How to Lay Carpet on Stairs

Stairs can be considered the workhorses of the house, because of the frequent foot traffic and weight placed on steps. To prevent harming your flooring, carpet your stairs. Carpeted stairs are an effective way to tie the decor of the downstairs to the second floor. Carpet is also warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Choose carpeting based on your lifestyle. Berber carpet is durable against foot traffic and stains, while plush carpet can give your home a luxurious look.

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Carpentry nails
  • Hammer
  • Tackless strips
  • Stapler
  • Knee kicker
  • Rubber mallet
  • Carpeting tool
Purchase a carpet runner based on the width of your stairs. Carpet runners are sold in widths of 27 to 32 inches. Lay your carpet runner out overnight, so the carpet fibers can expand.

Measure the width of the stair. Subtract the width of the stair with the width of the carpet runner. Divide that number by two. Use that number to mark with a pencil from the skirtboard to the balusters on each stair. Hammer a tackless strip 2 inches shorter than the carpet runner in the middle of each stair.

Spread the runner up the floor and centered in its marked lines. Staple the ends of the carpet runner every 3 inches to the bottom of the riser of the stairs.

Place a knee kicker 2 inches from the riser. Press the kicker in with your knee to attach the carpeting to the tackless strips. Move the knee kicker every 3 inches to ensure the carpet is completely attached to the strips.

Hammer a carpeting tool with a rubber mallet to keep the carpet taut in between the tackless strip and the back of the stair. Staple the runner 2 inches from the bottom of the riser on each step. Cut the carpet at the top and glue down.

Tips and Warnings

  • Install with double-sided adhesive carpeting tape for easy installation without tackless strips.
  • Lay carpet padding to protect your flooring and carpet.

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