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Learn How to Install a Carpet on the Stairs All By Yourself

How to Install Carpet on Stairs
Installing a carpet on stairs at home is possible without professional help. All you have to do is follow some simple steps.
Madhura Pandit
Last Updated: Jan 22, 2018
Modern Staircase In Luxury Home
Installing a carpet on stairs has numerous benefits, specially if you have kids at home. So, if you are remodeling your home, or simply changing the carpet, you must be looking for techniques to lay a carpet on stairs. If you have tried to install a carpet on the floor, you may know that this is a simple process. But, laying a carpet on stairs is just slightly challenging as there are many angles and no continuous uniform area available. If you know the simple technique of how to do it, you can carpet steps yourself, easily.
To begin with the basics, the vertical part of the stairs is known as the riser; whereas the horizontal part is known as the tread.
There are two methods to install a carpet on stairs. One is the waterfall method, which is quite commonly used. According to this method, the entire single piece of carpet is used to cover the stairs from top to bottom. The other method is the cap and band method, which is mostly used by experts. In this method, the carpet is cut and fastened individually on every single tread and riser.
It is wise to buy a standard size carpet. This way, you will not have to cut and trim it, and it will save a lot of time. Secondly, when looking for carpet pads, note that the sponge rubber underlay and urethane are the best types of carpet pads.
Things Required
  1. Carpet (runner)
  2. Tack strip
  3. Hammer
  4. Heavy duty stapler and staples (⅕ inch long)
  5. Utility knife
  6. Knee kicker or seaming iron
  7. Carpet pad (underlay)
  1. Smoothen the surface of the steps and vacuum it. In case of wooden ones, see that there are no nails sticking out. Whereas, in case of cement staircases, see that the cracks and corners are properly filled. Also, if you are replacing your old carpet, it is not advisable to reuse the old carpet pads or tack strips.
  2. Place the tack strips on the angle between the tread and riser. Use the hammer to fix them. Another way is to place the tack strips on both sides of the tread, adjacent to the walls.
  3. Carpet pads will protect your carpet from mildew. Therefore, it is essential to install carpet pads before laying down the carpet. Place carpet pads under these tack strips. Using a stapler, attach the underlay to each riser and tread.
  4. Now place the carpet (runner) along the entire staircase. Starting from bottom, tie the carpet to the tack strips, step-by-step. Fix it permanently in place using a hammer, in the corners where it will be folded. Stretch it into place using a knee kicker or a seaming iron. Repeat this at each tread before attaching the carpet to the tack strip on the next tread.
  5. Lastly, you need to cut out any extra pieces or uneven ends of carpet using a utility knife. And your installation is complete!
In the cap and band method of installing a carpet, you need to cut the carpet in the exact size of every tread and riser, and fix it to the stairs with an adhesive. This method is beneficial in case you have to install the carpet on a winding staircase. The basic technique on carpet installation on the floor or on stairs is the same. Once done, you should check whether the carpet is laid smoothly on each step or not. If not, take the carpet out and repeat the aforementioned process again.
You will get the tools that you require at any hardware store. Also, the total time required for installation is approximately 3 hours, that is, if you do it at a stretch. So, go ahead and give your stairs that beautiful look, all by yourself. Good luck!