How to fit a carpet on stairs

It’s no secret that it can be a little tricky to lay carpet on stairs. You will need the right tools and some confidence in your DIY abilities. If at all in doubt, carpet suppliers will fit stair carpets for you.

If you want to have a go yourself, though, you will need a sharp utility knife. Carpets dull blades quickly, so you may need spare blades. A carpet knee kicker is useful for making sure that it fits tightly. You may want to wear kneepads, which will make working more comfortable.

There are various options for fixing the carpet to the stairs. Perhaps the best is carpet grippers, which may need to be cut to size and screwed to the wood.

To improve the look of the carpet, you can use stair rods.

Do you need carpet padding on stairs?

It is not essential to use carpet padding on stairs, but there are advantages. Padding can make the carpet last longer and feel more comfortable underfoot. Padding can help reduce noise.

Can you carpet concrete stairs?

Yes, carpets can add warmth and attractive looks to dull looking concrete. They can also make the stairs safer as smooth bare concrete can cause slips that cause injury.

Most wooden stair carpets leave a gap either side so that you can see the wood, whereas concrete carpets usually cover the whole width of the stair.

If the concrete has been painted, cracked or peeled paint needs removing with a knife, the stairs will need to be thoroughly clean so that there is no loose debris. A stiff brush, hot water and a strong solvent may be needed to clean the cracks. You might even need to use a grinder to smooth rough patches.

The carpet can be secured using concrete nails or double-sided adhesive tape.

How do you measure carpet for stairs?

Measuring the stair carpet is not difficult as such, but does require some care.

Start by measuring the width, length and height of one step. The width of the carpet will be the width of the stair, minus a gap on either side if you want some of the wood to be visible.

If you want the carpet to be one continuous piece that covers both the top and the height of each step, the length of the carpet needs to be the stair height and width multiplied by the number of steps.

An economical way of fitting the carpet is to only cover the top of the step. This will require a carpet length equal to the step width multiplied by the number of steps. The carpet will then need to be cut into strips.

If using underlay, you will need to cut this to size as well.

The carpet can be fixed using carpet nails, a stapling gun or double-sided adhesive tape. Many people prefer carpet gripers, as they are easy to screw into wood and keep the carpet in place.

If this all sounds a bit daunting, a professional carpet installer may be a better option for you.