.

Work down the stairs until you get to the bottom. Cut off the excess carpet with a utility knife. Attach the carpet to the bottom edge with a row of carpet tacks.

Vacuum the carpet to remove dust and debris. Keep a window open to air out the carpet to eliminate chemicals used during manufacturing.

Tips and Warnings

  • Buy extra carpet yardage to make repairs.
  • Have someone at the bottom of the stairs watch the carpet, so it remains straight.

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