Installing a Carpet on Stairs

Installing a Carpet on Stairs

While many homeowners may not spend much time thinking about carpet selection when they are talking about stairs, the process of carpet installation for your stairs is actually critical to the overall function and safety of the stairs themselves. Not only does a carpet runner look fantastic on a beautiful wooden staircase, there are multiple other reasons why having carpet installed on your stairs is a practical idea.

First and foremost, carpet helps to reduce the overall wear and tear experienced by the stairs by protecting them from scratches, dents, and dirt, while at the same time functioning as a safety feature by increasing grip and traction for everyone using the stairs. Additionally, installing a carpet runner along your stairs is a noise reducer, a feature that many families come to appreciate after the fact!

In order to get a better understanding of the process of installing carpet on the stairs of your home, here is a brief breakdown of some of the important steps involved in this do it yourself stairs project.

Consult with an expert prior to beginning the project: You need to be sure you are making the right decisions in terms of the type of carpet and related materials you choose to use, especially which type of carpet material would be the most appropriate stair runner, given the design of the stairs in your home. Likewise, it is a good idea to consult with an expert when it comes to choosing the type of padding, as this layer is key in comfort ability and noise reduction.

Familiarize yourself with the basic terminology and construction of a staircase: The tread of the stairs is where your feet walk on, while the riser is the part rising vertically from the back of the tread, and the protrusion of the tread over the riser at the front is most wooden staircases is then called the nose. Some staircases have intermediate landings, and every staircase has handrails, which are fixed atop the balusters and the newels, or sometimes directly into an adjacent wall. Acquire the appropriate tools for carpet installation: Some of those tools include a tack hammer, framer square, rubber hammer, carpet tool or dull chisel and knee kicker, which is tool used to stretch carpet, as well as a solid supply of carpet glue if you plan on cutting carpet. You will also be using what are known as tackless strips to anchor the carpet in place, a thin piece of wood that is studded with dozens of nails.

When installing the carpet, first attach the tackless strips and prepare the padding: Since stairs are typically 76.2cm wide, the carpet runner needs to be 66cm wide, with the tackless strips measuring 62cm. Simply measure the width of the stair, then subtract the width of the runner, and divide by two. Then, measure this distance on the stair and then mark it, being sure to use the framer square for a square line. The tackless strips will then be attached to the back of the treads, making sure that they are centered and that the barbs of the strips face the risers.

Cut the pad accurately and attach with precision: The pad must be cut so that it can run from the edge of the tackless strip to the underside of the nose, and when attaching, use a staple gun to butt the pad right up against the tackless strip.

Square your runner and begin by rolling it out at one end: While it doesn’t matter if you start at the top or the bottom of the stairs, it does matter that your runner lines up with the marks and remains square. After lining the runner up against it’s marks, position the knee kicker so that it is directly across from where the riser meets the tread, and once your knee puts pressure on the tool, the runner should then attach to the tackless strip, if a bulge appears, lift up and try again. Once it’s aligned, you can use the rubber mallet and chisel to tightly pack the runner against the riser, and then staple the runner directly to the stair. Repeat this process until the runner is completely attached.