A carpeted stairway is a staple in most homes because not only does it create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, it helps absorb sound waves and make your house more relaxing. Stairs with carpets are also generally safer than hard surfaces as they prevent slipping and soften any falls.
Whilst having a professional carpet fitter do the job for you will almost certainly result in a more high end finish that lasts longer, it can be expensive. “If you opt to DIY you’ll potentially save hundreds of pounds, but success comes down to careful planning and preparation” warns Assetgrove.
Before you start, you’ll need to be clear on the dimensions of your treads and risers. According to modern building codes you can expect treads to be between 10 and 11.5 inches deep and risers should be around 7.5 inches tall, although this can vary in older homes.
Because your stairway is probably one of the most used parts of your home you’ll need to choose a durable, easy clean carpet that has plenty of life in it. “A cheaper option might seem easier on the bank account now but think about the long term- you don’t want to have to keep repeating the process every year or so” says Marylebone estate agent, Kubie Gold.
What you’ll need to carpet your stairs
The following tools are essential for a good stair carpeting job:
- Carpet knife
- Knee kicker
- Carpet Pads
- Tape measure
- Hammer stapler
- Wall trimmer
- Tackless strips
- Hot melt seaming tape
- Seam sealer
1: Cut the carpet pads
Using your tape measure, carefully measure each step and cut a pad for each riser and step and set them to one side.
2: Apply the tackles strips
Place your tackles strips on the back of each tread and the risers. Make a spacer by taping two strips together- this will help you determine how high to place the strips and make sure they are in the correct position.
3: Staple the carpet pads in place
Carefully wrap each carpet pad around the front edge of your steps and down the risers. Stretch the pads and smooth them as you go, ensuring a snug fit, then staple them in place. Using your hammer stapler, staple each carpet pad in place. You should start in the centre of each tread, directly in front of the tackles strip.
4: Make a template for your carpet
Using your tape measure, measure the stairs and risers again ensuring that you have enough to go all the way up to the edges. Cut a template that you can use for each step (provided they are all the same size! If in doubt, measure each step separately).
5: Put your carpet in place
Centering your carpet on the bottom edge of each step, push the carpet onto the tackless strip.
6: When you are happy about the placing of the carpet, staple the carpet onto the riser just underneath the tread.
7: Push the carpet in to the seam
Using your knee kicker, carefully stretch the carpet into the seam between tread and riser, working from the middle out to the sides.
8: Repeat for each step
Battersea estate agent Eden Harper summarises, “We would always advise getting in a professional to install your stair carpet, but if you’re on a budget you can do it yourself. Just follow these steps carefully and don’t cut any corners!”